The spectacular transformation of the iconic Brooklands Museum, next door to us here at Dakota, has seen it recieve a nomination for the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year Award 2018.

The nomination for this award is off the back of a stellar 2017, which saw several impressive projects unveiled for the first time. It was the culmination of 10 years hard work in developing new projects whilst repairing and improving older ones.

Brooklands Museum is as close to motorsport history as you can get. It was the world’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit, and was also the site of many engineering and technological achievements throughout eight decades of the 20th century such as the Concorde.

Tamalie Newbury, Director of Brooklands Museum, spoke of why it stands out among the rest in a video showcasing all the museum has to offer, “Brooklands tells the story of motorsports and the design and construction of aircraft, all of which happened right here on this site in the 20th century”.

One of the key projects was restoring the finishing straight of the track, allowing people to whizz around the track in vintage cars, giving visitors a first-hand feel of what it would’ve been like back in the 1920s.

Brooklands Race Track before it's days as a museum - DAKOTA

Brooklands Race Track before it’s days as a museum – DAKOTA

The Vice President of Brooklands, Allan Winn, explains how the museum is always trying to find ways of making the visitors’ experience more exciting, “the whole ethos of Brooklands is that where it is safe, for the public and the exhibit to run and keep them moving, then we do…we want to have cars whizzing around, we want to start aeroplane engines, we want to let people play”.

A new innovation, which is what impressed those at the Art Fund, is the new aircraft factory and assembly line display. An exhibit of this kind has not been done before, and visitors can enjoy the interactive exhibition, which educates about aircraft construction in an assembly line format.

Brooklands have gone even further on their quest to educate by setting up an Aviation Heritage Skills Course, which teaches volunteers from Brooklands and all over the key skills involved in conserving heritage aircraft.

Brooklands Museum - Aircraft heritage - DAKOTA

Brooklands Museum – Aircraft heritage – DAKOTA

Development director David Nagle said that Brooklands’ sense of history and place separates it from other museums.

“When you come to Brooklands and when you stand in our Concorde, you get that sense of history and we feel that makes Brooklands different…you get a sense of that period when the motoring and aviation industries were just beginning, when it seemed like anything was possible.”

He went on to say, “The award is a really prestigious thing. It’s probably the biggest award a museum can get. It’s a testament to the people who work here.”

Tamalie Newbery also added, “We’re thrilled that the museum’s incredible work in 2017 has been recognised by the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 and its panel of distinguished judges…we can now tell the extraordinary history of this very special place in ways we’ve never been able to before.

“Our nomination for this prestigious award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team here, not least our 800 volunteers who do so much to give our visitors a warm welcome.”

A spokesman for Brooklands Museum added,”Brooklands nomination marks the culmination of one of the museum’s most important periods in its 27 year history, with a spectacular transformation of the site in 2017 delivering extraordinary new exhibitions that tell the story of one of the most important sites in British motorsport, aviation and engineering.”

Other museums up for the award are London’s Postal Museum, Tate St Ives, the Glasgow Women’s Library and Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, which played a central part in Hull’s City of Culture Arts Festival in 2017.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on the 5th July, and the prize (judging by last year) is an extraordinary £100,000 in cash, to further the quality of the museum.

Our office space here at Dakota is just a stones throw away from the fantastic Brooklands Museum and we are very proud to be part of this community that posseses so much history. We are also very proud of the building we are able to call home, which boasts office space in a modern building like no other in the area.

To see for yourself, come to our new marketing suite in Weybridge or get in contact with us and we’d be happy to talk you through why Dakota is the best choice for you.

DAKOTA - Weybridge, right next to Brooklands Museum

DAKOTA – Weybridge, right next to Brooklands Museum