Former Blenheim Palace CEO takes role at The Silverstone Experience

The Silverstone Experience has marked its first anniversary with the appointment of the former chief executive of Blenheim Palace as its chair of the board.

The £20m museum, located in a restored WW2 Wellington Bomber hangar, has welcomed heritage expert John Hoy to the role.

In an eventful first 12 months, the state-of-the-art museum has gone from the highs of hosting an official royal opening to closing for almost four months during the national lockdown.

It reopened in late July following a programme of measures to make the venue COVID-secure and recently announced that it has received £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and £572,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

This funding will ensure it is able to remain open during the winter and continue its mission of preserving the heritage of British motor racing and inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Hoy said: “There could not be a more exciting time to join as Chair of The Silverstone Experience than the month in which it celebrates its first anniversary. I have huge admiration and respect for the unrelenting efforts of the board, the CEO and the staff in not only creating this stunning new museum, but also in keeping it going during the most difficult of years. Whilst The Silverstone Experience has suffered alongside all other cultural institutions during the pandemic, the financial lifelines that it has received from the DCMS and from the NLHF prove what a deserving project it is. Thousands of visitors have been inspired by its terrific stories over the summer and we thank them for their positive feedback and for their support – and, going forward, we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in the coming months.”

Sally Reynolds, CEO of The Silverstone Experience, said: “We are delighted to welcome John as our new chair. He brings a wealth of experience in the heritage sector that will prove invaluable as we head into our second year. The support we have received from the DCMS, the NLHF and – most importantly – our wonderful visitors, means we are able to celebrate our first anniversary secure in the knowledge that we can continue in our mission of preserving the history of British motor sport and inspiring the next generation of engineers. As schools break up for half term we look forward to welcoming families to The Silverstone Experience to explore the stars, stories and science behind motor racing.”

The museum is home to the archive of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and since opening has put new objects on display including the race helmet worn by Lewis Hamilton during his 2019 Formula 1 title winning race.

Families visiting this half term will be able to see a 2020 Racing Point Formula 1 car and a historic BT20 raced by Sir Jack Brabham in his 1966 F1 title winning season.