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Silverstone's £20m museum set to open ahead of British GP

The UK’s first museum dedicated to motorsport is an “absolute labour of love”, according to its CEO.

The Silverstone Experience will open just days before the British Grand Prix at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Displays include items such as Nigel Mansell’s British Grand Prix-winning Williams from 1992 and Barry Sheene’s 1979 Suzuki motorbike.

Sally Reynolds, CEO of the Silverstone Experience, said she would be “relieved” when it opened on 9 July.

She said they had been working on the attraction since 2011, with funding secured for the £20m site in 2016.

The Heritage Lottery Fund provided about half of that money, while South Northamptonshire Council loaned the museum £3m.

The museum will offer circuit tours, while the latest technology will chart the stories of drivers and people who have had ties to the site.

A research centre encompassing an archive for the British Racing Drivers’ Club and other motorsport collections will also be based there.

It will include a section that will recreate the “the sounds and smells of Silverstone Circuit”, piping smells of rubber and engine oil, Ms Reynolds added.

Prince Harry visited the site last year and is Royal patron of the museum.

It is housed in a World War Two hangar on the former aerodrome site and is expected to attract about 500,000 visitors a year.

However, this year’s British Grand Prix could be the last at Silverstone.

The circuit’s contract expires after this year’s race and talks are “still progressing” between Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, and Formula 1.

This article is from the BBC Sport website / bbc.co.uk - Silverstone's £20m museum set to open ahead of British GP

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