A museum, which received multi-million-pound loans from local authorities ahead of its opening in 2019, has said it is “extremely grateful” for the support. The Silverstone Interactive Museum will not repay one of the loans until 2040.
Its chief executive, Craig Dunkerley, said all authorities have been “extremely supportive” in renegotiating loans following the impact of the Covid pandemic.
The loans are in the process of being repaid with interest by the museum, which is run by Silverstone Heritage Limited – a community benefit company.
West Northamptonshire Council, Buckinghamshire Council, and Cherwell District Council have agreed to be repaid after they agreed loans over 2016 or 2017.
Read more: Silverstone museum loan repayments expose ‘weaknesses’ in councils‘ due diligence processes
South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) said its £1 million loan has partly been repaid. As of last month, it was “in the process of agreeing a detailed repayment schedule”.
Mr Dunkerley said: “Due to the challenges that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced us to close our doors just days after Prince Harry and Lewis Hamilton officially opened the museum, all our partners have been extremely supportive and worked closely with the team here to renegotiate repayment terms all parties are happy with. As reported, these loans are in the process of being repaid with interest.
“We have continued to see visitor numbers grow in recent months and have some exciting plans for 2023, which will firmly position the Silverstone Museum as a key tourist attraction in the area, an achievement that is recognised and valued by our partners.”
The Silverstone Interactive Museum describes itself as a 2.5-hour visitor attraction journey through the past, present and future of British motorsport. It is run by Silverstone Heritage Ltd, a Community Benefit Society with a charitable mission.
Visitors can climb into a racing car, learn to be a commentator and have a go at building a racing bike while incredible stories from the sport and its history come to life around them in a restored WW2 RAF Hangar.
An opening ceremony featuring Prince Harry and Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton opened the new museum in March 2020, just before the COVID lockdown.