News : Heritage reserve collection gets new lottery-funded home

HMC Reserve Collection

The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust has been awarded a Round Two grant of £1.45m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Museum Collections Centre project. The award is the culmination of more than two years’ work to develop plans for a new building in which to store and display more than 200 historic British cars from the collections of both the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and its partner, the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

The £4m project received initial support from HLF in 2011 and the latest HLF grant, together with match funding from Jaguar Land Rover, The Garfield Weston Foundation and both Trusts, will enable work on this project to begin in the spring of 2014. The new Museum Collection Centre will enable people to view many cars from the reserve collections of both Trusts for the first time in a purpose-built facility which will also include a vehicle restoration and conservation workshop and space for enhanced education and lifelong learning programmes.

Tim Bryan, Head of Collections & Interpretation at the Heritage Motor Centre, said: ‘We are delighted that, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Jaguar Land Rover and our other partners, this exciting project will become a reality. It will allow us to make our collections far more accessible and will enable people to learn more about the motor industry, which has played such an important role in the West Midlands’.

More at

Keith Adams


  1. Fantastic news!

    This hopefully means no more repeats of selling off ‘excess’ vehicles from both collections or leaving certain vehicles outside exposed to the elements when they are not forming part of the main display. Perhaps this will mean that Jaguar Land Rover will kindly ‘return’ those first and last Land Rover vehicles which were originally retained for the benefit of the nation.

    The next project for the BMIHT must surely to be to apply for funding so that their production records, particularly those held on old vulnerable formats such as microfiche and paper ledgers, can been duplicated and saved in a less time-sensitive format. Many of the records held on microfiche are now deteriorating at quite an alarming rate, thus meaning some of the information is no longer preserved.

  2. There used to be loads of old records in the “dungeons” beneath the main reception block at Land Rover Lode Lane – I occasionally went down there looking for information/original computer printouts/correspondence on old production suppliers while re-sourcing spare parts – not the nicest of places given the pools of water, poor lighting and signs of rats….

  3. Assuming this is not an April Fool, let’s hope they put the SD2 under cover at last – one of the biggest missed opportunities in the UK industry.

  4. That is excellent news. I thought the BMIH’s days where numbered. Last few visits I made the place looked pretty run down with tired exhibitions (memory road!) piled in like a warehouse. Not exactly overrun with visitors either and tales of ex BMC/BL prototypes left lying out to rot hardly inspired confidence. Lets just hope this investment really shakes things up and we end u[p with a proper, professionally run depository for Britain’s motoring heritage along the lines of German/Italian manufacturer museums. In that respect I agree that JLR would make an excellent custodian.

  5. @3 Yes I’m sure a cramped, oddly styled, live rear suspended hatchback was just the thing BL needed to compete with the Sierra and Cavalier in the early 80s!

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