A funding drive to expand the museum honouring Fife-born motor racing legend Jim Clark has made the chequered flag with news of a £635,000 National Lottery windfall.
Coupled with £300,000 of public donations which poured in from motorsport fans from across the globe, the redevelopment of the existing Jim Clark Room in the Borders town of Duns will now go ahead in what Scots triple Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart has hailed as a “dream come true” in celebration of his friend, rival and the man many regard as the greatest ever talent behind the wheel of a racing car.
The £1.6m project will see the existing small exhibition space in Duns redeveloped to create a modern museum to celebrate the life and achievements of double F1 World Champion Clark.
Sir Jackie, honorary president of The Jim Clark Trust, said: “I am thrilled that the dream has come true and that sufficient funding is going to permit a great Scottish hero to be honoured by what will be an excellent testimony to his success as one of the world’s greatest racing drivers of all time.
“I am so proud to have been a friend of Jim.
“I learned so much from him and I miss him dearly.
“This initiative will recognise one of Scotland’s greatest sporting heroes in the very grounds that he so much loved,” said Sir Jackie.
Clark, who died in a Formula Two race at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit in April 1968, is honoured with a life-sized statue in the Fife hamlet of Kilmany, where he was born and spent the first six years of his life, until the family moved to a farm in the Borders.
The new museum will provide expanded exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and the trophy collection, two of Jim Clark’s race cars, new image galleries, film footage, interactive displays, technology and an education zone.
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We are delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, we’re able to support the transformation of the Jim Clark Room into a visitor attraction worthy of his sporting greatness.
“It’s certain to attract people from far and wide, benefiting the Border’s tourist economy.”
Doug Niven, trustee and cousin of the motor racing legend said: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Borders Council and the thousands of individuals across the world that have supported our £300,000 charity fundraising campaign, without whom this project would not be possible.
“Those people should feel justifiably proud having contributed to today’s announcement.
“We look forward to a new museum celebrating the life and achievements of Jim and his legacy for Scottish motor sport to promote heritage, education and inspire future generations.”