The team at the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum are preparing to welcome their 10,000th visitor through the door, since opening to the public on 11 July this year.
The museum, operated by charity Live Borders, celebrates the life and inspiring racing career of Jim Clark with an interactive experience. As Scotland’s first, and double, Formula One World Champion, as well as Indy 500 winner, Jim Clark is one of the greatest racing drivers of all time.
Andrew Tulloch, curator for the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, said: ‘The response we have had to the museum has been outstanding. Jim Clark fans and novices alike have enjoyed our interactive experience, with our visitor feedback highlighting the trophy room, cars and videos as their favourite parts of the experience.
‘Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit the museum – we have welcomed visitors locally, from the rest of the Borders, the rest of Scotland and the wider UK – and even international visitors. We can’t wait to greet our 10,000th visitor with some special Jim Clark goodies from the gift shop.’
The facility was designed by Scottish Borders Council architects, who worked in partnership with charity Live Borders and The Jim Clark Trust on the development of the project.
Jim Clark won the Formula One championship in 1963, becoming the then youngest ever World Champion. He followed it up with victory again in 1965 and in the same year won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in America. He remains the only driver to have won both the Formula One and Indy 500 titles in the same year.
Clark tragically died at Hockenheim in Germany at the age of just 32. He was much admired for his modesty and humility alongside his remarkable natural ability in all forms of motor racing. He is still considered one of the greatest ever racing drivers and remains to this day one of Scotland’s most admired sporting heroes.
Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s executive member for Culture and Sport, said: ‘The new museum is a fantastic visitor attraction and I am delighted that it has proved so popular in these opening months. I have had some great feedback from people that have visited the museum which is really encouraging and I am very happy that we have nearly reached the 10,000 visitors mark.’
Doug Niven, cousin of Jim Clark and trustee of The Jim Clark Trust, added: ‘It has taken many years of work to open the new museum and to get this response from the public is fantastic. The museum brings together Jim’s life both in and out of racing cars: as a humble person, Jim would have been amazed to see so many people, from all over the world, visiting a museum all about him.
‘In addition to the new museum, the Trust has been working on a variety of other complementary projects, including a Jim Clark Tourist Trail and a range of future events. Together with the museum these will bring more visitors to Duns, and the wider Scottish Borders, and will ensure that Jim’s legacy lives on and continues to inspire future generations.’
VisitScotland regional leadership director, Paula Ward, said: ‘It is great news that the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum has nearly attracted 10,000 visitors since it opened just a few months ago – it is a fantastic addition to the region’s tourism offering, propelling the Scottish Borders into the spotlight and helping to inspire people to visit, stay and explore the region where one of the greatest racing divers of all time lived.
‘Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment to ensure that current provision meets future demand. Tourism is leading economic transformation in the South of Scotland – an area which has everything our visitors seek in abundance.’
Formula One legend, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, officially opened the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum on 29 August. The museum includes two of Jim Clark’s race cars, image galleries, film footage, interactive displays and a simulator. There is also expanded exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and the trophy collection.
Funding for the £1.6million partnership project has come from Scottish Borders Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and The Jim Clark Trust, the latter including a grant from the Fallago Environment Fund and individual donations from around the world.
For more information, visit www.jcmm.org.uk