An entrepreneur is hoping he can revolutionise Bexhill’s future prospects by bringing Britain’s racing heritage back to the town.
Bexhill staged Britain’s first organised series of motor races on Whit Monday in 1902.
To create a new tourist attraction and pay homage to this history Alan Whitt, a former PR guru and charity advisor, wants to establish the Bexhill Auto Heritage Centre on a site yet to be determined off the new bypass.
The centre would be in a building the size of the De La Warr Pavilion that would have car parking and be linked to the town via a park and ride scheme for centre visitors to take advantage of Bexhill’s facilities and shopping opportunities, Mr Whitt said.
In addition to display vehicles the centre would in time boast a small workshop for training would-be mechanics, a small cinema for showing motor racing related films, plus road safety promotions.
A computer gaming suite would allow visitors to ‘drive’ the world’s best racing circuits.
Mr Whitt said it is hoped to have a mock road layout where young would-be drivers would get their first taste of motoring, as well as a place where police and road safety experts could teach road craft to young cyclists and pedestrians.
He added: “Clearly at the moment this is a dream that is just turning into the germ of a plan. What’s now needed is a feasibility study and help from local experts to ensure the project gives best value to potential visitors and investors, and the most benefit to the town’s economy.”
Mr Whitt has formed a steering committee to oversee the feasibility study.
It includes representatives of the Town Team and the Bexhill 100, Bexhill councillors Stuart Earl and Simon Elford plus businessman Mark Plews.
Also helping are the Royal Automobile Club, Rother District Council, The Harmsworth Family Trust (Daily Mail) and Hastings Direct.
The committee is also reviewing ideas for an annual commemoration of the Whit Monday races, and may also provide a place for people with customised cars to show them off, rather than at present congregating on Ravenside Shopping Centre.
Mr Whitt can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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