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Hundreds attend grand opening of top West Country attraction

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The new Haynes International Motor Museum, by Ed Vaizey MP



·         Over 500 guests attend grand opening, ahead of busy Easter weekend


·         Exceptional new facilities, exhibition halls and interactive exhibits on display for first time


·         Over 400 cars and motorcycles in collection from around the globe


·         Expected to position the Museum as a top tourist attraction in the West Country, boosting local economy




The Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, on Wednesday 16 April formally opened the new Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford Somerset, drawing over 500 guests from around the world to this top tourist attraction in the South West of England, with the furthest travelling from Australia for the special day.


Mayors, councillors, celebrities, leading business CEOs, Chairmen and MDs, car clubs, and enthusiasts alike, all attended the Grand Opening of the new Museum which, after ten years of planning, two and a half years of building work, and a privately funded £5 million investment, showcased its full collection of some of the greatest cars from around the world for the first time.


This included the official opening ofthree new exhibition halls – Minis and Micros, Century of Supercars, Motorcycle Mezzanine – three modernised halls, a new Haynes Motorland Children’s adventure play zone, new and modernised events facilities in the ‘Engine Rooms’, a brand new entrance foyer with a shop and Café 750, named after John H. Haynes OBE’s first book – ‘Building a 750 special’, and much more.



Guests were also able to take a ride outside the grounds in five of the Museum’s cars, which are part of the 400+ car and motorcycle collection, arguably the biggest global collection in the UK, and mostly in full working order.  For those preferring to stay on firm ground, they could explore the range of new, modernised and more interactive exhibits, taking a tour from the start of the journey – an 1885 Benz – through to Veteran, Vintage & Pre-War Classics, the famous red room of sports and GT cars, a trip through Memory Lane, or to the world’s largest collection of Speedway Motorbikes and memorabilia in the British Motorcycle Collection, to name a few.


Cutting the ribbon to the grand entrance, Ed Vaizey MP commented:  “I was delighted to be invited to open the new Haynes International Museum which I know has been a stunning success over the last thirty years and I have every confidence will be even more so over the next thirty years.  It has been impressive to see the journey from 30 to over 400 cars and motorcycles in the collection” and he joked “although if I can get my hands on the fantastic Mustang I have been eyeing up, that number may reduce by one.”


He added: “As well as bringing a much needed boost to the local Somerset economy and creating jobs, the new Museum will in the future continue to attract visitors and investment to the West Country at a key time for the South West following the recent flooding.”


John H. Haynes OBE, Chairman of Haynes International Motor Museum, said: “It has been an honour to welcome such esteemed guests here today and to share my passion for cars with you all.  As an educational trust, I am pleased to be able to show the evolution of cars through the ages and geographies of the world so they can be appreciated by all age groups and backgrounds.  I look forward to continuing to grow and share the collection, ensuring this continues to be a top tourist attraction in the UK and beyond.”



Discussing the project, Marc Haynes, Managing Director of Haynes International Museum, added: “Today’s official opening marks the culmination of a thrilling journey for us and we are very excited to finally be able to unveil the new Museum in its full glory.   The new more modern facilities and displays will appeal to all ages and generations, making a fun and interesting day out or an excellent, not to mention unique and memorable, event venue that can be tailored to an individual’s needs and requirements.  Now this project is complete, we will turn our eyes to the future, with a new hotel a possible option to ensure guests can travel from far and wide and enjoy their visit with no time pressures. Watch this space.”


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