As the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns, Scottish Borders, opens to the public for the new season, the partners who collaborated on the project celebrate 5-Star status awarded by VisitScotland. The museum opened to the public on 11th July 2019 following a £1.6million partnership project – the museum welcomed 13,000 visitors in its first six months as well as securing its first award, notably from the Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards.
The new museum was visited and assessed by VisitScotland Quality Tourism Advisors and was awarded the prestigious 5-Star Museum grading – the first museum in the Scottish Borders to receive this accolade and one of only nine 5-Star visitor attractions in the region.
Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme is delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer valuable business advice and support. The scheme is not just about driving standards; it aims to help businesses reach their full potential so they can reap the benefits and secure their success. That in turn delivers benefits for the economy of their region and for Scotland’s tourism industry.
For the start of the season, the museum is hosting a new exhibition, Clark on Canvas. This evocative exhibition of artworks depicts 1960s motor racing, when Jim Clark was the dominant driver. The artwork has been loaned to the museum by the Guild of Motoring Artists, an international group dedicated to automotive art. Visitors will be able to purchase paintings from the exhibition, which runs to 30 November 2020.
Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive Officer for charity Live Borders who operate the museum, said: “As operators of museums, galleries and attractions across the Scottish Borders, it was an honour to have a team working on this project – to secure 5-Star status from VisitScotland reinforces the quality of the team, their creative vision and focus on customer experience. Thank you and well done to everyone who has worked with us to secure this brilliant accolade.
“Positive cultural exhibitions and celebrating our local heritage is very much in line with Live Borders’ commitment to communities across the Borders being healthier, happier and stronger.”
“We are delighted with the new VisitScotland Award and congratulations all the partners and supporters involved. It really is a very special museum<“ said Douglas Bell, from The Jim Clark Trust. “The design and display of memorabilia, trophies, film, imagery and race cars are a wonderful tribute to Jim Clark. The staff are warm, welcoming and insightful. Jim was a farmer at heart and now recognised as one of the greatest motor racing drivers of all time. We look forward to welcoming visitors to learn more about his remarkable story to inspire future generations.”
Coinciding with the opening of the museum for the spring and summer tourism season, a new Jim Clark Trail has been announced to enhance the experience of visitors. The Jim Clark Trail is a 50-mile scenic driving tour celebrating the beauty of the Scottish Borders, the heritage of motorsport and wider culture attractions in the area. The museum has fast become a magnet for classic and sports car enthusiasts. The new trail is a driving adventure for all visitors to discover the stories and places behind the famous Berwickshire farmer whilst promoting tourism ‘pit stops’ in the region.
Picture: Phil Wilkinson