Scottish Borders Council has pledged more than £500,000 towards the £1.2million project to upgrade the Jim Clark Room in Duns.
Following a debate about whether to leave the museum in Newtown Street or move it onto the site of the old Berwickshire High School, the decision has been made to leave it where it is.
And the plan is to have the new museum open by 2018, the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s tragic death at Hockenheim in Germany, at the age of just 32.
Jim Clark won the Formula 1 championship in 1963, becoming the then youngest world champion. He followed it up with victory again in 1965 and in the same year also won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in America. He remains the only driver to have won both the Formula 1 and Indy 500 titles in the same year and is still considered one of the greatest racing drivers.
The council’s existing Jim Clark Room will be expanded and enhanced to allow cars raced by Clark to be displayed, along with a wide range of trophies and other memorabilia.
Doug Niven, who, along with Ian Calder, represents Jim’s family on the trust, said: “The Jim Clark Trust is delighted that the council has earmarked this significant sum to a new museum in Duns.
“Being able to display some of Jim’s cars in an expanded museum has been a long-held dream of many people, and this commitment from the council takes us a lot closer to seeing that achieved.”
Berwickshire Councillor Frances Renton, a long-standing supporter of the Jim Clark museum and a Jim Clark trustee, added:“I have been working within the council for several years on options to expand the Jim Clark Room and I am delighted that we now have a clear plan to expand on the current site with committed funding of over half a million pounds.”
Councillor Vicky Davidson, SBC’s executive member for culture, a Jim Clark trustee, said: “I am delighted that the council has confirmed its financial commitment to this project. The new museum will be up there with Scotland’s foremost visitor attractions.”