Hethel is home to Lotus, one of the most recognisable brands in the British automotive industry. With a rich history of designing cutting-edge road and racing vehicles, it was purchased by Chinese firm Geely in 2017 and is undergoing a period of transformation at its historic headquarters.

Designs for a new customer experience centre, heritage centre and museum, which will form part of a extensive development and renovation work on the 100 acre site, a former airbase, have been revealed.

The new purpose-built customer experience centre will be located alongside the pitlane of the famous test track to create a focal point at Hethel and afford fantastic views across the entire site. Showcasing the Lotus brand and its range of vehicles, it will provide a destination for customers as they develop the specification for, and later return to take delivery of, their vehicles. With a two-storey display area, the building will include private vehicle specification salons and delivery areas, as well as preparation and
service facilities.

A heritage centre and museum will also be created, incorporating the site’s original main office and executive suites. This extensive renovation and conversion work will provide a modern space, fit to display a wide range of Lotus vehicles and exhibits. Bringing the original executive suite, including Colin Chapman’s office, to life, it will allow visitors and staff to experience the history and heritage at the heart of Lotus.

Adjacent to the Lotus HQ, Hethel Innovation Centre is home to some of the brightest business brains in the region, with a growing community of start-up and scale-up firms.