MILLBROOK – A SHORT HISTORY
The story starts in the mid-sixties on the new M1 motorway, which carried very little traffic at that time. Automotive manufacturers Vauxhall and Bedford decided that it offered very good testing opportunities, as it ran close to its base in Luton. Looking to the future and learning from the American General Motors experience with their own dedicated test facility they decided a UK-based dedicated proving ground was needed. They knew a varied facility in a good location offering all types of terrain was needed as many of the established ones in the UK were based at old airfields.
A task force was recruited to find an area which fulfilled their specialist needs and the Millbrook site was located, which coincidentally was close to Luton and London. Planning was approved for a new facility which replicated many of the most successful features of the Milford site in the USA. It would benefit from the accumulated wisdom of more than 50 years of proving ground operation, and a smaller version of the North American General Motors Proving Ground would be constructed.