Building work has started on an £18 million expansion of Beamish Museum - the biggest project in its 47 year history.
The 'Remaking Beamish' project will see the addition of more than 30 exhibits, including a 1950s town where visitors can stay overnight.
It is expected to create nearly 100 jobs, including 50 apprenticeships, and bring an extra 100,000 tourists to the region.
The 1950s town will feature a cinema, community centre, homes, shops, cafe, bowling green and fish and chip shop.
There will also be an aged miners’ homes, which will provide a dedicated centre for older people, including those living with dementia.
The museum will remain open throughout the building works.
The project has been awarded £10.9million by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
North East firm Seymour Civil Engineering has been contracted to carry out the work.