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Work starts on Beamish Museum's £18 million makeover

A ground-breaking ceremony has taken place to mark the start of the museum's largest project in its 47 year history Credit: North News

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.

Ground has been broken on the 'Remaking Beamish' project Credit: North News

The project has been awarded £10.9million by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support Beamish as it prepares to open the door to another decade of North East life.

As one of our region’s most popular attractions, Beamish is in a fantastic position to put audiences from near and far at the heart of our heritage.

– Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund

North East firm Seymour Civil Engineering has been contracted to carry out the work.

The museum is a regional treasure and a living legacy to the history of the North East, and it’s fantastic that we’re able to support with its continued growth that will allow future generations to experience the region’s heritage for years to come.

– Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering