Beamish, The Living Museum of the North has begun work on a big expansion, reportedly the largest in its history.
Building work on the £18 million expansion began in September this year and is set to provide much more for visitors.
What will the expansion involve?
The Remaking Beamish project will see the addition of more than 30 new exhibits, including a 1950s town, farm and a Georgian coaching inn, where visitors will be able to stay overnight.
The project is expecting to bring in an estimated 100,000 more tourists to the region. The museum will remain open throughout the building programme.
The 1950s Town will feature a cinema, community centre, homes, shops, cafe, bowling green and fish and chip shop. Aged miners’ homes will provide a dedicated centre for older people, including those living with dementia. Artist Norman Cornish’s former home will be recreated, including the studio he donated to the museum.
Spain’s Field Farm, from Weardale, has been deconstructed and will tell the story of rural life in the 1950s.
The expansion of the 1820s landscape will include a coaching inn where visitors can stay overnight and a recreation of murdered Joe the Quilter’s cottage.
A trolleybus system and restored buses will transport visitors, while a Northern General bus depot will support Beamish’s work to pass on heritage engineering skills.
Buildings from across the region, including County Durham, Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside and Northumberland, will be moved, such as the farm and cinema, or replicated.
Beamish for groups
Beamish offers many benefits for groups included discounted entry for those with 15 or more who pre-book.
A free map is also included for groups as well as free admission for coach drivers and group organisers.
Free coach parking is available and groups can also benefit from several free events throughout the summer season.
For more information, visit www.beamish.org.uk.