One of Sunderland’s top attractions is set to be revamped after securing a £156,000 grant.
Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Gardens, is to get a new learning and performance space to bring its museum collections to life and attract new visitors.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Foundation has provided the funding to Sunderland City Council.
Work is expected to start in May and will be completed in the autumn.
Coun John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this funding by the DCMS and the Wolfson Foundation to help us in our long term aim of improving and developing the Museum, Library and Winter Gardens.
“Museums have to keep evolving and improving if they want to attract new visitors and to keep people coming back time after time.
“That’s why the council has invested in improvements in recent months with the transformation of the shop and reception area to make them more open and inviting, and has pledged to continue developing the museum.
“The new enhanced space funded by this award will be fantastic for the building.
“It will allow us to work with partner organisations to develop exciting activities for people of all ages from school groups, families and children to older people.
“It also means we’ll be able to look at a range of things from workshops, events and experiences to talks and performances aimed at bringing the collections to life.
“It will also give us the opportunity to temporarily display of some of the things we have in store but don’t have space to have on permanent show.”
Keith Merrin, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture, said: “Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Gardens is one of the top five most visited attractions in North East England.
“Securing external funding for each phase of the improvement works is paramount and will help to ensure the continued success of this important community asset.”
This is the thirteenth round of a joint fund which DCMS runs in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation to help museums and galleries across England to deliver projects.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Michael Ellis, said: “The 35 grants awarded today will make important contributions towards improving the visitor experience; ensuring our wonderful collections are open to as many people as possible.”
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “This funding will help to provide even better visitor experiences and greater awareness of these fascinating collections.”