Construction work has begun on a cinema, toy shop and electrical shop at Beamish Museum in its 1950s Town area, due to be open to visitors next year.
The new buildings are part of the museum’s Remaking Beamish project, backed by £10.9million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2016, and will follow the completion of its 1950s semi-detached houses, police house, bowling green, and aged miners’ homes, all of which are due to open this summer.
The buildings are to be modeled on those that existed locally. Its cinema will be based on The Grand Cinema from Ryhope in Sunderland, and was donated by Angela and Gary Hepple. The Grand will incorporate as many elements and features of the original building as possible, the museum said. Once construction is complete, it will show short features and some feature-length film opportunities.
Its toy shop is named after the popular Romer Parrish store in Middlesbrough.
Its electrical shop and repair workshop, A Reece Ltd is being built on The 1950s Town’s Front Street terrace and has received a £100,000 grant from the Reece Foundation, it will be named after North East engineer and founder Dr Alan Reece.
Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Chief Executive, said: “Our Remaking Beamish exhibits that have already opened are proving very popular with visitors. There is so much to look forward to at the museum, with the completion of our 1950s Town, and work on the expansion of our Georgian area, including self-catering cottages and a tavern, which will be starting soon.
“This is a very exciting time for the museum and we are extremely grateful to our visitors, staff, volunteers, funders and partners for their support.”