Leicester Museum & Art Gallery has revealed a new image of the planned next stage of its redevelopment.
The design shows a new café space with outside seating at the front of the museum, incorporating a new entrance which will enable the café to stay open after the rest of the museum is closed.
The café will occupy the space which previously housed the Wild Space animal display, with a glass roof and original columns, currently hidden within exhibition space.
Work has already been completed on creating a new Leicester Stories community gallery, alongside the upgrade of a number of lifts, stairs and ramps and repairs to roof windows.
Work on its new galleries is due to begin in December 2023 and should be completed by autumn 2024.The new café area will be installed from June 2024, while work to create a new gallery in the former café area will take place from April 2025.
The museum said reconfiguring its layout and upgrading the gallery spaces is part of a goal to reach a new target of accommodating up to 300,000 visitors each year.
The planned works would be funded by a combination of Arts Council England funding for urgent museum repair works, maintenance budgets and the council’s capital programme.
Leicester deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “The current layout of the museum does limit how it can be used, but we have already begun altering and improving it.
“These latest plans will really help make best use of this fascinating, historic building, and also enable it to accommodate higher numbers of visitors. We are also improving accessibility to ensure that this important, educational building remains available to all visitors now and in the future.”