Tullie museum in Carlisle has announced that it will close next month to begin building works.

The site will close from 24 December until summer 2024, ahead of the second phase of its multi-year redevelopment ‘Project Tullie’. Building work on Phase 2 of the project is set to begin in January.

The works are supported by the UK Government’s Towns Fund and Future High Streets Fund.

As of last year the trust had raised £3.4 million toward the project. It has identified a total of £35 million of potential capital redevelopments and investment opportunities.

In a statement the museum said the closure announcement “might come as a surprise” but it “needed to wait to announce this until we knew work could get started.”

It has extended its Digging Deeper exhibition until Saturday 23 December and has two weekends of Christmas celebrations planned before temporarily shutting its doors.

The first phase of Project Tullie saw the opening of The Costume Collection in July 2021, revealing two of the original 1893 gallery spaces.

The second phase is set to create a more accessible entrance and atrium space and a new ground floor gallery dedicated to “our Great Border City”.

The announcement comes as the museum reaches its 130th birthday this month.

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