Birmingham & Black Country

Three-year closure for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

General view of Chamberlain Square in Birmingham
Image caption Museum bosses say the city centre site will remain the flagship attraction

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is to close for at least three years as part of a major redevelopment.

The city centre attraction, in Chamberlain Square, is due to shut in October 2019 as part of an overhaul of the adjoined council house.

A new centre in Yardley, Birmingham, is being planned to house collections and expected to open by 2021.

Bosses said the "ambitious" work would "create a museum fit for 21st century Birmingham".

Birmingham Museums Trust said the city centre site will remain the flagship attraction and the earliest some of the galleries will reopen is in 2022, in time for the city to host the Commonwealth Games.

It is hoped the centre in Yardley, which would double up as a new headquarters for the trust, will be operational by 2021 and provide public access to thousands of artefacts which are currently in storage.

The city council's cabinet has now agreed for a business plan to be drawn up to develop the new centre, which would be built on the former Poolway Shopping Centre.

The site has been earmarked for housing but now a masterplan is in the works to create an 'urban village' featuring homes, retail, green spaces and the new centre.

The museum currently occupies part of the main Grade II* listed council house building and almost two thirds of the council house extension to the rear, adjoined by a bridge.

Much of the collection, which boasts around one million objects in total, lies in storage at the Museum Collection Centre in Nechells.

In a statement the museum said: "Working with the people of Birmingham, we will rethink the collection and showcase it in new and exciting ways to tell the city's story."

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