Tyne & Wear

Beamish Museum reports record visitor numbers

Beamish Museum Image copyright Beamish Museum
Image caption The museum's current 1900s town has a working sweet shop and bakery

A living museum with a "1900s" village and town and "1940s" farm has reported record visitor numbers for the fourth year running.

Beamish Museum in County Durham had 747,651 visitors last year, up 11% on the previous year.

This is the first time it has seen more than 700,000 visitors in the 46 years it has been open, it said.

Director Richard Evans said the income generated helped "not just Beamish but the whole region".

"More than half of our visitors are tourists and nearly all of them stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses, as well as visiting the other cultural and heritage gems we have in this fantastic region," he said.

Image copyright Beamish Museum
Image caption Transport around the museum includes old trams, buses and an 1820s-style waggonway

There were 91,000 visitors in December, an increase of 38% on the same month the previous year, the museum said.

Numbers have more than doubled since 2008, it said.

Last year it was awarded £10.9m by the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish a 1950s-style town, a Georgian coaching inn and an upland farm that has been moved stone by stone from Weardale.

Image copyright Beamish Museum
Image caption The museum was awarded £10.9m towards the £18m Remaking Beamish 1950s project

The town will have a working cinema, shops, homes and bowling green.

The former home of artist Norman Cornish will be replicated and a centre for older people will be housed in aged miners' homes.

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