Chester-le-Street Heritage Group

Beamish Museum - £17 million Expansion Approved.

Durham County Council’s Planning Committee have unanimously approved a £17 million scheme which Beamish Museum staff have been working on since 2009 and will be the biggest project undertaken in its 46 year history.

The scheme which is the first part of a 12 year master plan will include and 1820s area and a 1950s area.

The 1950s Town.

The 1950s town will be located near to the existing 1910s town and will include the former Grand Electric Cinema from Ryhope, Sunderland which is to be moved to Beamish in the near future, a set of terraced houses and shops, some aged miners’ homes, garages, a bowls pavilion and green, a community centre as well as a recreation ground.


The 1820s Area.

The 1820s area will have a coaching inn, a windmill, a pottery and blacksmith’s, a candle house, a lime kiln and a thatched cottage. There will also be a reconstructed upland farm which was Spainsfield Farm from upper Weardale that had been abandoned in the 1950s.

The £17m Investment.

The £17 million pound expansion of the Beamish Museum site is the largest single investment since it opened in 1970.

It is hoped that these new facilities will attract an extra 100,000 visitors per year and could employ up to 95 extra staff as well as creating 50 new apprenticeships.