The first stage of renovations at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery begins today with the demolition of an unused connecting bridge.
Work will start today (November 7) to demolish a connecting bridge between the Old Gaol Block and the Guildhall Road Block, behind the museum in Guildhall Road.
It is the first major structural change in the £6.7million project to renovate Northampton Museum, which was paid for with the sale of the Sekhemka Statue in July 2016.
The demolition will make way for a central connecting corridor between the renovated buildings of the redesigned and expanded museum, including a glass atrium and a café.
The museum's lower floor will house the world's largest shoe collection and is scheduled to open in 18 months.
Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council, cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “When it’s complete, the link space will provide a stunning new communal area tying the various parts of the building together.
“Once the museum opens again in around 18 months, it will not only showcase Northampton’s rich history, it will also welcome a range of touring exhibitions.
“Our aim is to also make the expanded museum a destination for families, a social space for people to meet, a busy event hub and a fantastic venue for private functions.”
The museum will be made up of a 380-metre-squared temporary gallery for touring exhibitions, a dedicated schools and activity space and a selling gallery to promote Northamptonshire's artists.