The Stourbridge arm of Balfour Beatty-owned construction company Mansell has begun work on a £9 million contract for major redevelopments at Blists Hill Victorian town, one of 10 museums at Ironbridge Gorge.
More than 300,000 people visit the award-winning museums each year contributing towards tourism earnings in excess of £17 million within the Gorge.
This latest redevelopment, funded by regional development agency AWM and the European Regional Development Fund, includes a new narrow gauge railway and underground clay mine exhibit provided by civil engineering firm Birse Civils.
The project also includes a 1,000 sq m visitor centre and the expansion of Canal Street. A new fried fish dealer will be joined by a sweet shop, photographer’s studio and dressmaker. The outdoor events area and toilet blocks will be extended and additional car parking spaces provided.
Steve Oldacre, Mansell’s divisional manager for building solutions, said: “This is a challenging project, and not just because it involves building an entire street that must look authentically Victorian. The museum is staying fully operational throughout the work.”
An open evening will take place at the museum on August 21 at 5.45pm.