A five year forward plan is being drawn up to assist with the future development of a popular museum.

Kirkleatham Museum, part of Kirkleatham Hall and grounds, near Redcar, attracted more than 100,000 visitors over the course of the 2022/23 financial year.

A Redcar and Cleveland Council cabinet report said work had now started on a new forward plan which would outline the museum’s strategic direction over the next five years.

The report said a huge amount of work had already been undertaken to diversify and increase the quality of the offer to visitors and this resulted in the museum increasing its accreditation score from Visit England as a quality assured visitor attraction.

Kirkleatham Museum is part of the Tees Valley Museums Group, which also includes the likes of Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum, Preston Park Museum and Grounds and Darlington’s Head of Steam railway museum.

The consortium has been declared a national portfolio organisation for the next three years by Arts Council England following a competitive application process and was recently granted an increase in funding.

Kirkleatham Museum hosts permanent in-house exhibitions, one such recently being the ‘Domestic Bliss’ exhibition which covers the theme of washing, cleaning, cooking and home comforts from the Victorian era to the mid 20th Century.

It also continues to support local and regional artists through a curated programme of exhibitions.

In the last year these have included ‘Northern Views’ – paintings of the region by professional artist Barbara Renton Wood, ‘Megaliths’ – exploring a collection of prehistoric standing stones and ancient stone monuments from the North York Moors and ‘The Natural World’ – an international exhibition featuring tapestries from artist weavers.

The report said that in 2022/23 the museum’s learning and engagement team had worked with 3,450 young people, providing 194 educational workshops for 63 schools.

The museum also hosts a number of events, including the touring ‘Knife Angel’ sculpture in its grounds last year and a Georgian Christmas event, which aimed to support start-up businesses and saw 7,000 visitors.

It also benefits from a number of regular volunteers, 15 in total, who support its work.