A MUSEUM’S makeover dreams could come true after it made the final cut to win a £1.8m cash boost.

The Story Museum, in Pembroke Street, Oxford, is one of only 16 organisations across the country to have made it through to the final stages of Arts Council England’s capital funding programme.

The museum has already won an initial award of £199,648 to support the transformation of its site.

Joint director Tish Francis said: “This is wonderful news and a major step forward in our plans to significantly improve the visitor experience and increase the range of activities we can offer to children, young people and families.

“Using our rough spaces over the past four years has taught us a lot about how best to develop the museum and this news provides real impetus to our fundraising efforts to secure the remaining match funding and bring our whole building into use by 2019.”

If successful in the final stage, the museum will secure an additional £1.8m from Arts Council England, which will be used to help with its refurbishment.

The south wing of the museum was completed in 2014 and the next phase of work will bring the remaining two-thirds of the building into full use. Plans include the creation of six additional areas, including a 140-seater performance space, a dedicated early years story play place, a learning studio and a resource room.

The museum also wants to create a multi-media space, immersive ‘Enchanted Library’ and a climate-controlled treasure chamber to display heritage items.

External walkways and a new external lift in the courtyard will connect three wings of the site and and make the whole building wheelchair accessible.

The redevelopment cost is estimated to be just under £6m to be raised from a combination of public and private sources.

Once the redevelopment is completed, the Story Museum believes it will triple its annual visitor numbers to more than 100,000 a year.

Hedley Swain, Arts Council England’s area director for the South East, said: “We are delighted to be able to support The Story Museum in working toward its ambition to reach more people from across the region through the transformation of its great building.”

The final 16 applicants are invited to complete a stage two application within the next 18 months, showing plans at a detailed stage.