A project to create a flagship museum has received a £4m boost.
The new museum is due to open in 2009
The grant from the European Regional Development Fund will go towards a major revamp of Newcastle's Hancock Museum, including new galleries.
It means more than £24.5m of the £26m needed for the Great North Museum project has been secured.
Four existing museums will be brought together under one roof and it is a key part of plans for a cultural quarter for the city centre's northern area.
Newcastle University dean of cultural affairs Dr Eric Cross said: "With the imminent closure of the Hancock Museum to allow work on the development of the Great North Museum to begin in earnest, this news could not have come at a better time.
"This latest significant development is further proof of the growing buzz of excitement around the rejuvenation of one of the region's best-known and well-loved museums."
The museum is due to open in 2009.