An ambitious £36m plan to create a new museum complex on Tyneside has been unveiled.
The university is hoping to double the numbers of visitors
The project involves a complete revamp of the Hancock Museum and the creation of a new complex.
Existing collections from the Newcastle University's Museum of Antiquities, Hatton Gallery and Shefton Museum would be brought together.
John Dersley, director of regional development for Newcastle University, said the project will bring the Hancock Museum up to date and open the university museums to a wider audience.
He said: "We reckon that the three museums plus the Hatton Gallery at the moment combined get about 150,000 visitors a year.
"What we would like to do is at least double that. That would come partly from more local people but we also want to increase the income of tourism and all the wealth and spending power they bring with them."
The university is working with Newcastle City Council, One NorthEast and other agencies on the project.
The Hancock Museum is a listed building so the work would not change the exterior, but it would involve making it more visible as it is obscured by trees and signs.
Mr Dersley said the inside of the museum would be dramatically different with new methods of displaying collections.
The proposals include a new footbridge over Claremont Road to a row of university buildings with plans to use those as part of the complex.
It is hoped the museum will be open by 2008.