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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 16:55 GMT
Museum gets access improvements
Royal Museum of Scotland
The Royal Museum of Scotland has steps leading to its entrance
Escalators are to be built at the front entrance to the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh as part of a 45m upgrade of the site.

The project, will see a basement store converted into an access area, near the building's front door on Chambers Street.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded more than 16m to the National Museums of Scotland for the project.

The Scottish Executive is also backing the work with more than 15m.

Lottery fund spokesman Colin Mclean said it was a "very ambitious scheme".

'Ambitious scheme'

He added that visitors would notice marked improvements.

"It's a very ambitious scheme costing about 45m to completely redevelop the Chambers Street museum," said Mr Mclean.

"There will be new visitor street level access from Chambers Street opening up onto a new area which is currently a basement store, with escalators and stairs to make it a lot easier for people to access the upper levels of the museum, and brand new displays to replace some of those which are so old no one knows how long they're been there."

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson said: "National Museums Scotland has outlined ambitious plans to transform the Royal Museum building into a world-class attraction rivalling most national museums in Europe."

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