Exeter council has launched a design competition to find an architect for the £18m extension and refurbishment of its Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
The grade II-listed museum and art gallery building is a project funded by the heritage lottery. The council believes that the museum, built in 1863, lacks up-to-date facilities. It attracts 200,000 visitors a year.

In the invitation for expressions of interest, the council said: “We are seeking a team to develop with us an innovative project which celebrates and enhances the building and its surroundings but which also enables us to organise visitor services, collections storage display and maximum accessibility in the most efficient way.”

The contract is to run the length of the project from feasibility study through to construction. Eight practices will be invited to pitch and the winner will be selected by the end of the year.

Experts are expected to pitch as part of a team also comprising a QS and an exhibition designer.