CULTURE chiefs in Middlesbrough are celebrating after more than 4,000 people visited the new-look Dorman Museum in only two days.

The building re-opened to the public on Saturday following a £3m facelift which has doubled its size.

Staff were expecting a big turnout for the launch, but the 4,291 visitors surprised everyone.

"It is quite staggering, but it shows the Dorman is an integral part of Middlesbrough life," said curator Ken Sedman.

"The revamp has been an essential and worthwhile investment and we are now checking our records to see if this is the biggest attendance in two days."

The Dorman Museum is hoping to double its annual visitor numbers to 70,000 by attracting more families, school parties and sight-seers.

New museum attractions include a space gallery, the H2O hands-on discovery centre, a 20th Century Woman gallery and an updated Town in Time gallery, tracing Middlesbrough's history.

Middlesbrough Council's executive member for culture and sport Councillor Bob Kerr said: "This is fantastic news because the Dorman has been a delight to generations of Middlesbrough folk.

"One of the roles a museum has is to reflect the collective memory of a town or community and the Dorman does that to great effect and that is one of the secrets of its success.

"It is also a first-class educational resource and a real regional attraction.