A MILLION pound redevelopment of the Jorvik Viking Centre is expected to be announced tomorrow by Culture Minister Barbara Follett.

The decision by York Archaeological Trust to revamp the hugely popular attraction will include an underfoot reconstruction of the original Coppergate excavation, state of the art animatronics and the reconstruction of a new Viking-age house and backyard. The Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism said: “This is a major boost for tourism in Yorkshire. “The Jorvik Viking Centre is without doubt one of the region’s flagship attractions.

“It has become one of the cultural ‘rites of passage’ for children, and investing in its future will help ensure that the tourism sector in the region remains buoyant.” The minister will be accompanied on her visit to the centre by Archaeological Trust chief executive, John Walker.

He said the investment reflected the charity’s commitment to supporting the “wider regional drive to increase annual visitor spend in Yorkshire by £300 million over the next three years.” Work will start on the redevelopment in November this year and expected to be completed by February 2010. The announcement comes as the centre celebrates its 25th anniversary.