BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) has been awarded $1,050,000 in grants for a renovation project for its museum.

Last week, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $500,000 for the expansion project as part of its mission for generating economic growth in agriculture, tourism and attracting new business to the area.

“The funding from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission will enable us to move forward on applying for historic and new market tax credits,” said Leah Ross, executive director of advancement for the museum. “Grant funding and tax credits ensures we’ll be able to open with zero debt.”

In December 2022, Congress singed the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included $500,000 in Community Project Funding to help the museum with its building project.

The Genan Foundation, a private philanthropical foundation created in 1987, also awarded the BCM $50,000.

In a release, BCM leaders announced expansion plans to bring a new exhibit to the ‘Annex,’ a 7,800-foot, two-story structure above the museum. The plans list the building will be climate controlled and will add offices, event space and restrooms.

The $3.6 million renovations will begin once historic and new market tax credits are secured, the BCM stated.

The project is estimated to take 18 to 24 months to complete and will increase the museum’s size to 41,000 square feet.