A historic Grade II* listed museum is to close its doors to the public for a £1.6 million renovation.

The 500-year-old Whitehall Museum, a timber-framed Tudor building in Cheam, will close its doors for a year on Monday for vital repairs.

Sutton Council hopes the revamp will turn the museum, which contains exhibits on local history and art, into “a destination for heritage tourism”.

It secured a £1.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the refurbishment. The council has contributed an additional £140,000 and the Friends of Whitehall charity, which helps to run and fund the museum, have donated a further £10,000.

The work will include tackling a damp problem, removing “intrusive” 20th century fixtures and restoring some original features.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, chair of the council’s environment and neighbourhood committee, said: “The redevelopment of the Whitehall Museum is of major significance to the borough as it is one of our oldest and most historic buildings.

“When the redevelopment is completed in 2017, Whitehall Museum will be the historical hub of our borough, attracting more and more people to spend time and money and learn more about our heritage.”

A new programme of activities is planned for to draw new visitors to the re-launched museum, while internal adaptations and two extensions will improve disabled access.

David Aldous-Cook, chairman of Friends of Whitehall, said: “We are really looking forward to the development and re-opening next year.

“There is a lot that needs to be done to the place, like rewiring and getting rid of damp, but we had a look at the plans and the it will have a very interesting layout when it opens again.

“And another important thing will be the access for handicapped people, such as those with wheelchairs and walking sticks, who will really be able to enjoy the museum.”

Friends of Whitehall will continue to run events during the closure, including pop-up taking a “pop-up museum” to community fairs.

The group will also host events at Cheam’s Parochial Rooms and library.

Among the projects planned for the re-opened museum are a local history network so that local people can discuss and pool knowledge and a schools programme to tie in with the curriculum.