Erewash council leader James Dawson helps serve up some cuppas – as he officially opens a swanky new tearoom at the borough’s award-winning museum.

The bright and airy Dalby House Café which now connects with the existing museum gift shop is part of a major refurbishment carried out in partnership with the Friends of Erewash Museum – a charity that fundraises to support the popular culture and heritage hub.

Museum volunteers also selflessly give up their time to run the café at the museum in Ilkeston. Cllr Dawson joined the charity’s chairman Oliver Watts behind the counter.

Oliver said of the museum’s revamp: “This fantastic new café is the first big project we have been able undertake since the partnership with the council was renewed last year and we are delighted with the result.

“We are sure it will prove extremely popular. There are great views from the windows – and visitors can get tea, coffee and light refreshments at amazingly affordable prices.”

The museum is located close to Ilkeston Market Place in a grand Grade II listed Georgian property called Dalby House. It used to be a private residence. A timeline of the building’s history adorns the walls of the new café.

The museum is staging Eco Week as the Easter school holidays continue. Free workshops to create a community miniature village from recycled materials have been held – with the next one from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 4 April.

There are also gardening activities including a “plant swap” – billed as “bring a plant and take a plant”.

On Friday 5 April contemporary dance and performance troupe Follow Through Collective will be entertaining visitors for free. No booking is required but places are limited.

Other upcoming events include a three-day Erewash Walking Week challenge from 10 April to 12 April, which aims to clock up half a million steps. Visitors will be invited to “pop on a pedometer” while joining in with games and activities.

Erewash Museum is usually open Thursdays to Saturdays from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free.