ASBESTOS has been found in the ceiling of a famous porcelain museum.

The building material, which is now banned, will be removed from the Museum of Royal Worcester, as part of a £1.7m refurbishment.

The museum, in Severn Street, Worcester, will be closed from November to May 2018 to enable renovations to take place.

Amanda Savidge, director of the Museum of Royal Worcester, said: "As part of the planning stage an asbestos survey was commissioned and asbestos discovered in the ceiling.

"Whilst the survey did not identify an immediate problem the trustees have incorporated its removal into the works in order to bring the building up to present day standards."

Cllr Paul Denham, who represents the Rainbow Hill ward on Worcester City Council, believes the type of asbestos at the site has the potential to cause asbestosis if it is disturbed and inhaled.

"They wanted to refurbish the building anyway, to bring it up to more modern standards, and during the process asbestos was discovered," he said.

"I think the expert advice has been that for the work the museum would like to do there's no option but to have it removed."

Worcester City Council has offered the museum shop free rent on a retail unit next to the Guildhall for six months.

Councillors on the income generation sub-committee voted in favour of a plan to move the museum's shop into the outlet.

The museum is housed in the site of the old Royal Worcester factory, which closed in 2009.