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West Bay Discovery Centre lands lottery funding

It has been announced that West Bay Discovery Centre is one of a number of south-west projects to benefit from the latest round of Coastal Community Funding.

The Discovery Centre project will restore the former West Bay Methodist Church, a grade II listed building and adapt it as an innovative and welcoming Discovery Centre. The Centre will tell the story of West Bay, its harbour, history and development as a tourist resort.

The project is being led by local charity, the Bridport Area Development Trust with the support of the Bridport and West Bay Coastal Community Team. Ones of the Trust’s directors John West said “we’re delighted by this news. The Discovery Centre is an exciting concept that aims to inspire people to explore all that West Bay has to offer, including the geology, flora, fauna and marine life. The Centre will incorporate changing displays and interactive elements as well a local information hub. “

He added “We aim to inspire repeat visits to West Bay, especially outside of the main season and provide information for families, developed with input from local people and specialists. Our plans include guided walks and trails, treasure hunts and challenges. “

The lottery funding was secured with the support of the Bridport and West Bay Coastal Community Team, which includes Bridport Town Council, Bridport Local Area Partnership, Bridport Area Development Trust, Bridport & District Tourism Association  Bridport Chamber of Trade and Commerce, West Bay Community Forum, West Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council.

Councillor Sarah Williams, Leader of Bridport Town Council stated: “ this is fantastic news and thanks to all involved in putting the bid together. This shows the value of working with partners in a Coastal Community Team. As well as supporting this application, the CCT also supported a separate application from the Dorset Coast Forum CCT, which has also been successful and includes within it funding for other projects in West Bay. It is really pleasing to see the Bridport and West Bay Coastal Community Team helping to bring forward projects and funding for West Bay.”

Notes :

1/ The total funding offered to the Discovery Centre Project is £240,452.

2/ Given the requirements of contracting, etc. it is likely building work will commence sometime in autumn 2017.

3/ It is hoped to have the Centre open to the public in 2018.

4/ Bridport Area Development Trust (BADT) is a community owned and led organisation, which aims to bring about long-term social, economic and environmental benefits in its locality. BADT is a charitable company limited by guarantee, with registered charitable status. As a community ‘anchor’ organisation, it aims to help to find solutions to local problems, and help other organisations and initiatives succeed.

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6/ Other local projects to receive awards from the Coastal Communities Fund in the current round include an upgrade of the cycle path to West Bay and other West Bay projects including new signage and a beach viewing platform.

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