Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 17:55 UK

Morwellham mining museum in Devon saved from closure

Morwellham Quay
Morwellham Quay served silver, tin and copper mines

One of Devon's highest profile tourist attractions has been saved from permanent closure.

Morwellham Quay has been bought by Simon and Valerie Lister, who run Bicton Park Botanical Gardens near Budleigh Salterton in Devon.

The open-air mining museum went into administration in September 2009, after Devon County Council withdrew its funding.

The new owners now hope to reopen the World Heritage site by September.

I wish them well for the future in these exciting times
Councillor John Hart, leader of Devon County Council

In the 1970s Morwellham Quay attracted more than 150,000 visitors a year, but that number has dropped by two-thirds.

In September 2009, Devon County Council announced it was to stop funding Morwellham, a Unesco World Heritage Site, leaving it with a £1m shortfall.

It went into administration, closed in October and was put up for sale with a guide price of £1.1m.

Councillor John Hart, leader of Devon County Council, said: "The new ownership will put Morwellham Quay on a more financially secure footing, and I wish them well for the future in these exciting times."

The Listers were unavailable for comment.

In its heyday as an attraction about 300 people were employed at the site, which once served the local silver, tin and copper mines.

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