Page last updated at 20:01 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 21:01 UK

Country park to be 'world class'

Durlston's Great Globe
Durlston's Great Globe at the "gateway" to the Jurassic Coast

A country park in Dorset could be turned into a "world class" visitor attraction with a 5.5m redevelopment.

Dorset County Council wants to transform visitor facilities at Durlston Country Park, near Swanage after a 3.1m Heritage Lottery grant.

The 5.5m project would turn the cliff-top park into a gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Work is set to start in summer 2009, and will see the restoration of Durlston Castle.

Top quality facilities for functions, exhibitions and other special events will be set-up, which the council hopes will boost the local economy.

Hilary Cox, Dorset County Council's cabinet member for environment, said: "[This is] the culmination of five years' careful planning and hard work by the project team and all of our partners."

The park consists of more than 100 hectares (1,000 sq km) of coast and countryside.

Carole Souter, chief executive at HLF, said: "The Heritage Lottery Fund's grant will help protect this dramatic scenery for the enjoyment and appreciation of both present and future generations."


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