Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Jurassic Coast boosted by status

Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast stretches along 100 miles of Devon and Dorset

The impact of the creation of the Jurassic Coast has "exceeded expectations", according to a study.

A 100-mile (161km) stretch of the east Devon and Dorset coast, between Exmouth and Swanage, was given Unesco World Heritage Site status in 2001.

It has led to a boost in education facilities, business partnerships and opportunities and local services, the study by consultancy firm Era said.

The move has especially benefited the local tourism industry, the study said.

Locally and globally

Researchers looked at the impacts of the designated Jurassic Coast status, both locally and globally, by gathering evidence through workshops, interviews and questionnaires.

The study was jointly funded by the South West Regional Development Agency and the county councils of Dorset and Devon.

Hilary Cox, Dorset County Council's cabinet member for environment, said: "This study provides the evidence that World Heritage status for the Jurassic Coast has benefited the region in more ways than we ever dared to dream.

"That not only tourism but also our economic, environmental and educational sectors have seen improvements is really good news for all involved."

Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council's executive member for environment, said: "I welcome the findings of this study, showing how local communities and businesses are benefiting and should continue to benefit from tourism, especially in the current economic climate. "

It is considered to be the only place in the world which displays unbroken evidence of 185 million years of evolution through its visible fossil remains.

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