Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 20:35 UK

Olympic revamp plan to go ahead

Proposed Weymouth seafront revamp
An artist's impression of how the town's seafront may look

A major £2m improvement plan to update Weymouth seafront before the 2012 Olympics will go ahead despite funding being withdrawn.

Councillors in the Dorset town have backed a revised plan to regenerate the seafront's Georgian promenade.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council were forced to reassess the plans after the South West Regional Development Agency withdrew £6.6m in June.

Work includes improvements to listed Victorian shelters and street lighting.

At a committee meeting on Tuesday the council decided to go ahead with using an estimated £948,000 available from its own funds.

Commercial tendering

A total of £700,000 is anticipated from the Arts Council England and English Heritage and the council is still waiting for more funding to be confirmed from other sources.

It said some of the beach concessions which are due to run out this year will be opened up to tender to raise further funds.

Councillor Tim Munro, brief holder for environment and sustainability, said three attractions; the donkeys, Punch and Judy and the sand sculptures, would not be subject to the tender process.

He said: "We're going to change some of the current 10-year licences to leases and open them up to a commercial tendering process.

"But some attractions I feel shouldn't have to go through the open tendering process. We need to protect those traditional entertainments that so enhance our beach for visitors."

Weymouth and Portland are due to host the sailing events for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

The RDA withdrew funding in June blaming "pressures on its budget".

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