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Philip Evans


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First look at plans for new jurassic centre

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Seaton residents have been given the first glimpse of detailed plans for the Seaton Jurassic project – the town’s new multi-million pound heritage centre. Around 150 local people attended a talk at Seaton Town Hall on Wednesday evening of last week where they were told the project was on track to be opened in autumn 2015. Harry Barton, chief executive of the Devon Wildlife Trust, which will manage the new centre, outlined the progress made so far and explained the design of the building. He said: “One of the aims of the centre is to raise awareness of our amazing heritage and what better place to do this than Seaton, with its unique location on the Jurassic Coast – the only place with examples of the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous eras.” Mr Barton went on to explain how the centre will tell the story of the coastline, and the audience was treated to the first viewings of some of the interpretation ideas and plans for both the inside and outside of the centre. He added: “To go from a blank canvas of a car park to a fully operating visitor centre within 15 months will be some challenge. But we are confident we can deliver, as we have an excellent team working together with such fantastic local support as well.” Seaton Visitor Centre Trust, which has campaigned for more than 15 years for the Jurassic Coast centre to be built, also used last week’s event to launch a fundraising campaign for a wildlife garden to feature in plans for the centre.” The group is looking to raise £50,000 to fund the garden, and chairman Bernard Dunford said he was “delighted” with the local response so far. He said: “Filling the Town Hall shows the local appetite and enthusiasm for this project. We cannot wait for the build to start and see the reality of our years of campaigning unfold. “The wildlife garden will be our tangible contribution and ensure local people are always involved.” East Devon District Council is managing the capital budget for the project and will own and build the centre. Other key funding partners include the Devon Wildlife Trust, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage team, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Coastal Communities Fund. Anyone interested in helping with fundraising, contributing directly or becoming a volunteer at the centre can contact Mr Dunford or Ann Kelf on 01297 22198.

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