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Philip Evans


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SEATON: Cash boost for visitor centre

Thursday, 13 March 2014


Seaton Jurassic, East Devon’s new visitor attraction, received a huge financial boost last week, with the award of a grant for £300,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund.
The centre, which will be built on The Underfleet adjacent to the Seaton Tramway terminus, will tell the story of the Jurassic Coast, England’s first Natural World Heritage Site.
Councillors behind the project say the centre will act as a catalyst in revitalising Seaton’s town centre by attracting thousands more visitors to learn about the area’s natural and marine heritage.
The funding will go towards the costs of the build, which is due to get underway in June.
Councillor Ian Thomas, East Devon District Council Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “This is fantastic news for the project, for Seaton and for the region.
“Seaton Jurassic will create new jobs for the town, both directly and indirectly through the massive boost to the visitor economy.”
The project has now secured over £3 million of funding, which includes £1.9 million from EDDC and further contributions from Devon County Council and Seaton Town Council.
A first stage application to the Heritage Lottery Find was also successful and the outcome of a second stage application is expected later this year.
Councillor Thomas added: “I am looking forward now to the building of this iconic centre that will transform the town and increase awareness of our amazing coastline and wetlands.
“I would like to congratulate and thank the team who put together this excellent bid and are continuing to work on behalf of the Axe Estuary in attracting further investment to the area.”
Seaton mayor, Councillor Gaynor Sedgwick, said: “Seaton Town Council is delighted to hear that Devon Wildlife Trust's second round bid to the Coastal Communities Fund has been successful and would like to congratulate all involved.
“Seaton Town Council has supported the vision of an Interpretation/Discovery Centre in Seaton since 2001 and as a funding partner since 2005, Seaton Town Council has also taken an active role as a member of the partnership of Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, the Jurassic Coast team, the Seaton Regeneration Board and community, to achieve this centre in Seaton as part of the regeneration plans for the town.
“We very much look forward to at last seeing the realisation of all the effort that has been put into this wonderful project by so many over such a long time.
“Seaton Jurassic will enable people to learn about, and enjoy, our wonderful natural environment, and will make a great contribution to boosting our local economy.” n CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
The centre, which is expected to open late next year, will be managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust, which has played a key role in developing the plans.
Harry Barton, the trust’s chief executive, also welcomed the grant award. He said: “I am thrilled that we have been successful in securing this grant. Devon has some of the best natural heritage in the world – it is incredibly important to all of us but it is little known and under a great deal of pressure.
“Seaton Jurassic will help bring East Devon’s amazing heritage to light so that we can all enjoy and value it.”
The Coastal Communities Fund is a Government scheme to help seaside communities rebuild their local economies, and projects launched this year have supported around 4,000 jobs across the country.
As the project progresses, Seaton residents will be invited to become involved as volunteers and ambassadors for the centre.
For more information about the project visit www.


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