Boost for Portland and the South West as Jurassica Project receives £300,000 from Governments Growth Deals

Yesterday, prime minister, David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, announced details of the much anticipated Growth Deals that provide funds to Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Cabinet Office website published the first installment of plans to invest around £12billion in projects that benefit local areas and economies. One of the projects that will be funded by the £23.9m award to Dorset LEP is Jurassica. The vision of science journalist Michael Hanlon, Jurassica is an ambitious project to build a spectacular subterranean geological park in a disused quarry on the Isle of Portland. Designed by Renzo Piano, and with the backing of Sir David Attenborough and Tim Smit, Jurassica will be a mixture of museum, spectacle, architectural grandeur and learning. The project already has the support of a number of businesses, including engineering firm Arup, as well as the support of high profile public figures. Now Jurassica is set to receive a £0.3m commitment from central government and continuing support from Dorset LEP to take forward the preparatory stages of the project. Chief Executive Michael Hanlon said, “this is brilliant news. Getting government support for Jurassica is a major step forward, and shows that the vision of a world-class attraction on the Dorset coast has generated interest and excitement at the highest levels.” Tony Williams of Wessex Entrepreneurs, commenting on the Government announcement, said, “Jurassica is a unique opportunity for the overall regeneration of Weymouth and Portland and benefits will flow into the SME community as well as the overall economy at large.”

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