Plan for £16m tourist attraction in Plymouth receives £350k lottery cash boost

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A plan to create a new £16 million tourist attraction in Plymouth has received a £350,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Fort Bovisand has stood unoccupied for more than two decades, and is high up on the English Heritage's 'Heritage at Risk' register.

The jetty and slip date back to 1816 and were built for boats from sailing warships anchored off Plymouth. The fort itself was built from 1845, and was used to defend the entrance of Plymouth Sound.

The Fort Bovisand Trust now plans to create a £16m visitor attraction at the site - and the £350,000 cash boost is one step further to seeing it come to life.

The leasehold on the site belongs to former BBC director general Greg Dyke, who told This Is Plymouth: "We believe that by converting part of the fort into residences and delivering the remainder as an interpretation centre and learning resource we can, if the trust gets the full HLF grant, bring the whole fort back from the dead.

"Today's news is very exciting."

The visitor centre, cafe and learning facilities would be part of the project that aims to educate tourists and locals about the role the ancient site has had in defending Plymouth.

Philip Beagle, chief executive of the Fort Bovisand Trust, added: "We believe the centre will become a must-go visit for school children wanting to learn about their heritage.

"There is particular excitement about the idea of using the fort to explain the history of Plymouth in World War Two, an area of local history that is not adequately covered."

The Fort Bovisand Trust hopes to secure a further £4.32m grant from HLF, with a view to starting renovation works in 2015.

Councillor Tudor Evans, Plymouth City Council Leader, told the BBC: "There's no doubt that these are big and ambitious ideas that have enormous potential to open up yet another part of Plymouth's waterfront and heritage."

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