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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Multi-million pound Morecambe Bay project decision due

A MULTI-MILLION pound project which aims to transform Morecambe Bay hinges on a grant application due to be decided on next week.

On Monday the Morecambe Bay Partnership will discover if it has been awarded £520,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund to unlock £2m already put aside for the Headlands to Headspace project by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A 200km cycleway around the edge of the bay, and wildlife and archaeological projects are all included in the scheme.

Speaking at a lecture at Lancaster University, Susannah Bleakley from the Morecambe Bay Partnership, said: “I feel Morecambe Bay as a place is hugely important but I feel it is often overlooked and under valued. It gives us these enormous views because the bay is so big.”

The Coastal Communities Fund is a pot of cash generated by the Crown Estate’s income from offshore windfarms.

It is hoped the Morecambe Bay project will attract international tourism to Walney’s military heritage, which includes Fort Walney, practice trenches, a concrete coastal searchlight emplacement and a rifle range.

The cash could be used to buy a fleet of six all-terrain vehicles which disabled people could hire to explore the island. Cultural heritage ideas include an “adopt a monument” project for the prehistoric Birkrigg stone circle, near Ulverston, which has had problems with erosion and brambles.

Mrs Bleakley said: “It is a site which is ripe for local people to take a larger role in management.”

There would also be the opportunity for small archaeological digs using geophysics technology. Work on the scheme is set to start at the end of this year with the help of up to five staff members.

A free discovery day for the public will be held at Ulverston’s Coronation Hall on February 23 from 1pm to 4pm. See www.morecambebay.org.uk for more details.

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