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Stonehenge plans get funding boost

Denton Corker Marshall’s plans to transform the surroundings of Stonehenge have moved another ‘crucial’ step closer, English Heritage says as new funding is unveiled

The £27 million project to build a new centre for visitors and close a road adjacent to the World Heritage Site was hit last year when the new Government announced it was cutting £10 million earmarked for the project.

But it received a boost in October when the Heritage Lottery Fund announced it was more than doubling its contribution to the project to £10 million.

English Heritage has been given the go-ahead to use £2 million of historic reserves raised from philanthropic donations.

Funding of around £3.5 million for the Highways Agency will also help improve roads close to Stonehenge.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: ‘These are crucial steps which bring closer the transformation of the currently blighted Stonehenge landscape.

‘We are grateful to the Government for their forthright support for this important project particularly at a time when money is so tight.

‘We now need to secure the last permissions and raise the final elements of funding.

‘I am confident that we will be able to do both in time to start work next year.’

English Heritage said it still needed to find £3 million to cover the cost of the scheme, which is the latest in a long line of proposals to improve the Neolithic and Bronze Age site.

Under the plans facilities including a cafe, shop and toilets would be housed in a pair of single-storey areas of glass and timber about a mile and a half west of the pre-historic stones, to which they would be linked by a transit system.

The proposals also include plans to close the nearby A344.

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