Dorset

Lottery cash for crumbling Sandsfoot Castle in Weymouth

Sandsfoot Castle
Image caption The castle sits on a cliff edge in Portland Harbour

A ruined castle on Dorset's coast is to get a new lease of life thanks to a grant of almost £200,000.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has been given £194,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore Sandsfoot Castle so it can be reopened.

The crumbling structure, perched on the edge of a cliff in Portland Harbour, has been out of bounds for decades because of safety concerns.

The plans include a new platform on the interior walls for visitors.

Floodlighting and information panels will also be installed.

'Best start'

The castle is expected to reopen in time for the Olympic Games 2012 when the sailing events will take place in Portland.

The council has worked with the Friends of Rodwell Trail and Sandsfoot Gardens to secure the funding.

Friends chairman David Carter said: "Our aim is to save the country's only example of this style of Tudor fortification from premature destruction and to think that we're actually going to achieve this is the best start to 2011 we could ask for."

The ruin, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was built in the 1530s by King Henry VIII but is currently on the English Heritage Buildings At Risk Register.

It sits in Sandsfoot Gardens, alongside the Rodwell Trail, a disused railway line which has been turned into a cycle and footpath.

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