Lyme Bay NCI coastwatch relocate to new headquarters thanks to benfactor

Dorset Echo: WELCOME GIFT: Station manager William Knapman WELCOME GIFT: Station manager William Knapman

A GENEROUS benefactor has helped to relocate the Lyme Bay NCI coastwatch team to new headquarters.

A team of volunteers have been using an old building on the cliffs at Burton Bradstock but must move out before the start of next season as work begins on refurbishment at the Burton Cliff Hotel.

The institute is waiting for permission for a permanent lookout on top of an ice cream kiosk on the promenade in West Bay – but that has been held up while engineering solutions are agreed by West Dorset District planners.

Station manager William Knapman said in the meantime they have got planning approval for a temporary wood cabin near Hive Beach – which was likely to be up by the end of February.

He said: “A very generous benefactor, who shall remain nameless, has given us £5,000 for the move and said we just need to ask if we need more, which is amazing.

“This location will keep us in business until some technical issues have been resolved with the West Bay site. This unexpected gift is much appreciated as costs involved in securing a more permanent lookout at West Bay have seriously depleted the Lyme Bay station’s funds.”

Mr Knapman said engineering drawings were being submitted to the district council to show how to secure the steelwork to the promenade for the permanent HQ.

He said: “If they turn our solution down it will probably bring the project to a halt.”

If it is given the go-ahead it is expected to be up and running in two years.

The Lyme Bay National Coastwatch Station was set up three and half years ago in the grounds of Burton Cliffs Hotel, initially for twelve months. Prospective volunteers for watchkeeping can contact Mr Knapman on 01308 897808.

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