A much-loved beauty spot which has been closed off to the public is to rise again – with a target opening date of Easter weekend.

Campaigners have announced the construction of a set of steps down to Castle Cove Beach in Weymouth, funded thanks to donations and borough council support, will start this Monday.

Depending on the weather they will be officially opened on Easter Saturday, April 20.

Building the steps is the last hurdle to restoring full access to this popular beach which has been enjoyed by families for generations.

Castle Cove has been blocked off for more than five years although it is accessible at low tide by walking along the coast.

The footpath to the beach from Old Castle Road was closed by Dorset County Council but has since been partially reopened. Subsidence prompted the removal of an access staircase down to the sands.

The Friends of Castle Cove Beach Charity, with support from the community, have been working on restoring access.

After securing most of the money for the steps they appealed for public support at the end of last year to get the last £4,000 through a sponsorship campaign – this was achieved in just over a day.

Local firm David R. White Ltd will now start work on building them.

Dee Bird, vice chairman of the Friends said: “It’s taken us five years to get to this point – but we promised our supporters we’d have the steps in place by Easter 2019, and that’s what we’ll do.”

The charity has been crowdfunding since it got planning permission for the steps and signed a 99-year lease in June 2018.

Treasurer Val Graves said: “We have now raised the money we need mostly from our local community who have been very generous, so it's all systems go.”

The wooden steps are similar to the flight of steps that were removed in 2013, but are mounted on metal poles set into the side of the hill so they can be dismantled and rebuilt easily.

Dee Bird said: “This part of the coast moves around quite a bit and our design had to take that into account.”

Access to the footpath leading from Old Castle Road and from the beach will be closed off by a hoarding during March and part of April, as the area will be unsafe.

The Friends ask the public not to try and get down to the beach from the footpath or walk up from the beach while the steps are being built.

A social event, Steps to Heaven, at Wellworthy Sports and Social Club on Saturday, March 23 at 7pm.

It will include an auction, live music, food, and an update on the steps.

For tickets email Dee at birddee962@gmail.com or Val at val654@icloud.com