NEARLY £1m has been allocated to demolish the landmark North Quay former council office site in Weymouth.

Dorset Council has revealed that £943,255 of funding will allow the authority to submit a planning application for demolition, before inviting developers to tender early next year for the development of the land as the council's development partner.

As it stands, the current proposal for the North Quay site involves demolishing the existing North Quay building and building residential units with some commercial/community space on site, as well as reinstating the old High Street, all in keeping with the historical character of the area.

The funding comes as part of a £57.8m grant from the government's Brownfield Land Release Fund, of which Dorset Council has been allocated £2.13m, which will be used to help build almost 200 homes in the county on underused brownfield land.

Roughly £775,000 is earmarked, subject to planning permission, to facilitate drainage and demolition work at the former East Dorset District Council officers at Furzehill, Wimborne, offering the potential for the residential development of the site.

Additionally, £385,000 will also be set aside to enable sites in the north of the county to be unlocked to allow for 40 homes, all subject to planning permission.

Councillor Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council portfolio holder for economic growth, property and assets, said:

"This grant funding is hugely important for Dorset and is something to celebrate. It will be used to deliver almost 200 new homes, open spaces, community facilities and new workplaces for residents of Dorset by allowing us to unlock the potential of our land and assets.

"The projects that this funding will impact will help us to deliver housing solutions on brownfield sites, which meet their needs."