A LOTTERY grant will help to fund Dorchester Roman Festival.

Dorchester Town Council has won funding of £8,750 for the new festival from the Awards for All lottery grant scheme.

The money has been matched by contributions from West Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council, Dorchester Joint Heritage Committee and the County Museum.

Dorchester Roman Festival will take place on the weekend of August 30 and 31. It will celebrate Dorchester's Roman heritage and will include a major re-enactment, music, story-telling, literary readings, food, activities and Roman games.

On Saturday, August 30, there will be activities for young people at Maumbury Rings, followed by a procession through the town.

On Sunday, August 31, a Roman fete will be created around the Roman Town House.

Dorchester mayor Kate Hebditch welcomed the funding.

She said: "The Roman Festival will bring Ancient Rome to life and will be a spectacular first for Dorchester.

"The Romas are largely responsible for the shape of our town, the Walks mark the line of the Roman walls, their mosaics have been found all over Dorchester and visitors come from far afield to see the Roman Town House."

If the event is a success this summer, organisers say it will be staged every two years in Dorchester.