Weymouth seafront is to be given a multimillion-pound new look in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The South West Regional Development Agency is investing £6 million in the regeneration scheme for the esplanade at Weymouth - the Dorset town which with nearby Portland will host sailing events at the games.
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA)
Tony Bray, the South West RDA's area director, said: 'The seafront project will boost the local economy and unlock its business potential by positioning Weymouth and Portland as a 21st century destination.
'The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games mean the eyes of the world will be on us so we all want to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and ensure that we leave a lasting legacy.'
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council's environment spokesman Doug Hollings said: 'The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are a catalyst for a range of regeneration projects that overall we hope will see up to £400 million invested in Weymouth and Portland over the next few years.
Image shows Osprey Quay, Weymouth after the 2012 Games - Richard Carmen
'The legacy of that investment will continue for generations to come by transforming the town's image and we are most grateful to the South West RDA for this financial support.'
The scheme includes new beach rescue and tourist information buildings. There are also plans for a lighting scheme that will include bringing the Victorian lights along the seafront back into use.
The project could increase the annual turnover of businesses in the town by up to £4.8 million a year, and create up to 180 jobs.
With funding now secured, construction work is expected to start spring 2009.
Weymouth- venue for the 2012 Olympics and 2006 Volvo Youth Worlds