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Work on Denton Corker Marshalls Stonehenge Visitor Centre could commence in early 2012, after the UK Government announced a funding agreement to help put the troubled scheme back on track.
English Heritage the body that manages the conservation of the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, England will be permitted to access £2 million of philanthropic reserves for the project. An additional £3.5 million has been committed by the UK Department of Transport, to fund the associated roadworks that form part of DCMs redesign.
Together with a significant contribution from private donations, grants and the Lottery Fund, this money will enable English Heritage and DCM to resume work on site, with £3 million still to be raised.
The £27 million project has been marred by problems since DCM first won the competition to design a new visitor centre in 2002. Early proposals were refused and the project then scrapped in 2007, before the practice were re-selected by English Heritage in 2009 as part of a second competition to design the new centre. DCM’s revised scheme was given planning approval in February 2010, before spending cuts introduced by the British Government in June 2010 once again saw the project put on hold.
Chief Executive of English Heritage, Dr Simon Thurley, said of the funding announcement: These are crucial steps which bring closer together the transformation of the currently blighted Stonehenge landscape. We are grateful to the government for their forthright support for this important project particularly at a time when money is so tight.
We now need to secure the last permissions and raise the final elements of funding. I am confident that we will be able to do both in time to start work next year.