PUBLISHED: 11:51 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:47 02 August 2013
Lottery cash for Dudley Portal project
A hidden world in the heart of the Black Country will be brought to life thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Dudley Canal Trust (Trips), which operates public boat trips exploring the industrial underworld at Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines, has been awarded 989,200 to build a brand-new learning and access centre.
To be known as the Portal, the new visitor centre will enhance the connection between the Dudley Canal and Limestone Mines and the Castle Hill Development Project including the nearby Black County Living Museum.
More car parking, a water-borne swing bridge across the canal, and a covered area for people embarking on boat trips will be provided.
Jeff Luesley, Chairman at the Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) said: "We're thrilled that the vision of a Portal building, to serve as a new front-door' for the Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines, is at last becoming a reality. This will provide a hub for new activities to attract a wider audience and a welcome for all visitors to gems otherwise hidden underground and only accessible by boat."
In addition to the HLF grant awarded for the construction of the new Learning and Access centre, a variety of exciting exhibitions exploring local canal and mining heritage are also planned, for which Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) are currently awaiting the outcome of an ERDF grant.