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Durlston Project Update

Keep up to date with the latest news from the Durlston Project.

Durlston Project Update: July 2011

We are hoping to be able to open the completed castle to the public towards the end of October.

Exterior work now started is the building/making of the new Serpentine path which zig-zags from the car park down to the castle. Due to the number of turns required to produce a suitable gradient for wheelchair access and the exciting art installations that are going in along the route, this is a complex and awkward element. The work will involve closure of the coast path around the back of the castle (from Durlston Head to the Long Meadow entrance) as from 18 July until late September - signed diversions will be in place - please follow them, download the map [566kb] (opens in a new window). We realise that the school holidays are probably the worst time to close this path but it is necessary to get the work completed.

We have now appointed a company to run the catering concession at Durlston, they are keen to get started and are pondering names for the new café/bar/bistro. The aims will be to provide quality, fresh, local produce to all our visitors. The café will be open every day and initially on Wednesday - Saturdays in the evenings as well. So once open do come in to see and taste!

The activity continues with the new pipe work being laid under the roads for water, sewage, electricity and data - sorry for the inconvenience this is causing, hopefully it won't last too long.

The new building to house the shop, stairs and lift to the roof terrace is almost complete, as is the stone paving and steps that are being restored in the upper garden.  See Flickr - The Durlston Project in pictures for recent activity.

Inside the interpretation is moving apace with the preview of the audio visual short film taking place this week - the first time we have had the chance to see it in its 4-screen mode - hopefully only a few tweaks will be needed.

In the Fine Foundation Gallery we have our first two commercial artists booked and producing art for their new shows in November and February. Between these times new exhibits and displays will include Victorian Durlston and the renovation of the castle.

We have our first wedding booked for next summer and have had a number of other enquiries - we are limiting the number of wedding slots available as we want to ensure the public have as much access as possible. Other functions we are keen to run include business conventions, seminars and training events in both the gallery area, the Belvedere and the current Visitor Centre (which will become the Learning Centre) - if you are interested do get in touch.

At the Learning Centre the Photo Voltaic panels are about to be installed and will then be providing the electricity for the building and some to sell back to the grid.

Opportunities to Help Out

If you fancy lending a hand before the big opening day there is plenty to do.

Practical work to installing a large number of signs, finishing a new woodland footpath, putting in a pedestrian gate to improve the access to and from Swanage and Durlston as part of a new trail route, and repairing the walls around the entrance road and car parks.

If you would prefer something else we have things to move from one building to another including packing and unpacking boxes! There will also be opportunities to be guinea pigs during our building and evacuation trials.

So do give us a call or email by using the contact further below or pop in.

  • Front view of the castle: Link to Durlston Project Update: May 2011Durlston Project Update: May 2011

    With the opening date for the castle looming in October, we are working hard to ensure we are ready on a wide range of fronts from weddings and seminars to art exhibitions and temporary displays.

  • Topping out tree in castle garden: Link to Durlston Project Update: March 2011Durlston Project Update: March 2011

    The 4 March 2011 saw the official 'topping out' ceremony taking place at Durlston Castle.

  • Where the lookout cafe used to be: Link to Durlston Project Update: Autumn 2010Durlston Project Update: Autumn 2010

    Greendale Construction are reporting good progress, to date, no major problems have been encountered and the total project cost is still within the original cost plan.

  • Members of DCC, Swanage Town Council and Greendale construction: Link to Durlston Project Update: August 2010Durlston Project Update: August 2010

    The path from the car park to the Castle is still closed, and will remain so until the end of the project. The restrictions are signed - so please follow diversions along the coast path.

  • Official opening of the Durlston bus: Link to Durlston Project Update: Summer 2010Durlston Project Update: Summer 2010

    Building work is now well underway with Greendale Construction reporting good progress, and the main demolition work already completed.

  • Artists impression of the Castle: Link to Durlston Project Update: Spring 2010Durlston Project Update: Spring 2010

    After a very thorough tendering process, the Project Team are delighted to announce the appointment of Greendale Construction, a local company, as the main building contractors for the Durlston Project.

  • Castle's extensions removal 2010: Link to Durlston Project Update: Winter 2010Durlston Project Update: Winter 2010

    Greendale Construction have now passed the half way mark in their 66 week building programme, and generally the project is progressing well.

  • The Great Globe: Link to Durlston Project Update: Autumn 2009Durlston Project Update: Autumn 2009

    The Project Team have interviewed all the short-listed companies for the main building contract.

  • Durlston Globe Restoration 1: Link to Durlston Project Update: July 2009Durlston Project Update: July 2009

    The Project Team are currently working on the final design details before the main contract goes out to tender.

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