Work on the new visitor centre at Stonehenge is ‘progressing well’, according to English Heritage.

The new facility, set back from the famous stones, will feature two pods housing exhibitions, a dedicated education space, a bigger shop and cafe. When open it will be able to cater for 500 visitors.

visitor-centre-2The centre is part of a £27 million pound project almost entirely funded by English Heritage, and will be open to the public by the end of the year.

Plans for a new visitors area were first mooted over 20 years ago, when the current facilities – built in 1968 as a temporary measure – were branded a national disgrace. The current project has also faced difficulty – with the coalition withdrawing funding in 2010.

The new facility was designed by architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall and is being built by Vinci Construction.
Loraine Knowles is Stonehenge Director for English Heritage, she told Spire FM:

“I’m absolutely thrilled, because when you’ve worked four years on a project, to actually see it start, and to see the construction underway is thrilling, and it’s a tribute to all the hardwork people have put in.”

David Andrews, Chief Executive for Visit Wiltshire, told Spire FM how it might boost tourism in Wiltshire:

“What happens now of course is that lots of people come to Stonehenge for 20 minutes, and they jump off the coach, they take their photo, they zip down to Bath and they’ve gone. They’re not spending any money in Wiltshire.”

“This means people will have to stay here longer, they’ll be thinking maybe I have to stay here overnight. So I think this is going to have a big impact in terms of people staying overnight in Wiltshire, coming back to Wiltshire, and of course, spending money in Wiltshire.”

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