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DARTMOUTH is to get an RNLI visitor centre

DARTMOUTH is to get an RNLI visitor centre which will be the first in the country not located alongside a lifeboat station.

The selection of the Old Post Office, formerly Fulfords Estate Agents in South Embankment, followed six months of negotiating for a suitable property.

Amanda Woods, the RNLI’s visitor experience manager and overall director of the project, said: “Once we saw Dartmouth and realised the potential of this beautiful building in South Embankment, I was very confident that we had found the right site.

“I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the local RNLI fundraising team and support for the RNLI in the local area. It was a winning combination.

“I am looking forward to spending much more time in Dartmouth over the next six months, working with local volunteers to make the centre a reality and giving everyone a chance to engage with the story of the RNLI.”

It is expected that the fitting out of the premises will be finished in time for an official opening just before Easter next year.

The centre will have state-of-the-art interactive displays and a scale model of a D-class lifeboat to sit in while watching real rescue footage including from the Dart Lifeboat camera.

It will promote the prevention of drowning, sea safety, lifeboat history and what it takes to become a member of a lifeboat crew. There will also be a shop selling RNLI goods.

The visitor centre will be administered separately from the Dart RNLI Fundraising Branch, reporting directly to Amanda Woods.

RNLI Dart Lifeboat Branch chairman Ed Featherstone said: “I am delighted that our bid has been successful. The visitor centre will be an asset to Dartmouth as well as the RNLI. It will help to attract more visitors to the town and offers more diversity to the waterfront. I believe it will be great fun to visit but with a serious message. Over the next few months Tracey and I will be keeping local people informed of progress. We welcome your input and ideas.”

RNLI Dart Lifeboat committee member and project manager Tracey Lucas said: “We have done the groundwork and now we have to make the visitor centre a vibrant, engaging and fun destination for visitors and local people.

“For those who support the RNLI, this is a real opportunity to help the charity that saves lives at sea in a brand new facility right here in Dartmouth.

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