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Dorset And East Devon World Heritage Site

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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10.

What plans she has to visit the Dorset and east Devon world heritage site. [106691

I had an excellent visit to the Dorset and east Devon coast world heritage site last year, and discussed its management and development with the local steering committee and with my hon. Friend. I am looking forward to a further visit next month as part of the south-west coast path silver jubilee celebrations.

I look forward to welcoming my right hon. Friend again to that important natural world heritage site, the only one in England and Wales. Does he agree that it is important that we improve the interpretation of such sites? To that end, what recent discussions has he had directly or through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with the natural history museum to explore with the museum the possibility of investment in a major facility somewhere along the coast, ideally in south Dorset?

I am aware of those discussions, although I have not been involved directly with them. The Government office for the south-west, in which DEFRA is represented, is working closely with the jurassic coast steering group. I am impressed by the partnership working—the determination and teamwork—in my hon. Friend's constituency and in that part of the country.