Councillors approve £50,000 funding towards MEMO project on Portland

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have joined the Dorset LEP, Dorset County Council and private benefactors in pledging funding for the MEMO (Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory) project. £50,000 has been approved to contribute to the prep work required to move the project on. The project is expected to be open to the public in Spring 2020.

Supporting the Local Economy 

The project team estimate 325,000 visitors a year, and 79 FTE all year round jobs plus an ongoing programme for 30 apprentices in the Portland Community. Given the current levels of NEETS [not in education, employment or training] among 16-24 year olds on the island – more than 50% above national average – this would be a welcomed initiative. The project will be a key part of the economic development of Portland.


Enhancing the Tourism Offer

Cllr James Farquharson, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Economic Development said: “We are excited about the prospect of adding a new attraction to the area. This will be a unique experience. As well as the clear economic benefit to residents, we expect this to become a major tourist attraction as a centre for learning.”

Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy

 The Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy is made up of a variety of projects. All these projects have the aim of boosting the local economy. This is a joined-up approach from West Dorset, North Dorset and Weymouth and Portland council’s alongside Dorset County Council and the Dorset LEP for addressing a number of key economic drivers.

They are: Infrastructure [electronic and physical connectivity]

Homes and Employment Sites [accelerated home building, affordable housing and employment site development]

Employment and Skills [access to quality education, training and employment opportunities]

Business and Sectors [business start-ups, survival rate and growth initiatives]

Assets and Policy [commercialisation and income generation].