A PROJECT to promote Dorset's Jurassic Coast and create jobs has scooped more than £250,000 worth of regeneration funding.

The Volunteer Network initiative from the Jurassic Coast Trust to generate employment, training and volunteering opportunities is among the projects supported in the latest round of the government's Coastal Communities Fund.

In all, 16 'shovel ready' projects in the UK which help deliver sustainable growth and jobs along the coast will benefit from the fund.

The Jurassic Coast Trust receives £258,526 over three years to create a 'joined-up network of volunteers and businesses' along the coast, also working with local education providers to boost skills.

It aims to create 'pathways to employment', particularly within the industry that supports the Jurassic Coast. It will include training, accreditation, recruitment, use of an interactive IT platform.

Chairman of the trust Alexandra O’Dwyer said: “Our Volunteer Network project is all about developing the skills and capacity of people and places along the coast so that they can better support the World Heritage Site, as well as boosting businesses and communities.

"The Jurassic Coast is a tremendous natural asset that needs to be looked after by all those who use it, but at the same time it also should create opportunities and real benefit for people."

She added: "We are thrilled to receive the funding to make this happen and, as a relatively small charity with over 95 miles of world heritage to look after, we are looking forward to the boost it will give our work.”

The Coastal Communities Fund is specifically for supporting seaside areas, helping projects that will lead to regeneration and economic growth whilst directly or indirectly safeguarding and creating sustainable jobs.

Since 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling more than £173 million.

This has helped to start almost 500 new businesses and create more than 7,000 jobs.

Coastal Communities Minister, Jake Berry said: “It’s really exciting to see money from the Coastal Communities Fund help kick start these shovel ready projects, which have the potential to unlock the barriers to development and growth of our coastal communities.

"Investment in our seaside areas, through projects such as these, will provide nothing short of a New Deal for the Great British coast creating thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the shore.”