Stonehenge transformation 'progressing well' says English Heritage

New visitor building for Stonehenge​ The visitor centre is part of a £27m scheme to return Stonehenge to a more tranquil and dignified setting

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Work on a multimillion-pound visitor centre at Stonehenge is progressing well, English Heritage has said.

The £27m scheme, which includes grassing over the road alongside the ancient monument, is due to be complete by the end of the year.

Car and coach parks have been laid out and the visitor centre's roof is ready to be installed, the charity said.

Stonehenge director Loraine Knowles said the building was "just one aspect in transforming" the site.

Work on the new galleries and facilities, being built about a mile-and-a-half (2.4 km) west of the stones, began in July.

Two "single-storey pods" covered by a canopy roof are being built to house an exhibition and education space, cafe, shop and toilets.

A section of the A344, which runs next to the World Heritage Site, is due to be closed at the end of June and grassed over.

The remainder of the A-road will be closed to traffic in late 2013, to allow a shuttle to operate between the visitor centre and the stones.

'Uplifting experience'

"The way in which people visit Stonehenge in the future will change," said Ms Knowles.

The new visitor building for Stonehenge​ The visitor centre is expected to open in late 2013

"The construction of the visitor building is just one aspect in transforming what is widely agreed to be an unsatisfactory tourist and cultural experience.

"We will be uplifting the whole experience to a level that befits this extraordinary and important monument, not just upgrading the visitor facilities, important though those are."

Stonehenge, constructed between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC, is thought to have been used for a variety of religious ceremonies.

It attracts around 900,000 visitors a year - about 70% come from abroad.

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