Swanage old lifeboat station to be replaced

Swanage lifeboat station Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Swanage lifeboat station was built in 1875 but cannot accommodate new, larger lifeboats

A 140-year-old RNLI station in Dorset is to be replaced to accommodate a bigger lifeboat.

Swanage boathouse was built in 1875 but, in 2016, the station is due to take delivery of a new boat which is too big for the existing building.

The site also lacks changing facilities or a mechanical workshop.

Planning permission for the new £3.5m lifeboat station has been granted by Purbeck District Council and work is due to begin in the autumn.

Swanage RNLI's current all-weather Mersey class lifeboat 'Robert Charles Brown' is nearing the end of its operational life.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Visitors will be able to buy souvenirs in the new boathouse

It will be replaced by a 25-knot, all-weather, Shannon-class lifeboat, which will be faster and easier to manoeuvre due to its design and water jet propulsion technology.

Plans for the new station will include a changing and shower room, training room, mechanics workshop, office space, and a base for the station's D-class inshore lifeboat.

There will also be a souvenir stall in the boathouse.

Swanage RNLI lifeboat operations manager Neil Hardy said: "We're delighted that the plans have been approved and look forward to an exciting new stage in the long and rich history of lifesaving in Swanage.

"Although, naturally, we'll be sad to say goodbye to the current boathouse when the time comes, its time to look to the future and the modern and upgraded facilities the new building will provide for the volunteer crew."

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