Projects recently successfully undertaken by BADT include The West Bay Discovery Centre and The Literary and Scientific Institute.
The LSi Literature and Scientific Institute was re-opened in 2018 following years of being empty. During this period it had fallen into a state of severe disrepair and was dangerously close to the point of no return. The Bridport Area Development Trust rescued this impressive and iconic Bridport landmark and following many years of intensive work the opening ceremony took place on .
LSi Space in Action
The LSi back into action as THE meeting place for the community of Bridport.Fulfilling once more its original purpose in providing a specially equipped building for talks, discussions, recitals and teaching activities for any age.
West Bay Discovery Centre is owned and operated by a local charity, the Bridport Area Development Trust. The Trust has also restored Bridport’s former library, the Literary and Scientific Institute on East Street.
The former West Bay Methodist Chapel is known locally as “the Chapel on the Beach”. The Grade II listed building dates from 1849 and ceased as a place of worship in 2006. The freehold was transferred to the Trust in 2012 by the local council on the understanding that the building was to be used to provide visitor information about the history and environment of West Bay and its surrounds.
The Trust obtained funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, which together with other grants enabled the restoration and adaption of the Chapel. The result was a fit for purpose home for the West Bay Discovery Centre, which opened on 1st August 2018.
The Discovery Centre provides an insight to West Bay and the Jurassic Coast, revealing its hidden history, local stories and offering fascinating facts about the natural environment.
We use interactive experiences to make learning about West Bay fun for all ages. Our challenge to visitors is to make your own discoveries, then come back and share them with us. We offer changing themed exhibitions and aim to provide the latest local information. A programme of talks, guided walks, and events are also on offer.
The Discovery Centre is run by a part-time manager and an enthusiastic team of volunteers. Since it opened it has attracted well over 30,000 visitors (to March 2020) and has won several Local and National Awards including Dorset Tourism Gold Award, South West Tourism Excellence Silver Award and The Dorset Community Heritage Project award.
Our mission is to continue to grow people’s appreciation of West Bay and the Jurassic Coast using the unique stories that tell its history, hidden heritage and natural environment, so that our visitors will reflect, return and reconnect with us, again and again. We do this by offering a “treasure trove” of stories, information and activities, with something for all ages and interests.