Lottery funding has been secured to help create the Isle of Man’s first marine animal visitor centre.
The Manx Lottery Trust has granted £2,000 to the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch.
The charity works voluntarily throughout the year to ensure whales, dolphins and porpoises are safeguarded.
It’s now secured a lease for a property on Michael Street in Peel for the visitor centre.
The facility, which is due to open in early 2019, will be used to raise awareness of marine mammal species seen regularly in Manx territorial waters and for scientific research.
Entry will be free – visitors will find information on local species, a collection of bones and skeletons, a life size inflatable harbour porpoise, a library and an educational activity and craft area.
Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch volunteers will also use the office space daily to conduct data analysis and administrative work.
Jen Adams from the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch says: “We are delighted to get started on this exciting project which will be of great benefit to our Island.
“Once the centre is up and running we will use it to raise awareness of the wonderful array of creatures in Manx waters and the importance of marine habitat.
“We also hope to use the space to run training workshops to educate and enlighten locals and visitors.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the Manx Lottery Trust for its support of the Whale and Dolphin Visitors Centre.
“Its funding is hugely appreciated and will relieve financial pressures, giving the centre the best possible chance of succeeding.”
Chairman of the Manx Lottery Trust Sarah Kelly adds: “Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch is key to marine mammal research and awareness on the Isle of Man and we are pleased to support the development of the new visitor centre.”