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Lottery fund to transform cement plant

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AN OLD cement plant has been earmarked for use as a massive conservation and education centre in north-east England.

Lafarge Cement's former production plant in Eastgate, County Durham, is tipped to become the area's answer to Cornwall's Eden Project after a £20 million bid for funding for the centre was submitted to the National Lottery.

Plans for the centre include teaching craft skills, photography and conservation projects as well as offering a range of outdoor activities such as rock climbing and caving.

Lafarge closed the Blue Circle Cement production plant in the village in August 2002 with the loss of almost 150 jobs.

Durham County Council is keen to see some of those jobs recreated. It has teamed up with training charity Endeavour to launch the bid for funding.