New government funding for the popular Isle of Wight tourist attraction, Dinosaur Isle, has been unveiled.

The government’s Cultural Investment Fund grant, created from cash from both the Museum Estate and Development Fund and the Libraries Improvement Fund, will also help improve two Island library buildings.

The money is aimed at supporting museums and public libraries by paying for vital repairs and renovations, as well as developing of digital infrastructure. 

Dinosaur Isle will get almost £500,000 for structural repairs to its roof and for other improvements.

The much-loved venue holds an internationally significant collection and only the Natural History Museum's is larger.

The Isle of Wight Council previously revealed it would need £1 million to repair the building on Culver Parade, amid fears over a long-term lack of investment and the impact of Covid-19 on visitor numbers.

The museum's future is under discussion and last year, we reported a plan to split its management between the Natural History Museum and Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Meanwhile, according to today's announcement, the Isle of Wight Library Service has been given £150,000 to improve accessibility at Ryde and Cowes libraries.

At Cowes Library, there will be a wider door opening from the access ramp, and a new internal door, making it easier for people with prams, or those in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters, to enter.

The office area will be redesigned, to include an accessible toilet and kitchen area, which will mean the library can be used by groups outside opening hours as well.

In Ryde, new accessible toilets will be installed via a widened corridor.

Work will be carried out in September.

Rob Jones, library service manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted our Libraries Improvement Fund bid has been successful.

"This money will really make a difference.”

Arts and Heritage Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: "These awards will support major infrastructure works, in addition to helping improve library services which sit at the heart of our community.

"This additional funding underlines the Government’s commitment to culture and heritage in every part of the country, and I look forward to seeing how it helps.”