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Sir James Dyson's latest gift to Norfolk is funding towards a new coastwatch station

PUBLISHED: 10:23 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 20 June 2019

National Coastwatch Cromer is getting a new mobile unit, to replace this one. Picture: Linda Lawrence

National Coastwatch Cromer is getting a new mobile unit, to replace this one. Picture: Linda Lawrence

Archant

Billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson has made another generous gift to his native region, after his donation to Gresham's in Holt.

Cromer-born inventor Sir James Dyson. Picture: David Parry/PA WireCromer-born inventor Sir James Dyson. Picture: David Parry/PA Wire

This time the gift will go towards the replacement National Coastwatch Station at Cromer, located at Beach Road car park in East Runton.

Last winter's storms finished off the old station and, subject to planning permission being granted, a new more robust watch station is being designed.

Along with his generosity, Sir James has agreed to become Cromer NCI's (National Coastwatch Institution) Honorary Patron.

The watch station provides eyes along the Norfolk coast to plot, spot and report, not only marine traffic that may need assistance, but also to identify incidents involving holiday-makers, surf/paddle boarders, and divers who enjoy this beautiful stretch of coastline.

National Coastwatch Cromer is getting a new mobile unit, to replace this one. Picture: Linda LawrenceNational Coastwatch Cromer is getting a new mobile unit, to replace this one. Picture: Linda Lawrence

Linda Lawrence, from NCI's operations support group, would not reveal exactly how much money Sir James had contributed towards the project, but she said it was "a substantial amount".

She said: "The project will cost about £20,000. All the money is in place and we are now just waiting for planning permission. It will take about six weeks to build the new station. We are hoping to get it all done by the school summer holidays.

"Other community groups have also given funding towards the new station. The funding means that CCTV and other electronic aids can be planned in order to extend the coverage along the shoreline and beyond, especially as future exercises are planned with Cromer lifeboat."

The National Coastwatch Institution (otherwise known as National Coastwatch) has 55 watch stations around the coastline, and this year celebrates 25 years as a voluntary organisation.

As reported, Sir James, who was born in Cromer, has made an £18.75 million donation to his old school, Gresham's in Holt. The 72-year-old is funding a new centre for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education, to be called the Dyson Building. The founder and chief executive of Dyson Ltd has always been grateful to Gresham's, after the school continued to fund his education after the death of his father when he was aged nine.

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