WEST BAY's Methodist Chapel which closes this week, could be used as a museum of the Jurassic Coast.

West Bay Forum chairman Roy Downing has suggested the now redundant building would be the ideal solution to providing the missing visitor centre at the resort.

"We need a museum for the Jurassic Coast and the history of West Bay," he said. "The Methodist Chapel is closing this week. It would make an ideal place now that it belongs to the West Dorset District Council. Apart from minor renovations it would make an ideal venue without too much expense."

The last service will be on May 8, at 7.30pm.

Mr Downing said the chapel was closing because the number of people attending services over the years had been declining and more people used St John's.

Mr Downing has been floating the idea with district council head of planning David Evans and town councillor Charles Wild.

David Evans, director of planning and environment, said: "The Methodist Chapel at West Bay is on land owned by the district council. A request to end this lease is being processed in the normal way by the council. The future of the property will be considered by district councillors in due course."

The district council's regeneration scheme for the bay ran into trouble when the Environment Agency pulled the plug on plans for the Mound, warning that the proposed multi-purpose centre - involving a restaurant and pubic rooms - could be at risk from major flooding in a freak storm, putting people's lives at risk.

Mr Evans said in the light of this and the consequent loss of half the regeneration money, there had had to be a radical rethink.

Town councillors have already rejected the district's scaled down regeneration project saying it needs to spend more money and do the job properly.