A POPULAR fossil festival in Lyme Regis which was at risk of being cancelled this year due to a lack of funds looks to have been saved. 

The family-friendly fossil hunting event in the seaside town attracts thousands of people and took place for the 14th edition last year.

Visitors learn more about Lyme's rich fossil and paleontology past on the Jurassic Coast, and has been run by the Lyme Regis Development Trust (LRDT) charity since 2005.

Organisers announced in January that it was being forced to make the 'difficult decision' to not proceed with 2023's event due to a lack of cash available.

But in an announcement this week, the fossil festival looks to have been saved after getting some financial support from Lyme Regis Town Council and Lyme Regis Museum.

It will take place on the weekend Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 with 'fantastic fossils, roarsome dinosaurs and the amazing Mary Anning', the renowned fossil collector from Lyme.

Talks, walks, storytelling, exhibitions and street performances will also take place at the end of next month.

Lyme Regis Museum put in a request to LRTC asking for a £3,300 grant to run the 2023 fossil festival, which was considered at a council meeting on March 8. 

A previous meeting between stakeholders took place on February 8 where it was considered if the festival could be saved. 

Lyme Regis Museum director Bridget Houseago said: "We are really delighted to be able to host and co-ordinate the Fossil Festival this year.

"With the support of the Fossil Festival’s key partners and Lyme Regis Town Council, we are putting together an amazing programme of exhibitions, talks, walks and activities - we look forward to seeing you there."

Ms Houseago added via a letter to councillors before this week's meeting: "There was a sense that if the fossil festival folded, it might simply be picked up by another town or village along the coast and we felt that given its history and significance this would be a sad loss for the town.

"The museum is well placed to plan and co-ordinate the festival and we also have the expertise and contacts to help plan and create an exciting programme of events and activities."

The museum has also asked the council if it can provide the Jubilee Pavilion and adjacent area free of charge and provide assistance over the weekend.

"This year we propose to re-focus the Festival, under a broader Earth Sciences theme, that can encompass other aspects of science and issues such as climate change, as well focusing on Lyme’s unique seaside location and sense of place," Ms Houseago said.