£37m bridge across part of one of world's largest natural harbours has faced years of delay

Poole council has secured a £9.96m loan towards a bridge across part of one of the world's largest natural harbours.

The South West of England Regional Development Agency is to lend it money to fund the £37m Twin Sails Bridge, which is designed to cross a section of Poole Harbour, connecting Hamworthy with Poole port

The scheme has faced years of delays and the council will find out in the next few weeks if the Department for Transport has approved a £14.1m grant.

The project could create up to 5,000 jobs, according to the council, and would allow the development of 26 hectares of brownfield land for new homes, offices, shops, community and leisure facilities.

The owners of the land were originally threatened with compulsory purchase orders before an agreement was reached.