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A refinement plan that should see an improvement to Bournemouth’s surf reef and an extended right-hand ride length has been agreed by Bournemouth Council and ASR Ltd.
ASR will return to complete the works as early as next spring, subject to necessary work permits and FEPA licences being obtained by the Council - a process that is likely to take at least 12 weeks.
Council Leader Cllr Peter Charon explains:
"Everyone is agreed that ASR's technical refinements are the best solution – the Task & Finish Group set up to find a cost-effective result, the Economy & Tourism Scrutiny Panel, Dr Mark Davidson and the local surfing representatives.
"Although these are innovative and complex works, working with ASR the likelihood of both performance improvements and a greater return on the Council’s £3million investment in the reef are a significant step closer."
He continued, "After detailed and lengthy negotiations, I am satisfied that the financial agreement reached represents a pragmatic approach."
ASR will be undertaking the refinement works upfront of any payment, with the Council releasing £55,000 once works are complete. Monitoring will begin as soon as conditions allow, with the final £95,000 released when the required improvements are achieved, to be independently verified.
Four bags will be placed on the base of the south-eastern corner of the reef, along with three pillow bags between existing parts of the reef. The effect is expected to be the wave depth being better managed through a gentler slope on the reef, resulting in the right-hand ride length extended to 65metres.
Paul Clarke, of Bournemouth Surfing Centre and Executive Member of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce said:
"I am thrilled on behalf of Bournemouth’s surfers and those who visit the area for watersports, that a sensible solution has been reached. I am pleased that the Council has taken the time to listen to local surfers and an end is in sight."
Shaun Taylor of Sorted Surf Shops on Boscombe seafront added:
"The seafront down here now is a phenomenal success, it really does have a unique atmosphere and appeal. For the reef to deliver the waves that we are expecting will be a further boost to the area and an even greater draw."
Chris Jensen, Marketing Director of ASR said:
"Boscombe reef has already helped rejuvenate Boscombe as an attractive destination and ASR is confident that further improvements will yield even greater success."