Disabled Friendly Beach Huts Open

The UK's first purpose-built disabled access beach huts have been officially opened on Dorset seafront.

The four huts in Boscombe include dual height kitchen units and high colour contrast surfaces and flooring.

The state-of-art-huts feature a communal outside area with a fresh water fountain, an electric charging point for mobility scooters, parking, improved accessible toilets, and a wooden track to enable easy access to the beach.

The buildings, which can accommodate up to four wheelchair users, were officially opened by members of the DOTS group, a social enterprise formed and led by local disabled people and carers, the deputy mayor, councillor Barry Goldbart, and councillor Chris Wakefield.

Cabinet member for economy, leisure and tourism, councillor Rod Cooper, said:

 ''This is a fantastic project and I'm delighted that the accessible beach huts have now been completed and are ready to use.

''Continuing with the theme of regeneration in the vibrant Boscombe area the new huts incorporate high quality design, visual flair and unique function.

''We believe that they will become iconic symbols of the continuing renaissance of the British seaside resort and will open up our award-winning seafront area and enable more visitors to come and enjoy the facilities.''

The huts are now open to rent

The colourful buildings, which feature a seagull and windbreak theme, were designed by Peter Lewis and a:b:i:r Architects, who won the contract from 173 international entries.

The project was funded with a grant from the Commission for Architecture & Built Environment (CABE).

The beach huts are now open for bookings year round. Contact Boscombe Beach Office on 01202 451773 or visit www.bournemouth.gov.uk/seafront for more details. Huts can be hired by disabled groups and individuals at a cost of £18.00 a day or £57.50 for a week (Saturday to Friday)