Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Tuesday, 1 April 2008 17:36 UK

Bags ordered for artificial reef

Boscombe Pier
The planned surf reef could bring thousands of surfers to the area

Construction of Europe's first artificial surf reef has moved a step closer with an order for half a million pounds worth of materials.

Bournemouth Borough Council has ordered 55 sand-filled geotextile bags, which will make up a reef covering an area the size of a football pitch.

Work on the 1.4m project off the Dorset coast will begin this summer.

The reef, which is expected to be ready by October, could attract up to 10,000 surfers each year.

A webbing base and the bags, which vary in length from 15 metres to 70 metres, will be positioned underwater 225 metres out to sea to the east of Boscombe Pier.

It is expected to create waves up to 13ft (3.96m) high and increase the number of surfing days.

Stephen Macloughlin, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council confirmed that the construction timetable was on track.

The reef is part of an 8m surfing-themed regeneration project for the Boscombe Spa Village scheme.

Fishermen delay surf reef plans
20 Jul 07 |  Dorset

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