Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 11:54 UK

Surf reef 'ready by end of year'

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

Europe's first artificial surf reef - which could attract 10,000 surfers each year to the south coast - will be ready by the end of the year.

Work to build the 1.4m reef in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth, Dorset, will take place from July to October.

The council has finalised its contract with New Zealand firm ASR Ltd to complete the project.

The reef is part of an 8m regeneration scheme in the area and is expected to create waves of up to 3.96m (13ft).

It is hoped the project will be completed by the end of October, depending on the weather, but the council's contract says the reef must be completed by 31 December 2008 "at the latest".

The public can be assured that the reef will definitely be completed at the latest by the end of this year
Stephen MacLoughlin

The first shipment of materials will arrive in Southampton in June.

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.

The bags, which vary in length from 15m (49ft) to 70m (230ft), will be transported from Southampton to an undisclosed location and assembled onto a webbing base.

They will then be taken by barge 225m (738ft) out to sea to the east of Boscombe Pier.

Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council said: "The deal has been done to bring the long-awaited surf reef to Boscombe to revive the area.

"It will be the most innovative sports and tourist attraction in the south.

"The public can be assured that the reef will definitely be completed at the latest by the end of this year."




SEE ALSO
Fishermen delay surf reef plans
20 Jul 07 |  Dorset

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