Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Work on surf reef 'will restart'

Surfers and swimmers at Boscombe beach
The reef is expected to increase the size of the existing surf at Boscombe

Work to build Europe's first artificial surf reef in Dorset will continue in the spring, the New Zealand-based firm behind its construction has said.

The project, off Boscombe, was already delayed when ASR Ltd suspended work over the winter due to bad weather.

Mike Woods, of ASR Ltd, said the firm was committed to the project, ahead of visiting the site next week.

Work on the reef has already nearly doubled from 1.4m to 2.7m. It will now open in September 2009.

Additional costs include extra sand for the reef and delays caused by the bad weather.

ASR is committed to this flagship project
Mike Woods, ASR Ltd

The project was meant to have been completed by October 2008, with an agreed overrun to December 2008 if the weather was bad.

But ASR Ltd said its divers had been struggling in the colder conditions and that work would resume in April.

Mr Woods said: "I am delighted to be coming to Bournemouth to make sure that everything is ready for work to start again on site in the spring.

"ASR is committed to this flagship project - we know the world is watching and we intend to deliver."

The artificial reef is part of the a wider regeneration project in Boscombe, which will now cost 11m.

Bournemouth Borough Council's chief ecxecutive, Pam Donnellan, said: "We have looked into the issues surrounding the Boscombe Spa Village project in considerable detail, including the reasons for the overruns and costs and as a result we have strengthened the project management."

ASR Ltd has said the reef "will magnify and make the most of even the smallest and least favourable wave conditions" at Boscombe.

It will be one of four artificial reefs worldwide, including Narrowneck, Queensland, Cables, Western Australia and Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

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Work starts on town's surf reef
16 Jul 08 |  Dorset

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