Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Surf reef 'completed by August'

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

Dorset's much-delayed artificial surf reef should be finished by August, the developer has said.

Work on the reef off Boscombe was suspended by New Zealand-based ASR Ltd in November due to bad weather, but is due to restart in April.

Company director Andy Campbell visited the area to reassure traders and residents the first scheme of its kind in Europe would be finished.

The cost of the reef has nearly doubled from 1.4m to 2.7m.

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

Mr Campbell said: "Last year we got some really bad weather which caused a late start, then it got too cold with fading daylight hours and it wasn't safe working conditions.

'Magnify waves'

"My visit here is just to reassure everyone we are coming back in April and will get it done this season.

"It is absolutely going to happen and we want people to get excited about it.

"We are confident, if we have an early start, to have the reef completed by August."

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

But ASR Ltd has said its divers were struggling in the colder conditions in November and had to stop work.

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

ASR Ltd claims 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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SEE ALSO
Work starts on town's surf reef
16 Jul 08 |  Dorset

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