Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 12:01 UK

Firm finalises surf reef project

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

Reps from the firm behind Europe's much-delayed first artificial surf reef have been in Dorset to finalise the team's completion of the project.

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.

Andrew Moores and Rex Pollock have been in Boscombe to prepare for the return of the entire team next month.

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

Early this month, company director Andy Campbell visited the area to reassure traders and residents the first scheme of its kind in Europe would be finished by August.

I am optimistic that we will have the good weather we need
Andrew Moores, ASR Ltd

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

A Bournemouth Borough Council spokesman said both Mr Moores and Mr Pollock were part of the ASR team that constructed the base layer of the reef last year, "and so are familiar with the sea conditions at Boscombe".

Mr Moores, who will be leading the project, said: "I am delighted to be back in Boscombe and keen to get everything ready for the return of the entire team in April.

"Already we are slightly ahead of time, and I am optimistic that we will have the good weather we need to complete construction by September."

Divers struggling

Mr Moores and Mr Pollock would also be preparing the webbing used to position the bags for the top layer of the reef, the council spokesman said.

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.

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.

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

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Surf reef 'completed by August'
05 Mar 09 |  Dorset

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