Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009

Boscombe Spa Village up for award

Boscombe's Overstrand building and surf pods
New businesses have opened along the seafront attracting tourists

The multi-million pound regeneration of Boscombe's seafront has been shortlisted for a national award.

The Boscombe Spa Village was completed in November when Europe's first artificial surf reef opened, more than a year late.

The project, estimated to add £41.5m to the local economy, has been nominated in the regeneration category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards.

The winner of the awards will be announced in London on 24 March 2010.

Bournemouth Borough Council said that previously declining visitor numbers had been reversed, with a 32% increase during this summer compared with the previous year.

Luxury hotel

The £11m regeneration project has generated 55 new jobs, a further £850,000 private sector investment, new housing developments and surf-lifestyle related businesses.

Council leader Stephen MacLoughlin praised the work of the team behind the project.

He added: "This is an outstanding regeneration scheme which has turned an under-utilised site into a modern multi-purposed leisure amenity located on one of Britain's best beaches."

The controversial £3m artificial surf reef, which almost doubled in price, enhances the quality of waves using specially-designed bags of sand that form an underwater ramp.

A number of businesses have opened along the seafront including a luxury hotel, cafes, surf shops as well as apartments which can fetch up to £1m.

Representatives from the council and local traders will present their entry to a panel of judges on 29 January.

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