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Levelling Up funding for seafront investment

BCP Council has been awarded £18.2 million in Levelling Up Funding from the government, to be invested in our seafront. 

We are waiting for further details from the government on how this funding will be awarded, which may affect the exact scope and extent of our seafront investment programme.

The programme of planned investments has been created as a result of a public consultation in 2021 with 4,000 stakeholders and community members. This led to the Seafront Strategy adopted in April 2022. 

We matched the Seafront Strategy to the criteria for the Levelling Up Fund, which led us to the following objectives for the investment programme.

  • encourage the growth of the visitor economy beyond the existing tourist hotspots by providing new reasons to visit other parts of the coast
  • improve and upgrade facilities on and access to the promenade, especially those close to areas of deprivation
  • upgrade and improve infrastructure in disrepair to provide facilities for use by local communities and tourism development
  • provide infrastructure and outline plans required to develop the visitor economy leading to improved job outcomes and income.

Specific outputs of this investment include:

  • dilapidated buildings improved and made available for development or continuation of tourism use
  • seafront sites stabilised and heritage protected 
  • public realm created or improved all along the promenade with better access, seating and toilets
  • bridge and pathways repaired, securing access to Upton Country Park
  • community centre space created, providing new centre for lifeguard training
  • feasibility studies completed for 3 substantial tourism developments
  • new cultural experiences provided.

We anticipate a number of benefits and outcomes of the investment, including:

  • better well-being and healthy life scores for local residents
  • reduction in deprivation by improving facilities and access to the seafront for local people and visitors
  • improved satisfaction of visitors and residents with our seafront and surrounding areas.
  • increase in number of local visitors using the promenade, especially those from deprived communities
  • placemaking – establishing pride in place for the local community and local businesses
  • employment creation and safeguarding
  • Heritage Trail extension, drawing visitors to explore more of the coast and its heritage sites - which may lead to less overcrowding in existing hot spots
  • extension of the visitor season, and attraction of new audiences
  • increased footfall along the beach especially at parts that were quieter previously
  • increased visitor spending at specific sites along the waterfront
  • crime reduction benefits through creating a public area along that coast that is more welcoming
  • walking and cycling trips along the improved routes
  • increase in the land's financial and social value, both for the sites themselves and the surrounding areas.

There are a number of indicators by which we can measure the success of the investment programme:

  • number of visitors to cultural venues
  • footfall
  • employment rate
  • perceptions of the site gathered from businesses, residents and visitors
  • business investments
  • mental and physical health of residents
  • length of improved cycle ways and pedestrian paths
  • floorspace of dilapidated buildings improved
  • area of public realm created or improved
  • area of green or blue space created or improved
  • public amenities and facilities created, improved, or relocated
  • hospitality space created or improved
  • cultural space created or improved
  • heritage buildings renovated/restored
  • volunteering opportunities supported.

Key areas for investment

We have set out a number of key projects to which this funding can be applied. Implementing these are dependent on the final scope of the funding and instruction from government.

Further detail on the individual projects and progress will be updated onto the Council’s website in due course. 

Upton Country Park

We will improve the bridge and cycle paths to secure the only off-road access route that links the town to important open space.

Hamworthy Seawall

We will secure access to green open spaces in Hamworthy by repairing the seawall.

Coastal Heritage Trail

We will develop several cultural experiences along the coast.

Alum Chine, Boscombe Pier and Holes Bay

We will invest in cultural heritage and regeneration opportunities at Alum Chine, Boscombe Pier and Holes Bay Visual Arts Centre.

The Strand

We will improve access, amenities and wellbeing along the promenade.

Promenade infrastructure

We will upgrade dated or missing utility infrastructure as well as digital communications along the promenade.

Bournemouth Lifeguard Corps training and education centre

We will provide new facilities for safety, wellbeing, training and job creation.

Bournemouth Pier

We will start works that secure this key heritage asset and retain coastal jobs.

East Cliff

We will start works to regenerate brownfield site with job creation and new facilities.

Toilet blocks

We will upgrade temporary toilet blocks and those in disrepair to improve access to facilities.

Beach huts

We will repair and rejuvenate dated beach huts to improve the public space, increase security and attract visitors.