More than half a million pounds is to be spent on services across the seafront, in a bid to improve the experience of beach-goers

Toilet facilities across the seafront of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are set to be refurbished ahead of what is expected to be a bumper season for the seaside resort this summer.

The council has also committed to ensuring adequate provisions are in place for residents and visitors alike. The provision of electric barbecues for public use is planned for key seafront locations.

The locations set to receive an overhaul are Sandbanks, Bournemouth West, Bournemouth East and Mudeford Sandbank. Works will range from retiling walls and floors, replacing sinks and taps, replacing windows, replacing cisterns and toilet pans, updating lighting and reducing cubicle sizes to improve footfall and flow where required.

The works form part of the council’s Summer Readiness plan – a £3.5m project aimed at improving a number of facilities, services and entertainment ahead of the anticipated large volumes of visitors expected to the area this year

Works to install electric barbecues have also been given the go-ahead resulting in some popular locations across the seafront having a range of single and double barbecues installed; including some accessible for wheelchair-users. This will reduce the use of temporary barbecues which can be dangerous if not carefully disposed of and add to littering issues.

Based at locations of high footfall, the barbecues will operate on a pre-timed cycle and turn off automatically after use. With no hot coals to dispose of, flames or fumes to cause concern, the impact on the surrounding area will be minimal.

Cllr Drew Mellor, Leader of BCP Council, said: “We are committed to investing in and opening facilities for the use of the public in a bid to maximise people’s experience when enjoying their visit to the beach. We're hugely ambitious about delivering a world class resort to go with our world class seafront and this investment is just the start.”

Under other funding, further facilities in Poole will also be opened this year. Toilets at Ashley Cross Green are set to re-open in time for Easter once refurbishments have been completed.