The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

£118m investment paves the way for first-class season in UK’s premier destination

Voted the UK’s best coastal resort in the 2014 British Travel Awards, Bournemouth is now making a significant investment of over £100m in seafront and tourism related developments to strengthen its appeal for the new season.

Seafront investment

At the forefront of Bournemouth Council’s vision to create a world class seafront is the new Pier Approach. Improvements to the main gateway to the resort’s beaches worth £4m, funded by Bournemouth Council, are under way and comprise impressive re-landscaping, the installation of water play features and the creation of a new, all-year-round tourist information centre.

Mark Smith Director of Tourism said: “With seven miles of golden sands, and frequently warmer than average temperatures, together with a vast array of shops, evening venues, accommodation and globally recognised festivals we continually invest to make Bournemouth an even more vibrant and engaging world class experience for our visitors.”

Attractions investment

A major seafront development currently in progress is the £1.5 million, two-storey expansion of the Oceanarium. Designed to increase the size of the attraction by a third, the extension will feature a new penguin enclosure, walk-through aviary and sea view terrace. An integral part of Bournemouth’s shorefront for the last 16 years, this is the first time that the Oceanarium will be home to penguins and other new species will be announced in the coming months.

Hotel investment

Evidence of Bournemouth’s growing international reputation can be seen in the £60m investment by Hilton Hotels to develop the former council-owned Terrace Mount car park.  The site will house two new hotels featuring spectacular sea views from their upper storeys, one of which will be a top-end, full-service hotel with sky bar, spa and restaurant.

Entertainment investment

A further £50m investment from Licet Holdings is also under way in the town centre and this will see a five-level entertainment complex, housing a 10-screen cinema together with family restaurants, shops and bistros open in 2016 for locals and visitors to enjoy all year round.

Signage investment

Local investment in the region of £1m has gone into the creation of a new Wayfinding system to be completed by April. Designed to help visitors locate key attractions in the town centre and surrounding area easily, the new signage will encourage people to discover all areas of the town and ensure a high quality tourist experience, reinforcing the town’s reputation as a leading UK resort.

Transport investment

Much of Bournemouth’s popularity among holidaymakers and day trippers is down to its excellent transport links. The council is making a £1.5million investment at the site of the town’s rail and coach station, located in the Lansdowne area, including better signage, layout changes and aesthetic improvements to create a more attractive and welcoming sense of arrival for visitors to the town. Contributing to Bournemouth’s inland appeal is the recent announcement that Flybe will be opening a base at Bournemouth Airport in March 2015. Offering low-cost fares from Glasgow, Amsterdam and Paris, the new services have the potential to attract an additional 300,000 passengers to the area.

Events investment

Bournemouth is known worldwide for its programme of free festivals and events all year round and many of the planned developments will be ready in time for the resort’s flagship events – Bournemouth Wheels Festival in May, Bournemouth Air Festival in August and Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival in October.

Councillor Lawrence Williams, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, said: “The investment in Bournemouth is significant, representing a period of unparalleled growth for the town that aims to benefit visitors and residents alike. It’s an exciting time for our award-winning resort!”

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