Plans to create a world-class Environmental Innovation Hub on the Dorset coast have taken a step forward with the announcement today that Government funding has been approved (20 September).
The Hub at Durley Chine, Bournemouth will be funded by £2.4M from the Coastal Communities Fund.
Early plans for the Hub are a signature eco-build, formed in part from ocean-harvested plastics and recycled tropical hardwoods. The Hub, dedicated to achieving a step change in the reduction and elimination of single-use plastics along the seafront, will feature interactive, imaginative and engaging displays. Further interactive touchpoints will be located across 10 miles of coastline.
Visitor waste is currently a huge problem for coastal resorts. Over 1,300 tonnes of waste are removed from Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch beaches annually. The Hub aims to encourage behavioural change with visitors taking away a new awareness around plastic use and recycling; both in resorts and at home. Over 7 million annual visitors to the area would have an opportunity to explore and understand the environmental impacts of packaging waste and climate change on our fragile coasts and seas.
The Environmental Innovation Hub will incorporate a centralised beach management facility for the bay, waste transfer facility, public toilets, a catering kiosk and lifeguard control point. Alongside the Hub, are planned improvements to leisure facilities and public realm, combined with energy reduction and environmental stewardship improvements across 10 miles of coast.
It is estimated that combined, these coastal projects would deliver £6M in additional visitor spend, sustaining and creating 120 new tourism jobs across the resort as a result of increased visitor footfall and spend.