THE Pier Approach in Bournemouth is set to undergo a £3.3m revamp.

The proposal, which is part of the council’s seafront strategy adopted in October last year, is being submitted for planning consent and, if approved, work will commence at the start of September.

The plans focus on water features and landscaping.

They will reconnect Bourne Stream in the lower gardens to the sea for the first time in more than 100 years.

They will also include a tourist information kiosk, which will replace the current seafront office, and low energy interactive lighting aimed at encouraging visitors to stay later into the evening. The fairground rides, with the exception of the Victorian style carousel, will be removed.

Cllr John Beesley, leader of the council, claimed the project was the first step in the hope of the town becoming a “premier resort in Europe”.

“Investing in the seafront is absolutely vital for the tourism industry,” he said.

“It will be a far more appealing place for people to walk through and be near to. At the moment it is quite austere.

“What we are trying to do is create something that is fit for purpose.”

He added that he hopes the project will encourage private investment and create more jobs for the town’s £462million tourist sector, which currently employs 11,000 people.

Andrew Francis, chairman of Bournemouth tourism management board, said the pier approach was the most visited area in the town.

He said that following the work on the Waterfront Imax site last year he was pleased about the further development.

“I am delighted to see the quality and detail that has been incorporated into the plans for this area,” he added.

The council anticipate the planning application will be considered in July. If approved, the work is scheduled to be complete by March 2015.

l The former IMAX site will once again host a programme of free events for a month this summer, the council has confirmed.

Onstage at Pier Approach will take place from Monday, July 28 to Monday, August 25 and will feature tribute bands, choirs and more.

There will also be performances by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra over the weekend of August 8 to 10.

This follows the success of last year’s free Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concerts.