BOURNEMOUTH beach hut owners who lost their huts in the recent storms are being offered a one-off £250 refund on their rent.

Nearly 400 council and privately owned beach huts were damaged during the storms on Valentine’s weekend and around 100 were completely destroyed or washed out to sea.

Beach hut owners, who were originally told they would have to pay the ground rent and rates of approximately £1,000 as normal, have now been told they will get a refund for March, April and May.

The council has advised hut owners to pay their invoices in full and then wait for a refund to be sent to them.

Cllr Lawrence Williams, cabinet member for tourism, said: “The recent storms were unprecedented and call for unprecedented action.

“We are aware that many hut owners have been concerned about having to pay site rent when they have no beach hut to put on their pitch. We hope that providing a refund will help owners to get their new beach huts ship-shape for the summer.”