A HUGE power cut plunged businesses into darkness this lunchtime in Bournemouth town centre.

The supply was cut to 1,500 businesses and households around lunchtime following damage to a high voltage cable in Exeter Road.

The businesses affected were Debenhams, Schuh, Tesco Metro, Burger King, The Slug and Lettuce and Next.

All power was restored just before 2.10pm.

The issue is believed to have been caused by Southern Gas who cut through a cable near the Moon in the Square pub.

Hannah Gleave, spokesperson for Southern Electric, said: "We received reports of some third party damage to one of our high voltage cables at around 12pm.

"Our engineer has identified where the damage took place, which was in Exeter Road.

"We would like to apologise to all customers who have been affected.

"We would like to thank customers for their patience while we carried out repairs."

She said the areas still affected were Exeter Road, Exeter Park Road and Cranborne Road.