A SECTION of Bournemouth's coastline has officially been named as a bathing water beach following a decision by a Government department.

Manor Steps beach, which is located to the east of Boscombe Pier, has been announced as one of nine new seaside spots on the south coast.

The addition of Manor Steps takes the total of bathing water locations in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to 20.

The new bathing waters will have signage to show they are official swimming spots and the Environment Agency will regularly test water quality.

Last year, water quality remained high with 98.3 per cent of bathing waters in England meeting the tough standards set by the Environment Agency.

Beachgoers can check out the water quality at their nearest bathing water spot by visiting the Environment Agency’s online map at the Bathing Water Data Explorer website.

Helen Wakeham, deputy director of water quality at the Environment Agency, said: “It is wonderful news that more beaches have been given bathing status in time for the start of the 2018 season.

"Water quality has improved at English beaches giving locals and tourists a better experience as well as benefitting the environment."

“Water quality tests are published online, me and my family will certainly be searching the online map before heading off to enjoy time at the beach this summer."