DISTRICT chiefs are set to rule on awarding £50,000 to protect Swanage seafront from coastal flooding.

Swanage Town Council (STC) is leading the overall project, which includes renovation of the town's Stone Quay, improving the public realm, provision of a seasonal pontoon - to provide a safe and secure landing point - improvements to the existing sea wall and the introduction of new interpretation boards.

The town council has already committed £290,000 to the scheme.

On January 15 Purbeck District Council (PDC) will convene, and members are being asked to approve their continuing support - and to contribute £50,000 towards the costs of sea defences.

Town council clerk Martin Ayres explained: "The project seeks to address the real impacts of coastal flooding, which occurred a number of times over the 2017/18 winter, and the opportunity for significant public realm works.

"This important project will deliver significant benefits, in particular improving the seafront's resilience to coastal flooding, protecting businesses, reducing damage and removing negative publicity and resident concern."

A report to district council members, from district council officers, recommends approving the £50,000, which would be met from PDC's reserves.

"Swanage town centre experiences regular winter flooding when there are strong easterly winds and high tides," explained the report. "The combination of these two factors creates overtopping of the existing sea defences.

"Swanage Town Council and Swanage Coastal Change Forum have submitted a bid to the coastal communities fund for a project to improve Swanage seafront."

The district council has already provided a letter of support for this bid, but now members are being asked to provide financial backing.

PDC has also committed ongoing support, through officer time, at no short term cost to the town council.

The report also explained: "If the bid to the coastal communities fund is not successful, work to repair and enhance existing sea defences will still proceed."