BACKING for an “essential” multi-million project to stabilise a landslide-damaged cliff has been given by senior councillors in Poole.

On Tuesday, members of the borough council’s cabinet unanimously supported the £7.3 million scheme which will enable it to resume its postponed Canford Cliffs seafront improvements work.

The scheme will now need the approval of full council before work can start, with an aim for it to be completed within a year.

The council’s project to upgrade existing beach huts, build new ones and to expand the café/pavilion on the seafront was to be tendered “within weeks” when the February 2017 landslide forced it to shelve its plans.

Included in the overall budget is £4.2 million to resume the project after the cliff is stabilised at a cost of £3.1 million.

In order to fund the work, the council is planning to borrow £2.9 million with the remaining money coming from the Coastal Communities Fund and its capital contingency budget.

Speaking at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Cllr May Haines, who represents Canford Cliffs, said: “I feel very strongly that to do nothing is not an option.

“It’s a key part of our tourism offering and we do need to look after it.

“Investing this money will also bring in a net income so this is the right thing to do in the long term.

Council leader Cllr Janet Walton described the project as “essential” and that it would provide “very, very good income”.

A report to the council says that the extra facilities will bring in an extra £230,000 a year.

Cabinet members unanimously agreed to recommend that the full council gives the final sign-off for the project to start at its meeting on February 19.