HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds set aside by Bournemouth council three years ago to improve the appearance of a Boscombe conservation area is finally set to be spent.

Half of the £400,000 fund is to be used to build a new community facility while the remainder will see delayed work to rebuild garden walls carried out.

The council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Jane Kelly, has signed-off the project which has yet to start, partly due to the lack of an agreement over the type of brick to be used.

Plans for an improved centre facility, replacing the Joy Cafe, will also be built, continuing to house the volunteer-run café as well as providing toilets and a base for community groups.

The work will be funded through £395,000 set aside in January 2015, to cover the cost of cosmetic improvements to Churchill Gardens.

The main part of the project was aimed at rebuilding homes’ garden walls to reintroduce a universal style to the conservation area.

However, “conflicting work priorities” have delayed the work with there still no agreement over the type of brick to be used.

Cllr Kelly said that the project was now being progressed with council officers now working on plans to restart the scheme and allocate the money prior to April's council merger.

“The plan is to use about half of what is left for the walls and we are now at a stage where plans are now being drawn-up,” she said.

“The other half will be used for the new community facility, replacing the café building with a new facility which will continue to house the café but also have toilets.

“We have done a lot of work over the years to tidy up that area and improve living standards for people there so it makes sense to continue with the next step in that.”

Half of the £395,000 fund will be used to rebuild walls at 38 homes with the remainder allocated to the construction of the new community facility.

The project was signed-off last week by Cllr Kelly with a report saying that there was “a strong desire” to invest as much of the money as possible ahead of the formation of the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council in April.