A £900,000 project to improve a "major gateway" to Poole's beaches is set to start in September.

The Shore Road scheme will see a new watersports centre and a larger catering kiosk built. New seating will be installed and public toilets and showers will be refurbished. A block of beach huts just east of Shore Road will be modernised and extended with a new first floor, while others will be given a refurb.

A permanent beach office will open early next year. BCP Council has appointed contractor Stepnell Ltd to carry out the project, which was designed by Morgan Design Studio, supported by landscape artist Amanda Moore.

The work forms part of a £9.5 million investment in Poole’s seafront, funded by BCP Council and supported by £1.2 million from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), a government grant designed to support the economic development of coastal communities.

"Shore Road is already recognised as a major gateway for people visiting Poole’s beaches," a BCP Council spokesperson said.

"Improvements at Shore Road offer the opportunity to create a better welcome with an attractive plaza that visitors can enjoy and that signifies Shore Road’s importance as the starting point to the promenade around Poole Bay."

At the planning application stage, the former Poole council said public buildings and services in the Shore Road area were "outdated, in poor repair, unwelcoming and under-used".

Councillor Lewis Allison, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “We’re now finalising the details, working with our partners on what is already a stunning location on Poole seafront to improve the welcome and the facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy the space and to create a sense of arrival.”

Rob Speirs, regional director for Stepnell, said: “We’re proud to have been appointed by BCP Council to deliver this unique seafront scheme. This development will enhance the coastal area in Poole for tourists, giving a welcome boost to the local economy, as well as providing an enhanced space for local residents to relax and a place for families to enjoy. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise to this project to make it a success.”