PART of Bournemouth Pier is set for a major facelift through a “six-figure investment”.

Plans have been submitted to replace the existing large screen on the front of RockReef with a new digital display.

The current screen is described as being in “desperate need of replacement”.

Pier operators Openwide International Ltd said it is unreadable at times and can no longer be maintained as technology has moved on and parts are no longer available.

A statement by the firm said: “The screen has never been able to sustain itself economically as it has been restricted to text messages due to its size and format.

“The commercial market now expects video and live footage. It has served a purpose well but at some considerable cost and drain on overall pier economics.”

The proposed screen would create “truly engaging and unique content and art work”.

“Changing and moving billboards are far more likely to catch a passer-by’s attention than a traditional static display and with clear, captivating LED displays visible from a distance, visitors will be encouraged to visit the pier businesses,” the statement added.

“Drawing-in more interest and increasing footfall makes good business sense.

"It will allow us to showcase on pier offers and new events, or even some neutral non-marketing material that appeals to the audience and captures the businesses on the pier.”

The existing LED screen has been in place since 2014 when it replaced the old theatre banner.

The plans, which are currently being considered by BCP Council planners, have been backed by the National Piers Society, a charity dedicated to promoting the preservation of seaside piers.

In a statement, society chairman Tim Wardley said: “In my opinion it enhances the building adding vibrancy and purpose while not impeding the familiar visual aspect or damaging the fabric of this building and is sympathetic to its status.

“It also offers greatly enhanced opportunities to ensure the building continues to thrive as a prime tourist asset to Bournemouth, both as a unique venue for visitors and residents and a contributor to Bournemouth’s coastal tourism economy.

“In addition it represents a significant six-figure investment into ensuring future success and ultimately profitability of the building.”