BOURNEMOUTH, Christchurch and Poole’s beaches have retained their blue flag status following private sector funding. 

Earlier this year, businesses across the conurbation stepped in to fund the £14,085 award scheme that monitors water quality. 

Of the 72 UK beaches awarded nationally, 12 were awarded in the BCP area, meaning one in six blue flag beaches are in our region. 

As well as the four business improvement districts, SOBO Beach, The Beach House, Rockwater, the Noisy Lobster, Fired Up Collective, FJB Group and Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council. 

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth beach on Saturday, May 4

Fiona McArthur, Bournemouth Coastal BID manager, said: “The four BIDs within the conurbation recognise the importance of our beaches to the local economy, attracting both residents and visitors to the three towns.  

“We have worked together to ensure that our beaches benefit from these accolades, and we will continue to do so. 

“These are some of the best beaches in the UK and they deserve to be recognised as such, this legacy needs to be protected for future generations.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth beach on Saturday, May 20

Andy Lennox, founder of Fired Up Collective, added: "We are delighted to have secured the funding for these iconic awards across the BCP area.  

“Our beaches play a fundamental role in our economy as well as our lives and to uphold the environmental, sustainable and educational credentials associated with blue flag for another year is something to be proud of; enhancing BCP’s world class status for tourism.” 

Beaches at Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Southbourne, Sandbanks, Shore Road, Canford Cliffs, Branksome Chine, Manor Steps, Avon Beach, Highcliffe and Friar’s Cliff were recognised. 

In 2022, 10.3m day and staying visitors visited the conurbation and its coastline, generating £914 million for the local economy. 

Last year, BCP Council spent more than £2.2m on beach cleansing, waste disposal, toilets and seafront issues. 

Deputy BCP Council leader Milie Earl said: “Every day, an exceptional amount of work goes into ensuring our beaches meet blue flag criteria, and this achievement is testament to the joint effort of the council, its partners, local businesses and organisations, who have united to retain these prestigious awards. 

“We are fortunate to have such a breath-taking stretch of coastline on our doorstep and ask our visitors to help us stay award-winning by picking up their litter, leaving only footprints and protecting our environment for generations to come.”