HALF of the reserve £150,000 has been spent on the surf reef so far, Bournemouth Council has said.

The Echo revealed that contractor ASR has agreed to return in spring 2012, for what will be its fourth year of work on the £3.2million reef.

It will lay new bags on the seaward face to improve the waves because the scheme is only hitting four out of 11 performance targets.

The company is still in Bournemouth trying to complete repairs to a separate, damaged section of the reef before the winter weather gets too bad.

Tony Williams, executive director for environment and economy, said: “The council has already said no additional money would be spent.

“Following the damage caused to the reef by a boat strike it is imperative that repair works are carried out.

“The decision to use the remaining £150,000 is in advance of the settlement from the insurance company.

“It ensures the immediate and urgent protection of the reef whilst maintaining the council’s commitment to stay within the allocated budget and to make further improvements.”

Mr Williams said the council had a “most productive” meeting with ASR on Friday.

ASR’s managing director Nick Behunin said through the council: “We have always said the reef is an important project and one in which we have taken great measures to support the community.

“Given that autumn is now firmly upon us it is our priority to focus immediate works to prepare the reef for winter weather.”