A NEW seafront plaza has opened on Sandbanks beach, containing a beach office, watersports centre and extended catering kiosk.

The Shore Road facility, which had been under construction since September 2019, includes services such as refurbished toilets, showers and a new family changing area.

The plaza will provide visitors with all the amenities they need conveniently placed on the promenade, BCP Council said.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar said: “The improvements to the plaza here are fitting for such a great location, and we’re delighted to welcome a new watersports concession; Easy Riders for their first season in the brand-new facility.

“This project at Shore Road is just one of many improvements from our ongoing plan to ensure we continue to invest in our world-class seafront across the whole of the BCP Council area.”

The plaza also contains new seating and improved signage along with modernised beach huts. Plans for the project were proposed in April 2018 following the opening of the ice cream kiosk at the Beach Station. After planning permission was granted on September 26, 2018, work started on site 12 months later.

Nikki Parker-Goadsby, of Dorset Coast Forum, said: “Dorset Coast Forum are delighted to have been involved in the community engagement and coordination of the Coastal Community Funding (CCF) for the public realm improvements at such a prestigious and popular location on the Dorset Coast.”

This project was part of Dorset Coastal Connections - people and places which is a £18.5million portfolio project connecting and coordinating 18 coastal sites across the Dorset Coast.

The scheme was completed in May, with the watersports concession awarded to Easy Riders, a surf school at Sandbanks.

Owner of Easy Riders Andy Gratwick said: “Having taught watersports here since 1993 we know the environment and conditions well.

“We are looking forward to introducing more people into watersports safely and progressing the sports we offer making shore road one of the premier venues nationally for watersports.”