Borough of Poole is seeking suggestions to rejuvenate its beautiful beaches and propel them into the 21st century.

Although the town has award-winning sands from the Haven to the Bournemouth boundary, they have remained virtually the same since the 1950s.

“We don’t want to turn it into Blackpool,” said Clive Smith, head of leisure services.

“The promenades need investment, the pumping stations, the showers and toilets. A lot of it needs to be improved.”

But with funds in the pot to maintain but not improve the beaches, the council is seeking ideas to increase income and private investment while conserving the natural beauty of the cliffs and seashore.

“People love the beach and we need to do better but can’t afford to,” he added.

He pointed out the private operator of the Sandbanks beach café had invested more than £1million in it and there could be more opportunities like that.

“We need the courage to be commercial,” said Cllr Judy Butt, portfolio holder for public engagement and participation. “We need to maximise the offer but we are not trying to frighten anybody.”

The council is embarking on consultation until April 30, seeking the views of residents, visitors and businesses on proposals for its ‘Beach Master Plan’.

The aim is to conserve, improve and invest in Sandbanks, Shore Road, Canford Cliffs Chine, Branksome Chine and Branksome Dene Chine beaches, setting the standard for the next 25 years.

Mr Smith said: “Maybe the beach huts could be done differently to earn more money for Poole. Is there an opportunity along there for a hotel or overnight stay facilities?

“A wet weather attraction?”

A leaflet is available on or at libraries, sports centres, beaches and also at council buildings.

To encourage residents to participate there is a free draw with the prize of use of a short-term let beach hut during the summer season.