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Beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) have retained their Blue Flag status this summer after the tourism and hospitality sector partnered with BCP Council.
Of the 72 UK locations to receive an award, 12 were granted to beaches in the BCP area, meaning one in six Blue Flag beaches are located in our region.

Retention of the Blue Flag awards will continue to see the region identified as one of the world’s outstanding coastal resorts.

The BCP area has also been granted 14 additional Seaside Awards, celebrating the quality and diversity of our coastline.

This has been made possible by the generous support of businesses and organisations including Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID); Bournemouth Town Centre BID; Poole BID; Christchurch BID; Fired Up Collective; SOBO Beach; The Beach House, FJB Group; Rockwater; Noisy Lobster and Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council, who have worked together to fund the applications which cost a total of £14,085.

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 are set to continually benefit from being recognised as Blue Flag locations.

Described by Keep Britain Tidy as an ‘international award presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes’, the awards rely on ongoing work and investment in seafront maintenance, protection and development.

Last year, BCP Council spent over £2.2 million on beach cleansing, waste disposal, toilets and seafront issues, with dedicated staff working year-round to maintain our award-winning coastline, as well as welcoming and supporting 7.5 million annual visitors.

The council also collaborates with The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and volunteer lifeguards to promote public safety, while its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) team has secured over £40 million in funding to tackle flooding and coastal erosion; protecting our beaches for future generations.

Prioritising the delivery of a balanced budget for 2024/25, BCP Council has been working hard alongside its tourism and business partners over the last year to identify the funding required to apply for the awards.

The three towns currently hold 12 Blue Flags in total, more than any other UK destination. In 2022, 10.3 million day and staying visitors were attracted to the BCP area and its coastline, generating £914 million for the local economy.

To qualify for a Blue Flag award, beaches must satisfy standards in four categories, with 33 individual targets covering environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.

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