BCP Council to open more restaurants, gym and sauna at beach

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BCP COUNCIL is seeking permission to dispose of parts of the beach to enable more pop-up restaurants, a gym and a sauna to open. 

The proposed new sites include a sauna facility along Sandbanks beach and a gym on the beach along Undercliff Drive. 

Three other unspecified sites are being proposed, with one next to Bournemouth Pier and two along Undercliff Drive. 

A statement on the proposals from the council said: “BCP Council are looking to populate the sites at the Bournemouth beach with innovative and stylish pop-up restaurants, a gym facility and beach sauna to serve both residents and visitors to the area. 

Bournemouth Echo: Proposed beach gym site in Undercliff DriveProposed beach gym site in Undercliff Drive (Image: BCP Council)

“These proposals are part of the wider Seafront Strategy which aims at enhancing the BCP Council seafront, for both residents and tourists.” 

Pop-up bars and restaurants along the seafront have received criticism from traders in Bournemouth town centre, with business owners saying the pop-ups keep people within the seafront and Lower Gardens. 

Read more: Bournemouth beach to get a new seafront restaurant

The owner of Wild Fish and Chips, which recently closed in Old Christchurch Road, said temporary shops and restaurants are “killing the high street”, adding: “I pay high business rates, my rent is £55,000 a year – you wait for the summertime when tourists come down and hope trade then will pay for things.   

Bournemouth Echo: Another unspecified proposal on the east side of Bournemouth PierAnother unspecified proposal on the east side of Bournemouth Pier (Image: BCP Council)

“But the council allowed everybody to serve food from the beach so people would rather not come here and buy their food because it can be done at the beach.” 

A BCP Council spokesman said: “We are very aware of the challenges that are facing all businesses and residents across the BCP region at the moment, but we are working hard to mitigate the situation and maximise all the fantastic assets and ongoing projects that the town of Bournemouth has to offer. 

Read more: Southbourne beach to get a new ‘Miami South Beach’ restaurant

“Bournemouth is a vibrant, dynamic resort with an extraordinary number and variety of bars, restaurants and cafes along the seafront and throughout the town.  

Bournemouth Echo: The proposed sauna site in SandbanksThe proposed sauna site in Sandbanks (Image: BCP Council)

“Seasonal pop-up establishments add to the attraction of the whole region during the summer, encouraging visitors to stay longer resulting in a positive economic impact for everyone.  

“Chip shops, pizzerias, bistros, cocktail bars and Japanese restaurants all co-exist in Bournemouth to offer a wide choice to visitors and residents alike.” 

The spokesman added thousands are drawn into central Bournemouth because of the Chine Forest art installation, Bobby’s Department Store in The Square and the Air Festival, amongst other things.