Boscombe £3.2m surf reef being repaired after boat damage

The artificial surf reef off Boscombe, Dorset
Image caption ASR Ltd, the firm which built the reef, is due to carry out further refinement work in August.

Repair work is being carried out on the artificial surf reef, off Dorset, after it was damaged by a boat.

ASR, the firm that built the reef, will renew the second of two sand bags on the £3.2m underwater reef in Boscombe after it became detached.

The reef has been closed since March after an inspection discovered there had been changes to its shape.

Bournemouth Borough Council said the work is being paid for with funds previously allocated for improvements.

It plans to claim the money back from its insurer so the refinement works can still go ahead.

The authority's executive director, Tony Williams, said: "We continue to press our insurers for the earliest possible decision on our claim, so that we can restart our discussions with ASR on refinement works to enhance performance."

Payments withheld

The reef was created to enhance waves using 55 giant sand-filled bags, which are 740ft (225m) out at sea.

The reef opened in November 2009 after lengthy delays and running over budget, as part of the regeneration of Boscombe seafront.

It has been criticised for not working properly but many traders have argued it has added to the regeneration of the once-rundown area.

The council has withheld £150,000 from New Zealand-based ASR Ltd after a specialist report found the reef had not achieved all of its objectives.

It had been due to pay £55,000 when refinement work was finished and a further £95,000 if the improvements were successful.

ASR Ltd has denied the reef failed and said it was only one of the criteria, the wave lengths, where it had not met the requirements.

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