Bournemouth's Blue Flags Saved!

Bournemouth's Blue Flags abandon by BCP Council, have been saved by Local Businesses!

The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria. Bournemouth has retained the international Blue Flag award status since it was first introduced in 1996 and as of 2023 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have now secured 12 Blue Flag awards. 

Why is it important 

  • Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag or Seaside Award can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.
  • It is only presented to well-managed beaches with water quality defined as ‘excellent’ under the EU Bathing Water Directive, while Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England.
  • Tourism is one of our most important industries and Blue Flag status elevates us above other UK beach destinations, contributing to our strong visitor economy valued at £1.3bn per year and supporting thousands of jobs.
  • It ensures we maintain our beaches at the standard residents expect and that the council makes the appropriate investment to keep them that way.
  • Because of decades of innovation & investment by Bournemouth Council, our seafront generates surplus £ millions every year to spend on other services.

What awards and recognitions do our beaches have

  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have now secured 12 Blue Flag awards for Alum Chine beachDurley Chine beachFisherman’s Walk beachSouthbourne beachBranksome ChineCanford CliffsShore RoadSandbanksFriars CliffAvon BeachHighcliffe and Manor Steps
  • We have also secured a total of 14 Seaside Awards for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
  • Combined with Poole’s 4 Blue Flags, the bay holds more Blue Flags than any other beach destination in the UK.
  • Bournemouth is listed as the no. 1 UK beach by stylish website ACHICA Living.
  • Parkdean Resorts named Hengistbury Head the UK’s best beach for a stargazing staycation with Bournemouth Beach coming in close behind at number 4 on their list.
  • Bournemouth was one of only four beaches to be included on Trip Advisor’s list of the 25 best beaches in Europe 2023.
  • Bournemouth has been ranked as the NUMBER ONE beach in the UK by TripAdvisor 2023. Among the many voters comments, praising the golden sand, brilliant walks, cleanliness and stunning views, was this from visitor Daisy700 that sums it up perfectly - 'Couldn't believe how beautiful it was"'

BCP Council

  • In a bid to reduce costs BCP Council has wrongly turned its attention to Tourism and our beautiful beaches loved by everyone.
  • Blue Flag accreditation costs around £10,000 per year, so will have almost zero impact on the Council's £350m budget.
  • Removing investment in Tourism and lowering our standards will have a detrimental impact on our reputation, economy and jobs.

Campaign Update

  • Local businesses were surprised and disappointed that the council withdrew funding from these awards, which measure the quality of our beaches and seawater.
  • Businesses including the Destination Management Board, business improvement districts (BIDs) and independents, stepped in to save the award.
  • Businesses which are contributing include Coastal BID, Bournemouth Town Centre BID, Christchurch BID, Poole BID, Fired Up Collective, Nusara Thai, Rockwater, FJB Hotels, Noisy Lobster, Sobo Beach and The Beach House.

Tobias Ellwood said "BCP Council removing funding from the Blue Flag Scheme was incredibly short sighted and showed a lack of understanding of the importance of tourism to the local economy. For such a small amount of money it would have been much more productive for the council to speak to tourism partners, rather than just turn away. Our hospitality sector deserve praise for agreeing to support these important awards."





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