A cutting edge eco hub, made from old wooden seaside defences and wood from a German shipyard has opened on Bournemouth seafront.
The beach-based venue at Durley Chine, which has been designed to be as sustainable as possible, includes six unisex toilets and a waste management hub to handle the 2,000 tons of rubbish removed from our beaches every year.
The building reuses 45 tons of timber recycled from the seafront’s old groynes and seven tonnes of timber reclaimed from a German naval shipyard.
The main building is built to Passivhaus standards, an internationally recognised standard for buildings that are highly energy efficient and features a green roof to support greater biodiversity.
Visitors are now welcome to buy hot and cold drinks, snacks and icecream from the kiosk and toilets from 10 February and take a seat in the decked area, which can be used for events or exhibitions.
To reduce plastic waste on site the kiosk will not sell any products wrapped in single use plastic and will use returnable cups instead – a model the council will trial to then roll out across its other seafront catering sites if successful.
The long-term aim remains to develop the venue into an education space for residents, visitors, schools and families to drive a step change in behaviour and build environmental guardianship of our coastline.
Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport, BCP Council said: “I’m delighted this incredible building has now been finished and welcome all to come and enjoy the kiosk with its stunning views of the sea.
“I look forward to when we can bring the venue to life as a lively education space for all to enjoy, but till then we remain committed to creating a low impact tourist destination for everyone to benefit from.”
BCP Council’s Waste Transfer Yard, licenced by the Environment Agency, sits to the east of the main building, and will be used to as a holding yard for litter and debris collected from the beaches every year.
Welfare facilities will be provided for the cleaning team, who start on site at 3am in the summer months to rake the beaches on tractors and litter pick before visitors arrive.
Cllr Anderson said: “This building forms part of our ambition to be an eco-friendly holiday destination. Preventing single use plastic in the first place rather than collecting it from our beaches is part of our vision and last year’s installation of 150 water refill points has helped save thousands of plastic bottles from our shoreline already, with 19,000 saved during July alone.
“We had 400 more bins along the coastline, stepped up litter collections and trialled initiatives such as toy libraries, where children’s beach toys could be recycled and reused.
“We also trialled coffee reuse schemes at two BCP owned café and cigarette ‘ballot bins’, which engaged smokers with provocative questions and asked them to cast a “vote” with their cigarette butt.
“This year we will be building on our efforts by introducing littering fines from spring and alongside this, our Environment Team are working with local primary schools to develop an Environment Award scheme.
“We are committed to caring for our beautiful coastline and protecting it for generations to come. The completion of this building, with its kiosk and waste management hub, is an important step on that journey.”
The building was funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. It will be officially named later in the year.