What was once a genteel seaside town in a quiet bay has transformed itself in the past 10 years into a mecca of clubs and bars to rival Brighton. The council’s latest idea to banish the town’s “Costa Geriatrica” image is to make it the UK’s surf capital. The council is assessing the feasibility of building an artificial reef that would divert waves to bring about the sort of “tubes” found in Hawaii.

Less ambitious are plans to redevelop the run-down Boscombe area and the dilapidated Boscombe Pier. The project hinges on the council finding a housebuilder to develop a residential scheme on the seafront. Revenue from the scheme would go towards the estimated £2m needed to revamp the pier plus commercial developments to tart up the area.

The pedestrianised town square opened in February, with new landscaped walks leading from the square to the Lower Pleasure Gardens.