The project included removal of a tired, uninspiring concrete structure, worn paving and bog-standard benches. These were replaced with new paving, artist-designed seating, an orientation feature produced by Bridport Foundry and delineated motorbike parking lines in a radial pattern around the outside of the seating.

The new benches designed by artist Michael Pinsky were installed by crane. The benches are designed to reflect the curves and shapes of the local land and sea scape. They provide plenty of space for people to sit and enjoy local food with a great view; a place to relax with family and friends.

The open space in the centre allows for uninterrupted views across the harbour and river. In the middle, a bronze plaque made locally by Bridport Foundry has been installed, featuring points of the compass and signposting to locations in West Bay.

The benches also provide a backdrop to showcase the many motorbikes which regularly gather at West Bay. The bikes park around the outside of the benches, keeping the inner circle free for visitors and residents to sit, relax and eat away from the traffic.

Artist Michael Pinsky's original illustration

Part of the project included replacing out of date and damaged interpretation panels, including outside the Salt House, at the end of the pier, along the Old Railway Line and 8 replacement beach safety panels.

One of the safety panels, installed 2020
New interpretation panel on the Old Railway Line, installed 2022. The project included widening and resurfacing the multi-user route and installing artist designed cycle parking.

The West Bay work was made possible through Coastal Communities funding, together with financial support from a number of other organisations, including the South West Coast Path Association. It has been an excellent example of how working with a wide range of partners, and consulting closely with the community, can reap rewards, and create an inspirational space for locals and visitors.

The project was part of “People and Places”, a Dorset Coast Forum coordinated portfolio of 18 projects working together along the Dorset coast, all funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.