This 2.5 year project is creating public realm improvements in a central part of West Bay, which has become known as the ‘West Bay hub’.
The West Bay hub will be open in time for Christmas! There is still a bit of finishing off to do on the benches which will happen early in the new year but in the meantime, the area will be open for everyone to enjoy.
The project included removal of a tired, uninspiring concrete structure, worn paving and bog-standard benches, and replacement with new paving which reflects that used on West Bay pier, artist-designed seating, an orientation feature produced by Bridport Foundry and delineated motorbike parking lines in a radial pattern.
The new benches designed by artist Michael Pinsky have been 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 idea is that 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.
The resin outer surface has now been laid (19th Dec) and needs a few days to set. The West Bay hub will be open for all to enjoy in time for Christmas!
New interpretation panels have also replaced the out-of-date, damaged ones outside the Salt House and at the end of the pier. These look fresh and vibrant and help people understand the local stories of West Bay and the geology of the coastline.
The West Bay work has been 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 help create an inspirational and unique facility for the local community and visitors.
The project is 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.