Construction & Property

Published: February 18, 2022 | Updated: February 18, 2022

Groundbreaking hub is set to play key role in turning the tide on waste & single use plastic

Andrew Brown, BCP Council’s Seafront Operations Manager (left) and Phil Ware, Site Manager, on the site of the Durley Environmental Innovation Hub. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It’s set to play a central role in turning the tide on waste and single use plastic and packaging.

The £2.4m Durley Environmental Innovation Hub, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, is taking shape on Bournemouth seafront.

Weather conditions and Covid restrictions allowing, it’s hoped completion will be within the next few months.

The hub will allow both residents, and the 13 million visitors flocking to BCP’s beaches annually, the opportunity to explore, and understand, the environmental impacts of packaging, waste and climate change on the UK’s fragile coasts.

And with around 2,000 tons of waste removed from BCP’s beaches every year, costing £1 million, the hub will take a lead on recycling in public spaces.

It will act as a centre of focus for BCP Council’s efforts to educate and change behaviours along the seafront.

In addition to the groundbreaking hub, the building will house a new kiosk and toilet facilities, together with welfare facilities for essential services linked to the nearby waste transfer yard.

The development is being built to high environmental standards, taking into consideration the whole lifecycle of the building.

The education building – or Seaside School – has adopted a zero-carbon strategy and Passivhaus accreditation, the German-originated build-design ensuring buildings meet high environmental standards.

Timber reclaimed from former BCP seafront groynes has been used to clad the building and also act as roof joists on other buildings in the project.

A special type of concrete that uses a recycled by-product from the iron industry has further helped reduce the carbon footprint of the project.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels have been fixed to the roof while the building insulation includes materials manufactured from recycled newspapers and magazines.

Partners in the project include City to Sea.

The environmental not-for-profit organisation was commissioned by BCP Council to produce the first report of its kind looking at developing a more sustainable approach to the seafront across BCP.

‘Turning the tide – developing a low impact destination’ set out an ambitious three-year plan for the council to reduce single-use plastic, and replace with refill and reuse, with the hub playing a key role.

Andrew Brown, pictured right, BCP Council’s Seafront Operations Manager, heads up the team which operates 18 kiosks and two cafes, contributing £2 million to local services, and is also landlord for 43 other seafront located businesses.

Since 2017, measures introduced by BCP’s seafront catering team to reduce the use of plastic include:

  • Supplying soft drinks in cans rather than bottles
  • Replacing plastic straws, cutlery and ice cream spoons with paper, metal or wooden versions
  • Supporting the Refill drinking water scheme
  • Using compostable bamboo disposable cups

Andrew said: “I’m absolutely passionate about the Environmental Innovation Hub and the benefits it will bring.

“This has been the most incredible project to be involved with and I feel very excited at the positive impact it will have both now and for future generations.”

His enthusiasm is shared by Phil Ware, Site Manager, with 40+ years in the building trade.

Up to 30 people have been working on the hub at any one time.

Phil, pictured left, said: “Projects like this this come along very rarely.

“I feel genuinely proud to be working on this.

“It’s very personal and also unique.

“Without question a career highlight for me and something I will always look back on with great pride.”

  • You can follow progress on the hub by clicking here.