Digital & IT

Published: July 5, 2021 | Updated: July 6, 2021

‘Tremendous pride’ as beach app developed by BCP Council wins backing from the government

The view from Bournemouth’s West Cliff. Picture: BCP Tourism.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Europe’s first innovative beach check app devised by BCP Council following a surge in visitors last summer is set to go national after being backed by central government.

Launched in July 2020 to help beach-goers comply with social distancing after visitors flocked to the coast in their thousands, the BCPBeachCheck app has now become Beach Check UK.

It is being funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Local Digital Collaboration Unit and will be available at a number of popular tourist destinations across the UK.

Providing a live traffic light system indicating busy areas (red), less busy areas (amber) and those areas with plenty of space available (green), the app is free to download and available from Google Play and the Apple App Store for anyone wanting to find their hot spot without the hotspot.

The app was demonstrated to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on his recent trip to Bournemouth.

He is pictured (second right) with (left to right) Tobias Ellwood, Bournemouth East MP; Cllr Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader, BCP Council, and Cllr Drew Mellow, Leader, BCP Council.

Cllr Broadhead said: “It is with tremendous pride that we can now formally announce that BCP Council is leading the way to promote much-needed technology, in an effort to encourage the public to keep themselves safe.”

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, added: “The timing is great to have this Beach Check app for the start of summer.

“It’s free and easy to download and helps people find the right spots with less congestion.

“We’re also adding a lot more so that people can find parking places and toilets, places to eat and attractions on offer.

“It’s part of our offer to help people stay safe and have a great time.”

Luke Hall MP, Local Government Minister, said: “We want everyone to safely enjoy a well-deserved summer this year, while continuing to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.

“That’s why the government is funding Europe’s first innovative beach check app to allow people to check whether beaches are busy before travelling to avoid a surge of visitors.

“This will allow coastal communities to carefully welcome back visitors and will help local areas bounce back from the hardship faced by the pandemic.”

The app has been widely promoted to other UK local authorities through the National Coastal Tourism Academy.