A MAJOR £1.75million project to build Bournemouth’s first overnight beach huts is underway.

The 15 units at Boscombe’s Manor Steps will be akin to miniature holiday homes, with each featuring six beds as well as a shower and toilet.

Approval for the council plan, aimed at attracting more families to the town, was granted earlier this year.

And now the authority has released an artist’s impression of the completed project and revealed the huts are expected to be completed by Easter next year.

They have been designed by Christchurch-based Ecologic Developments – best-known for making beach huts for private clients at Mudeford – and will be delivered fully assembled.

The company’s managing director Pete Samson told the Echo that work on the huts had already started.

“We have done a number of volume commissions before where we have built up to 100 huts at any one time for private clients, but this is the first council contract we have done,” he said.

“We are chuffed to be involved and very much looking forward to delivering it early next year.”

The wider development will also see a new refreshment kiosk installed at promenade level in addition to a small manned beach office.

Concerns have, however, been raised by users of existing beach huts in the area – 36 of which are being relocated to make way for the scheme.

Some have complained that they will lose their sea views in the process.

The council says the changes for the existing beach hut users will start in early September.

Cabinet member for tourism and leisure, Cllr Lawrence Williams, said: “The council highly values its existing beach hut tenants and is keen to invest in improvements to shared amenities in this area of the beach such as the toilets, lighting, kiosk and beach office, which this scheme enables us to deliver.”

New lighting will be installed along the length of the adjacent zig-zag path leading to the huts, and the council is trialling energy efficient solar powered options.

During the work, which will begin in September, the council says it will be necessary to limit access to the zig-zag.

Information signage will be placed at the top of the zig-zag and at promenade level. For more information, visit bournemouth.gov.uk/manorsteps