Temporary barriers should be installed at Swanage next week, to protect parts of the town centre from flooding.

The seasonal defences are due to be deployed by the Environment Agency in a bid to protect the lower High Street area.

Meanwhile, longer-term plans to improve permanent flood defences for the town centre have taken a step forward ­– with Swanage Town Council agreeing to fund project development work by Dorset Coast Forum.

These plans, which are jointly funded by the town council and Dorset Council, aim to also enhance public spaces around the flood defences.

Swanage Town Mayor Mike Bonfield said: "We are pleased to be pushing ahead with this substantial programme of works which will greatly benefit our town centre’s businesses and residents.

"Particularly, providing much improved flood defences which will be fit for purpose for years to come, and reduce the need for unsightly temporary defences which are about to be deployed for this winter."

The work is being developed by a partnership of organisations known as the Swanage Coastal Change Forum.

Swanage Town Council, the Environment Agency and a partnership of coastal engineers from Dorset Council and BCP Council, will each lead on aspects of the work, which will be co-ordinated by Dorset Coast Forum.

Neil Watson from the Environment Agency said: “A series of floods from the sea in recent years have caused significant problems around the lower High Street.

"We are installing seasonal flood barriers to reduce that flood impact and supporting investigations into the long term solution.”

The temporary defences are due to be deployed by the Environment Agency for the 2019/20 winter season in the week commencing October 14.

They are scheduled to arrive over the course of a few days.

Dorset Coast Forum is currently planning engagement sessions next spring where members of the public can have their say on planned proposals for long-term alternatives.