A BEACHFRONT leisure complex is finally set to open its doors after nearly two years of anticipation.

Rockwater will officially open at the former café on Branksome Chine beach in late September, much to the delight of its “relieved” owner.

Modelled on his successful Rockwater Village concept in Brighton, Luke Davis told the Echo he looks forward to “winning over” scores of residents who initially objected to the plans.

The multi-million-pound transformation of the former Branksome Chine beach café was approved by BCP Council in January and has been described as “so much more” than a bar and restaurant.

Dorset Echo: Rockwater at Branksome beachRockwater at Branksome beach (Image: China Cooper)

Mr Davis said: “I am beyond relieved. It has been a stressful journey but now I’m just excited for people to see what we’ve done and not have to speculate anymore.

“People who worry it will be a Love Island or Benidorm kind of party site should know that it couldn’t be further from the truth.

“This is so much more than a bar and restaurant, I’ve always said this is a community hub to suit all moods and personalities.”

The refurbished space now boasts a ground floor bar, restaurant and lounge, along with an upstairs terrace boasting uninterrupted sea views.

Dorset Echo: Rockwater at Branksome beachRockwater at Branksome beach (Image: Newsquest)

Daylight hitting the glass front of the building will also illuminate artwork from the Helm Gallery in Brighton.

Activities to be offered at the site include yoga classes, guided sea swims, book clubs, paint workshops and cocktail making masterclasses.

Mr Davis added: “I wanted to create a space that takes people from early morning through to late night – with something for everyone.

“The space will offer a packed calendar of events, whether wellness and relaxation is what you are after, or something a little more high tempo.

“We hope to become the coastal go-to for people to enjoy incredible food, drinks and a sense of belonging to a like-minded community.”

Dorset Echo: Luke Davis, founder of RockwaterLuke Davis, founder of Rockwater

An outside dining space with decking is also planned to open at the end of September.

Luke also revealed construction work on a sister Rockwater site in Sandbanks would commence in October, with the intention to open the following spring.

A final opening date for Branksome Rockwater will be announced in the coming weeks.

In total, the project is expected to exceed £13m.