The biggest beach volleyball event in the country has been saved following concerns it would have to be scrapped amid funding problems.

Organisers of the 2024 Weymouth Beach Volleyball Classic have confirmed it will be going ahead later this month following new support - though there are still fears for its long-term survival.

The Dorset Echo - which highlighted the struggles faced by organisers - has been praised for helping to promote the event and encouraging supporters to come forward. 

As previously reportedorganisers said the event was in jeopardy when Weymouth Town Council withdrew funding and told them they would be charged £1,500 to use the beach.

This came after a rethink of beach events. 

Read more: Future of prestigious beach volleyball event in doubt after funding withdrawn

The Classic was the first-ever beach volleyball event held in Britain when it began in 1983 and has been held on the sands in the summer ever since for the past 40 years.

It remains Britain’s most prestigious event and was described by beach volleyball legend Denise Austin as the "Wimbledon" of the sport.

The 2021 final of the women's event in WeymouthThe 2021 final of the women's event in Weymouth (Image: Newsquest)

In a major boost, Classic organisers said the council's beach fee has been withdrawn this year and new sponsors have been found, so the event is going ahead.

Event Co-Directors Pete Bennett and Graeme Sawyer said: “We are very grateful that since the article in the Echo, Ultra Maritime and the Mervyn Stewkesbury Foundation Trust have added their support to We are Weymouth and Nantes and that combined with the town council withdrawing their beach fee for this year this has made the event viable, although with some limitations.

“We are hoping as many people as possible will come along to support the event to show what a popular attraction it is for the town.

"We would also like to thank UKBT, our governing body, for all the support and assistance that they give us and for the people of Weymouth who have shown us fantastic support."

Action from the men's final at the Weymouth Classic in 2023Action from the men's final at the Weymouth Classic in 2023 (Image: GRAHAM HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY)

The long-term future is still in doubt as it is understood that the town council may levy the charge next year.

Nonetheless, organisers say they are thrilled to be able to hold it again this year.

Read more: 'The Wimbledon of the beach' - Classic serves up treat in Weymouth

The competition will take place from Thursday, July 25 to Sunday, July 28 on the summer courts on Weymouth Beach.

Weymouth Town Council said in a statement: "We are happy to support this international event, and wish the organisers every success."

The council would not comment on why it was no longer charging organisers a fee this year.

We Are Weymouth (BID), and Nantes Solicitors are once again sponsoring the event with Ultra Maritime and Mervyn Stewkesbury Foundation Trust also stepping in to provide the additional funding the event required.

Chief Operations Officer for We Are Weymouth, Dawn Rondeau-Irvine said: “Once again We Are Weymouth is thrilled to be one of the main sponsors alongside Nantes, Ultra Maritime and the Mervyn Stewkesbury Foundation Trust for the Weymouth Beach Volleyball Classic.

"Not only does this event showcase the town’s award-winning beach, but it brings visitors to the town before, during and after the event - all making the most of what Weymouth has to offer.

"We’re very proud to be contributing to an event that has been held in Weymouth for the past 43 years - what a superb legacy for the town.”