IT’S official! Weymouth is one of the sunniest places in the country.

Tourism chiefs have long been highlighting the great climate enjoyed in the resort.

And true to form the sun was shining yesterday as the town was named the third sunniest spot in the UK.

The seaside town came third in a list that ranks places in the UK by the hours of sunshine they saw in 2011.

Philip Eden, a meteorologist, compiled the list. He found that Weymouth enjoyed 1,890 hours of sunshine last year sending thousands to the town’s beach.

Dorset weatherman Bob Poots noted that the town’s sunniest day was July 2, with 14 hours and 48 minutes of sunshine.

The town can expect to see an average of 1,855 hours and 18 minutes of sunshine each year.

Matt Ryan, head of tourism and events at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “I am delighted Weymouth has been recognised as the third sunniest place in the country.

“The council is working hard to promote leisure and tourism throughout Weymouth and Port-land.

“The area has many wonderful attractions and a beautiful coastline, which attracts tourists, but nice weather always helps too.”

Eastbourne, in East Sussex, ranked top of the list with 1,962 hours of sunshine, and Kin-lochewe, Scotland, came last with just 855 hours.

But the figures come after a disappointing July and August that were actually below average on sunshine for Dorset.

According to Mr Poots, August 2011 was the wettest on record for the county.

A warm spell in April and an Indian summer in October made up for it though.

October saw 139.5 hours of sunshine, well above the average amount. August, saw just 202 hours.

And with 257 hours in April, compared to the expected average of 196.2, the month was the third sunniest on record.

The heat waves brought holidaymakers to the town, seeking out sun, sea and sand – a welcome economic boost after a drizzly summer.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council estimate that the summer rain cost them £22,732 in lack of deckchair hire and use of the land train.

Peter Scott, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “A bit of good news from time to time can work wonders, so this will come as a ray of hope in these difficult times.

“Watch out for the massive influx of tourists this will produce and make sure the ice cream kiosks are open.”

Top 10 sun spots

Top 10 sun spots by hours of sunshine in 2011.

• Eastbourne - 1,962

• Jersey airport - 1,913

• Weymouth - 1,890

• Guernsey airport - 1,857

• Manston, Kent - 1,824

• East Malling, Kent - 1,765

• Southampton - 1,755

• Herstmonceux, East Sussex - 1,703

• Norwich - 1,667

• Whipsnade, Bedfordshire - 1,665