Hannah Carnell opens the doors of her beach hut for the first time with children Romilly, Lucien and Eliot

Tenants of the council’s new beach huts along Marine Walk in Folkestone have been picking up their keys with great excitement.

The ambitious regeneration project has seen 35 of the original structures retained and refurbished – together with the installation of 80 new wooden ones, in both large and smaller sizes.

Designs by the celebrated artist Rana Begum, which incorporates 118 different paint colours, have been implemented by Folkestone & Hythe District Council officers and will form part of the upcoming Folkestone Triennial programme.

All previous tenants were given the opportunity to have a beach hut in the same location as the one previously leased to them. The remaining huts were then allocated – in date order – to those on the waiting list.

One of the lucky tenants is Hannah Carnell, who opened the doors of her beach hut for the first time with children Romilly, Lucien and Eliot.

She said: “I’m very excited, particularly after the year we’ve just had. It will be great to spend more time with the kids and meet people down here – there’s a real sense of community already.

“I love the look, a lot of thought has clearly gone into the design – not only are the beach huts functional they are also attractive. The whole project really lifts the seafront and is a great asset for Folkestone.”

Due to the popular demand, the waiting list for beach huts is closed.

The council has also carried out work on improving the surrounding area, including repairing retaining walls and replacing ramps and steps.

A Folkestone & Hythe District Council spokesperson said: “The new beach huts have brought about a much-needed improvement to the area, and it’s fantastic to see people now setting up their beach huts for the summer months.

“They have a head-turning paint scheme as part of this year’s Folkestone Triennial, which means that tenants not only have their own space but are a part of art history too.”

Following the success of the project, the council is now looking at other sites across the district to potentially increase its beach hut and tourism offering.

By Ed

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