BROADCHURCH is being given the credit for beating the recession in West Dorset – and there are calls for its Bridport creator to be given the keys to the town.

Steve Attrill who runs the Watchhouse Café in West Bay, the Hive Beach HQ and the Hive Beach Café in Burton Bradstock said Chris Chibnall should be hailed a hero and given the keys to Bridport.

He said: “All in all everywhere did well over the bank holiday weekend. The weather was in our favour and there was the Broadchurch effect.

“I would suggest Chris be given the key to Bridport and I would like to put his name forward.

“He has brought Bridport and West Bay out of the recession.

“Now the only downside is there is nowhere to park.

“I would suggest Bridport is about the only town in Britain which has actually got people driving away from it because they can’t get parked. And that’s wicked if that is the case.”

Mr Attrill suggested on dry days Asker Meadows could be opened up for parking, which could bring in income, and The Melplash Society should be asked for the use of one of its paddocks.

He added: “As far as we are concerned things are fantastic. We have some coaches already booked for the Broadchurch tours run by Natalie Manifold.

“We have our rickshaws starting up for Whitsun and we will be doing little cycle tours around the bay.”

Mr Attrill said Easter had also been a great success.

“I have never seen the town so vibrant. It’s been a long time coming but the old golden goose has landed in Bridport.”

He said social media had also played an enormous part in boosting the area.

The power boat races were also a popular draw.

It was the first time the Royal Yacht Association national powerboat racing championships have been held in West Bay.

West Dorset District Council leader Robert Gould said: "The weather was perfect and it is wonderful that the event was so well received by the public.

"We think the Broadchurch effect also may have helped entice many holidaymakers down to the area, and we are hoping this continues across the summer and beyond.”

West Bay harbour master James Radcliffe said: "The powerboat event was very successful, and went without any issues. There was a fantastic 'buzz' at West Bay throughout the long weekend. I have since received lots of complimentary messages from the organisers and members of the public.

"I'm delighted that the public enjoyed watching it. Organisers and participants were made to feel very welcome and I'm pleased to say the harbour operations ran smoothly.

"I would also like to thank all harbour users for their co-operation over the weekend."

Race organiser Robert McCarthy added: “The weekend went really well and seemed to attract a good crowd and all seemed to enjoy it. We had an excellent weekend which was helped by the local hospitality and we were made to feel really welcome.”