Student architects help Poole, England revitalize its downtown and waterfront

Student architects from Arts University Bournemouth are being drafted in to help revitalise Poole town centre.

The students are tasked with generating ideas as to how the historical and architectural features of town centre buildings can be restored, and how empty properties can be revitalized.

This task has been set by business leaders, who are members of Poole’s recently-agreed business improvement district (BID).

Poole BID director Gabi Naish said: “Poole has declined both as a retail and visitor destination over the last 20 years and major intervention is needed to reverse this. The BID aims to bring back the traditional life and vitality of the high street which will attract crowds as in the past.

The Poole Town Centre Partnership works to improve the vitality and viability of Poole Town Centre, and to provide a forum for Town Centre Management by bringing together stakeholders in the town centre to work in partnership, whether they be private sector, public sector or community representatives and to co-ordinate their activities towards a common goal. Currently they work in partnership with other groups including the Council, Poole Tourism Management Board, Association of Town Centre Management, crime reduction partnerships and any other organisations relating to the town centre.

The Poole Town Centre Partnership (PTCP) has representation from both private business and public services. The PTCP was led by an elected Management Board which met regularly throughout the year. It was managed day to day by the Town Centre Management Team. The work of the PTCP focused on the area of the Lower High Street, Old Town, The Quay, Dolphin Shopping Centre, and Town Centre North. The catchment area for visitors and investors is local, regional, national and international.

In relation to the BID, the PTCP identified that something needed to change to enable Poole to stay competitive in the local market and watched closely as Bournemouth, Wimborne, Dorchester, Ferndown, and other local towns have successfully gone through the BID process and made real differences to the vitality and vibrancy of those areas. The PTCP aimed to set the broad direction of the initiative taking into account the needs of all town centre partners and users and be the named leader of the consultation process.

The PTCP were successful in leading the town through to a successful ballot and have now passed ownership of the BID to the BID Board of Directors and Poole BID Ltd.

Photo by Chris Wood via Wikipedia.

See full article by Jim Durkin in The Daily Echo.

See Poole BID website.

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