Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) and Historic England welcomed MP Sir Robert Syms to a celebration of Poole’s ceramics heritage as part of the town’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).
Sir Robert met ceramics artist Freya Gabie whose project ‘All Fired Up!’ has given local people the chance to create new pottery inspired by Poole’s ceramics heritage. Local groups including The Blind Association, Carers First, and Bournemouth and Poole College took part. The project closed with a public exhibition of 25 new pieces of work.
‘All Fired Up!’ is part of the Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone, a partnership between Historic England and BCP Council to invest £1.5m in the regeneration of the historic town centre.
Over the next three years, the HSHAZ will support businesses to bring vacant properties and upper floors back into use, redevelop Scaplen’s Court as part of the Rediscovering Poole’s Maritime Heritage project, and see improvements to public spaces. Alongside this, a programme of cultural activities will celebrate Poole and attract new audiences and visitors.
Ross Simmonds, Acting Regional Director at Historic England, said: “We were delighted to introduce Sir Robert to the exciting work we are doing with BCP Council to regenerate Poole by tapping into its unique selling point – its cultural heritage. The HSHAZ will bring its distinctive buildings back into use and celebrate Poole’s stories.”
Sir Robert Syms MP said: “The buildings and histories of our town centre make Poole unique and have huge potential to give it a competitive edge. I’m delighted that Historic England and BCP Council are making such a major investment in our town and I look forward to seeing progress over the coming years.”
Cllr Steve Baron, Lead Member for Ecology, Biodiversity and Poole Regeneration, BCP Council, said: “It was great to share our plans for Poole’s regeneration with Sir Robert today. We have big ambitions for the HSHAZ - we want to turn dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops, businesses and community spaces. We’re confident that by giving the High Street a new lease of life and celebrating our cultural heritage, we will kickstart economic recovery.”
To find out more about the Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone visit: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/poole/
The ‘All Fired Up!’ project blog is available at https://allfiredupproject.tumblr.com/