Category Archives: News & Events

Christmas in Poole 2018

Christmas arrives at Poole High Street

Christmas arrives at Poole High Street on Thursday, November 29, and brings with it a host of free, family-friendly events to celebrate the season.

Head to Falkland Square on Thursday, November 29, for a day of free festive entertainment from 11am until 7.30pm. The lights will be switched on by The Worshipful Mayor of Poole, Councillor Sean Gabriel, alongside Dick Whittington pantomime stars and special guests at 5.45pm.

Friday, November 30, is a day of live entertainment and Christmas classics outside the Dolphin Shopping Centre from 11am until 7pm.

Following that, a day of children’s entertainment, face painting, games, activities and magic shows will take place on Saturday, December 1. Professor Bubblewubble will also be performing his live show.

The weekend’s festivities culminate with the annual Santa Parade on Sunday, December 2. Santa will arrive at 11am on Poole Quay, transported by City Cruises, after which the procession will lead through the town to Falkland Square. Santa will be joined on his sleigh by The Worshipful Mayor of Poole, Councillor Sean Gabriel, and Dick Whittington pantomime stars.

Also starring in the parade is The Dolphin Marching Band, Shining Bright Like A Star, and children from the Old Town Infant School and Nursery. Everyone is encouraged to come down in fancy dress and join the parade.

After the parade, Step Back in Time at Scaplen’s Court, from 12pm until 3pm, and soak up the festive atmosphere of Christmas past, with historical crafts for all ages.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “This Christmas we’ve got a whole host of different activities and free entertainment lined up for the whole family to enjoy. We want to make sure that everyone is supporting their local high street this festive season, there’s so much on offer and something for everyone.

“We’ve also got a giant Christmas snow globe for the perfect Christmas selfie, and a cosy outdoor seating area where everyone can enjoy hot drinks and a bite to eat.”

As well as the opening weekend, Poole BID will be hosting a series of Christmas movie nights on Thursdays throughout December with family favourites such as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Santa Clause the Movie and Happy Feet. Showings take place outside Sainsbury’s at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Parking for late night shopping will be free in all Borough of Poole car parks in the town centre on Thursdays from November 29, 6pm until 9pm, and on Sundays from Sunday, December 2, 10am until 6pm. In addition, morebus will run a free park and ride service between Creekmoor Park and Ride site and Dolphin Shopping Centre every 15 minutes from 8am until 6pm.

Poole BID Christmas 2018 Flyer





Autumn Budget Statement

Helen Challis, Poole BID director and partner of Quay Holidays, commented: “It is no secret that Poole High Street, like many others, has struggled and therefore, this Autumn Budget announcement reducing business rates by a third for all retailers with a rateable value of £51,000 or less is a welcome change for small businesses on the High Street.

“A combination of reduced business rates, improved public realm and greater awareness of what Poole has to offer will help to rejuvenate our town and the BID looks forward to hearing more about the delivery of this additional funding to local areas.

“We are also interested to see how the Future High Streets Funding plans will be implemented, in order for the High Street to thrive it must be future-proofed. The £650million fund must be spent wisely in order to ensure that it creates the most effective plans.”

Poole's Mayor, Cllr Sean Gabriel, takes on the zombies

Poole Zombie Fest takes over the High Street

The town’s first ever Zombie Fest took place in Poole on Saturday, October 27. The free, family-friendly event ran all day, with activities from 10am until late.

More than 300 zombies, ghosts and ghouls took part in the Zombie Parade, rounding off the day’s activities. Running from Falkland Square to Town Quay, and led by the Dolphin Marching Band, families and visitors of all ages were able to show off their costumes.

Attractions on the day included face painting and special effects make-up artists, pumpkin carving workshops, a pop-up escape room, VR games, an arts and crafts bus, provided by Cuddles Nursery, and entertainment from Jamie Jigsaw and Krazy Kev.

Following the day’s activities, Quayside Emporium hosted a free Hallowe’en party for families, and The Project Climbing Centre offered a night of UV climbing, live music and performances from Secret Circus.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “We are so pleased with how the first ever Poole Zombie Fest turned out. The feedback we’ve had so far has been excellent, everyone really seems to have enjoyed the event and we’ll be reviewing everything to see what improvements can be made when we look at planning for Hallowe’en 2019.

“We’ll be announcing the winner of our ‘Worst Dressed Zombie’ competition on social media this Wednesday so be sure to keep an eye out.”

The Poole Zombie Fest is coming for you

Countdown to Poole’s Zombie take over

The town’s first ever Zombie Fest will take place in Poole on Saturday, October 27. The free, family friendly event will run all day, with activities kicking off from 10am.

Attractions on the day include face painting and special effects make-up artists, themed stalls and traders, entertainment for the whole family, and a competition to find the ‘Worst Dressed Zombie’.

Head down the High Street for pumpkin carving workshops, opposite Café Nero, available until 2pm. Workshops are free and will last approximately 15 to 30 minutes – get your own pumpkin to carve and take home ready for Hallowe’en.

A free pop up escape room will be running between 10:30am and 3pm, with sessions bookable in advance on the Poole BID Facebook page and on Eventbrite. Enter ‘Checkpoint Alpha 42: Decontamination Zone’ to find the antidote to save yourself and Patient X.

The main Zombie Parade will gather in Falkland Square, outside the Dolphin Shopping Centre, at 3:30pm. Everyone will set off down the High Street at 4pm, ending up at Town Quay by 4:45pm.

A free bus service, known as Route 666 and provided by morebus, will run from 4pm circling the town between Poole Rail Station and Town Quay for all to use.

Quayside Emporium will be hosting a Hallowe’en party after the event for those looking to stay on Town Quay, complete with themed music, party games, mulled wine and cider, and spooky snacks. Free for all spooks and open 5pm until 8pm.

Alternatively, head to The Project Climbing Centre, located in Dolphin Shopping Centre, for a Blacklight UV Zombie Climbing Party. Running from 6pm until 11pm the event features live music from The Chicken Brothers, Diamond Faces will be providing UV face and body paint, and The Lookout Café will be running a bar in the main hall.

Tickets can be booked on Facebook and Eventbrite, ranging from free (for those not climbing, and the Project’s monthly and annual members) to £12 for non-members who would like to climb. There is a limit of one alcoholic drink per person if you wish to climb on the night.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “The final preparations are now underway ahead of the event. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone into the High Street for the day, there’s so much to do for people of all ages we’re sure that everyone will have a fantastic time.”

Poole BID Welcome Ambassadors Sarah and David

Poole High Street shortlisted in national award recognition

Poole High Street has been shortlisted as part of The Great British High Street Awards, sponsored by Visa.

To be shortlisted, the town had to showcase exemplary details in the following four categories:

  • Community – demonstrating the strength of the local community, initiatives, community & charitable programmes, and businesses that give back to the community through employment, skills and training.
  • Customer Experience – how the high street has improved, accessibility for disabled people, and providing more opportunities for people to interact and connect.
  • Environment – showcasing how the high street protects or improves the local environment, initiatives to improve sustainability and repairing the high street/improving aesthetics.
  • Digital Transformation – using digital connectivity, developing websites and apps, providing digital skills training to businesses and using these efforts to boost the high street experience.

The application was submitted in August by the Poole Business Improvement District (BID), and the Visa Great British High Street Award street team visited Poole in September for a tour around the high street and to engage with locals and visitors to highlight the awards.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “We are all incredibly proud of everything that Poole has achieved in the last 18 months, and while there’s still improvements to be made it’s great to be honoured on this national level. We’d like to encourage the public to show their support by posting on social media using the following hashtags – #GBHSPoole and #MyHighStreet – as public votes count towards the final outcome.”

Voting closes at midnight on Wednesday, 31 October. Visit for more details.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, BID Manager, Andy Byatt, Titan Leathercraft, Adam Keen, morebus, Jonathan Sibbett, Sibbett Gregory

New chairman and director for Poole BID

Poole BID has announced the appointment of Adam Keen as the new chairman for the organisation, and welcomes a new director to its management board.

Adam Keen, general manager of morebus, said: “I am honoured to have become the new chairman of the Poole BID – this is a very important time for the BID and I look forward to ensuring that the business plan is delivered to levy payers within the five-year term. Jonathan has been instrumental in leading the BID thus far, and I will relish the opportunity to take the reins and help plans develop further.”

In addition to this new appointment, Andy Byatt, owner of Titan Leathercraft, has joined the board as a director of Independent Retail. On joining the board, he said: “I’m looking forward to being a part of the board of directors and helping to shape the future of Poole’s high street, making it a progressive and lively place to live and trade.”

The Poole BID continues to be managed by Justin Hundley-Appleton, who took over the role in January of this year.

Justin added: “We’re positive that Adam will bring great leadership to the BID as we head towards the process of re-election in 2021. Jonathan Sibbett gave us a great start to the process and his knowledge and experience of Poole town centre has been valued by every one of us on the board.

“Andy’s experience working on Poole Quay provides us with valuable knowledge and his enthusiasm to get stuck in and help is greatly appreciated.”

To find out about other Poole BID board vacancies please click here.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, BID Manager, Jonathan Sibbett, Sibbett Gregory, Steve the bus driver and Adam Keen, morebus

Route 666 bound for Poole Zombie Fest

Local company morebus has arranged a free Route 666 bus to run during the evening’s festivities of Poole Zombie Fest, taking place in Poole town centre later this month.

Poole Zombie Fest is a free, family-friendly day of spook-tacular activities taking place within Falkland Square, in the Dolphin Shopping Centre on Saturday, October 27, starting from 10am. All visitors are encouraged to wear zombie fancy dress and visit the special effects stand, where experts will be on hand throughout the day to add the perfect finishing touches to their costumes ahead of the day’s festivities.

Adam Keen, general manager of morebus, commented: “We wanted to do something fun for the first ever Poole Zombie Fest and what better way than providing a free of charge route for all the zombies with our own ‘Spooky Steve’ behind the wheel.”

Route 666 will run from 4pm until 12am making stops throughout the town centre starting at Poole Rail Station to Lagland Street (for High Street), Lower High Street, and Poole Quay (Lord Nelson) every 20 minutes, with return journeys back to Poole Rail Station.

The free-to-enter Zombie Parade will begin gathering at Falkland Square at approximately 3:30pm and will travel along the high street to end at Town Quay at 4.45pm. Prizes will be awarded on the day for the ‘Worst Dressed’ zombies.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, BID manager, said: “We’ve got some great things planned for Poole Zombie Fest and are really looking forward to seeing everyone come down and have fun. There really will be something for everyone, no matter what your age.”

For the latest updates follow on Facebook and Twitter using #PooleZombieFest.

Actual Reality Arcade

Turning Poole Inside Out

Biennial arts festival Inside Out Dorset returns to the county in September, with its launch event sponsored by Poole BID.

The festival takes place from Friday 14 to Saturday September 22, and the opening weekend on Poole Quay will feature the following free installations and performances:

  • …sodade…, Cirque Rouages (France), 7.45pm – at twilight, French company Cirque Rouages present an enchanting show with endlessly turning wheels, tightrope performances and acrobats telling a story of migration and memory.
  • The Actual Reality Arcade, Matthew Harrison (UK), Friday 4pm – 9pm, Saturday 12pm – 9pm – inspired by classic arcade games, this is an interactive game zone. Pilot a spaceship across the galaxy to survive an onslaught of aliens in Defender, or shoot them down in the Space Invaders Gallery.
  • Rock the Boat Street Guitars, Friday 4pm – 9pm, Saturday 12pm – 9pm – five old sailing dinghies have been up-cycled into mini-stages and will be set up along Poole Quay. The boats provide sculptural shelter for acoustic guitars and ukuleles for passers-by to take part in impromptu performances.

Kate Wood, co-artistic director from Inside Out, commented: “We are looking forward to welcoming artists from all over Europe to perform in our distinctive county. The opportunity to present so many premieres by companies that have never worked in the UK before is very special. And with a host of new commissions it makes this year’s a festival not to be missed.”

Justin Hundley-Appleton, manager at Poole BID, added: “We’re really looking forward to the return of Inside Out this year, it’s always a quirky event on the calendar and it’ll be great to see some interesting installations throughout Poole Quay for everyone to get involved with.”

Other performances and activities will be taking place in Weymouth, Boscombe and Dorchester during the week-long festival of arts. Visit for more details including performance times.

Poole Zombie Fest

Poole Zombie Fest

Poole Zombie Fest

The first Zombie Fest, organised by Poole BID and Zombie Escapes HQ, will be taking over Poole High Street on Saturday, October 27, starting from 12pm.

Poole Zombie Fest is a free, family-friendly day of spook-tacular activities taking place within Falkland Square, in the Dolphin Shopping Centre. All visitors are encouraged to wear zombie fancy dress and visit the special effects team and the face painting stand, where experts will be on hand throughout the day to add the finishing touches to costumes, ahead of the Zombie Parade.

The free-to-enter Zombie Parade will begin at Falkland Square at approximately 4pm and will travel along the high street and end at the Town Quay at 4.45pm. Prizes will be awarded for the ‘Worst Dressed’ zombies.

A pop-up, zombie-themed escape room will be constructed in the centre of the Square and will immerse participants into the world of the undead and provide a frightfully good time to all those who dare to enter.

Other family-friendly activities include a zombie photo area which will provide photo mementos from the event, and fair rides for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Craft and food stands will be positioned along the high street and throughout Falkland Square, serving treats throughout the day.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, BID manager, said: “We’re really excited about the Poole Zombie Fest coming to town. It’s a great opportunity for our local businesses to pool together and show visitors what we have to offer. There will be all sorts of deals and discounts for those in fancy dress on the day as well as seeing what the different traders have to offer.

“I’m really looking forward to judging the ‘Worst Dressed’ zombie costume competition and seeing how creative everyone gets with their costumes, it’ll be a great day out for all the family.”

For the latest updates visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter using #PooleZombieFest.

Zombie Rules Zombie Parade 2018 Rules


For your fancy dress outfit:

Food & Drinks:

Delphino Lounge, Baffi , Antelope , Rope & Anchor , The Stable, Titan Leather-craft, Jo Jo’s kitchen on the Quay,


Poole BID - flowers to be placed in Poole town centre during June

Poole to bloom through the summer season

Poole BID will be decorating the high street of Poole next month as the Poole in Bloom initiative returns ahead of the summer holidays and peak tourism season.

212 planters will be installed throughout the high street and town centre in the second week of June. The varieties of flowers being planted include geraniums, verbenas, lobelias, begonias, fuchsias, petunias and impatiens.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “With the summer season fast approaching, we’re keen to get the town ready for the influx of tourists to the area. The floral decorations have been so well received previously that we’re excited to be bringing them back next month.”

The planters will be in place for everyone to enjoy all summer.

Maritime bunting has also been strung up throughout the town in time for the Poole Maritime Festival taking place throughout June.

For the latest updates visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter.