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Volunteers join Poole BID to tidy the town

Poole’s Business Improvement District (BID) was joined by volunteers during its annual Big Clean, which took place from Monday, May 13, to Friday, May 17.

The cleaning took place throughout the high street of Poole and within the area covered by the BID and its levy payers in preparation for the busy summer season.

Various jobs were completed, including cleaning 188 store signs and clearing out 67 gutters. The volunteers also collected 27 bags of rubbish through litter picking.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “We had a fantastic week of cleaning up the high street and making sure that everything is ship shape ready for the summer. Myself and the directors would like to extend our thanks to everyone who helped us over the week; every contribution helps to make a difference and it’s great to see the town working together.”

Poole BID will also install bunting and floral displays throughout the high street during June to provide additional colour to the area.

Volunteers required for Poole BID’s Big Clean

Poole’s Big Clean, operated by the Business Improvement District (BID), will return for its third year from Monday, May 13 until Friday, May 17, in a bid to tackle litter and clean up the area in time for the peak tourist season.

Volunteers are required to get involved with all activities from litter picking to dressing shop windows. Sessions will be hosted on the high street each day from 10am until 4pm, and volunteers can participate for as long as they are able to.

In 2018, 78 shop windows were cleaned, along with 62 store signs and clearing out 47 gutters. Four days of volunteer-led litter picking resulted in the collection of 39 bags of rubbish.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, commented: “Our Big Clean is a great chance to get involved in prepping the town for its busy summer season. We’d like to encourage our local businesses and levy payers to get involved along the way and take pride in our surroundings – perhaps encourage a team to come along for a lunchtime litter pick, or get involved with updating your window displays and having a spring clean of the interiors.”

Local organisation GoPladdle will be hosting the Big Harbour Clean-Up over the weekend of May 18 and 19, following the BID’s Big Clean. Volunteers are encouraged to get out on the water and clean up the harbour, diving teams will also be clearing the bottom of the harbour and those with watercraft will be encouraged to focus on the harder to reach areas of the coastline.

Rosie and Jake, founders of GoPladdle, added: “Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world, and provides important habitat for a multitude of wildlife, including native and migrating birds. In recent years, awareness of plastic pollution has increased, and unfortunately, so has the scale of the problem. Every day the UK gets through over 38million plastic bottles and around 8million pieces of plastic end up in our oceans every day.”

Anyone interested in participating should contact info@poolebid.com or call 01202 308800 for more details.

Light Up Poole 2019 a great success

With as many as 40,000 visitors enjoying three nights of extraordinary digital light art spectacles the second Light Up Poole festival has been hailed a “giant leap” forward

“It has been wonderful, far beyond anything we could have hoped for,” says Libby Battaglia of festival directors Audacious.

“Last year we showed how enthusiastically the people of Poole and beyond embraced accessible, interactive and immersive art for everyone, but this year’s programme has been a giant leap forward in terms of its international reach and creative energy.”

Sponsored by Poole BID and funded by Arts Council England, Light Up Poole worked with Napa Lighted festival in California to co-commission artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid to make the Horizon projection. Shown on the outside of St James’s Church it featured exclusive imagery from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and drew large and appreciative crowds each night.

“It was great to see art bringing places and people together,” says Ross. “Our installations at St James’s Church were very well received. The church really got on board and it was a pleasure to be part of community if only for a few days. The event was so well attended and full of people and families of all ages. A really excellent atmosphere. Thanks to Light Up Poole for creating an excellent event.”

Inside St James’s the artists’s atmospheric, meditative Zenith enthralled young and old alike, as did Karen Monid’s startling immersive sound installation Sonic Tides in Scaplen’s Court Garden.

She says: “Poole has a very rich and long history and it was very special to be asked to create Sonic Tides for Scaplen’s Court Garden. It is such a beautiful atmospheric place and to see so many people really connect with the sounds of 16th century Poole surrounding them in the garden, in candlelight, was a truly unique experience. Everybody we met made Ross and I feel so welcome, it has been a delight to premiere our new works in Poole.”

Justin Hundley-Appleton, manager of Poole BID, the festival’s lead partner and sponsor, estimates some 40,000 visitors passed through Poole over the three nights. He says: “This year’s festival has been absolutely fantastic. It’s great to see how much the event has grown since 2018 and that’s all down to Libby’s enthusiasm for the project. Poole had a fantastic weekend of footfall and the feedback we’ve received so far has been really positive. We’re really looking forward to seeing how Light Up Poole grows into 2020.”

On the dockside, Harbour Glow by Poole-based light designer James Smith and Audacious working with French engineers MinuitUne and local company Wolf Lighting mesmerised crowds. Andy McKeown’s WeatherMACHINE at Dolphin Quay flats invited visitors to play in the rain without ever getting wet and the same artist’s StarGate by the Town Cellars reflected the faces of those who watched in a vertical water surface filtered through continuously moving liquid oil projections.

On the High Street the Elixir Circus Arts stilt walkers Celestial Beings chatted and played, while Gijs van Bon’s tidal light writer Nyx wrote poetry on the streets of the Old Town and The Photon Shop, by Photonics and Astronomy students from the University of Southampton, invited the public to assist astronomers with research.

Libby Battalgia adds: “Light Up Poole set out to bring a unique combination of Art, Science and Technology to the streets of Poole and because the festival is artist-led we were able to present some fantastic contributions this year that have really struck a chord with people. One university professor told us he had brought his 101-year-old grandmother and his two-year-old nephew – can you think of many other things both could have enjoyed together? Amazing.” Students from Bournemouth and Southampton universities, Arts University Bournemouth, Poole College and local schools were able to showcase a range of work at Light Up Poole and in the town’s first Light Art Symposium – Artists, Industry & Community – artists and agencies were able to explore creative and commercial possibilities with Poole’s tourism, business and technology communities.

Future High Streets Fund

A £675m government fund currently exists for the improvement and rejuvenation of Britain’s failing High Streets. In order to secure a portion of the available funding, local authorities have to submit a bid.

We are pleased to advise that Poole BID is partnering with the Borough of Poole on a joint bid for Poole High Street. The timeline is as follows:

22nd March 2019 – Initial bids (Expressions of Interest, or EOIs) to be submitted to the government.

Summer 2019 – EOIs which have been successful will be announced.

December 2019 – Formal business cases to be submitted by successful applicants.

Early 2020 – Funds to be released.

Representatives from Poole BID met two weeks ago with 12 other key Poole stakeholders (including Borough of Poole, Poole Quay Forum, Cllr. Ian Potter etc.) and discussed how the joint bid might best be put together. There is a suite of options that are now being considered and there is a good deal of positivity about the quality of bid that the partnership will be able to submit. Suggestions range from shortening the ‘retail’ aspect of the High Street so that the current one-mile-long High Street is easier to fill as a result of being smaller, to more radical ideas such as the creation of new attractions for Poole, plus everything in-between.

If the bid is successful, it is expected that the sum to be granted for somewhere the size of Poole would be circa £5m – £12m.

A good deal of work has gone into this joint bid already, with much more planned before the submission date. Rest assured, your BID directors will do everything possible to ensure the best chance of success.

An update from Light Up Poole 2019

From a giant water screen in which passers by can see their faces in a million drops of water, to a fully functioning weather machine, by way of a poetry robot and musical lamp posts, this year’s Light Up Poole festival of light art, which runs after dark from Thursday to Saturday next week, can promise experiences like no others.

As well as hosting four world premieres of new works and a European premiere, the festival will also present highly acclaimed pieces by some of the UK’s most influential and innovative light artists shown alongside artworks and installations made by members of the community and local schools.

New media light and sound artist Andy McKeown has worked with Year 9 and 10 students from Carter Community School and local artist Sandie Elkins to realise Digital Ripples, a ground breaking multi-layered digital installation co-commissioned by SoundStorm Music Education Agency. Students have sampled the sounds of Poole and sculpted an aural ‘breadcrumb trail’ heard through glowing speakers placed on lamp posts along the High Street and Quay to the Shambles where Sandie Elkins’s electronica soundtrack can be downloaded.

The trail culminates at the Dolphin Quay flats under the shopping centre where Andy’s ever changing WeatherMACHINE installation will be confounding expectations and inviting visitors to join in the mix of sound, light projections and immersive audio.

Andy McKeown’s practice is predominately based on interactive and reactive new-media light and sound. His works range from intricate multi-projector interior installations to large-scale outdoor light works such as StarGate, which will be outside Poole Museum projecting fleeting images of passers by onto a vertical water surface filtered through continuously moving liquid oil projections.

“Andy has been instrumental in Light Up Poole being able to deliver such an ambitious programme this year – not only showing his own works, but also mentoring our young and emerging artists,” says Libby Battaglia of festival directors Audacious.

The streets of Poole’s Old Town and Quay after dark will be shared by some unusual creations, not least Nyx, Dutch artist Gijs van Bon’s tidal light writer named after the Greek goddess of night that writes light-emitting poetry in the darkness. Also on the prowl will be the stilt-walking Celestial Beings of Elixir Circus Arts ready to strike up conversations and explain who ate the holes in the moon.

As part of its engagement programme, Light Up Poole has also facilitated projection mapping workshops in local schools with the results being shown at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts; while the town’s first Light Art Symposium – Artists, Industry & Community – brings artists and agencies together with Poole’s tourism, business and technology communities. Justin Hundley-Appleton, manager of Poole BID, the festival’s lead partner and sponsor, adds: “Light Up Poole is illuminating the unique link between the arts, business, technology and tourism in the town. The scope of this year’s festival is hugely impressive and I hope it goes on to reach even higher in the future.”

Poole BID’s board is Truly Scrumptious

Poole BID is pleased to announce a new director has joined its board. Jeanette Walsh, owner of Truly Scrumptious, joins to represent Area Six.

The board of directors works alongside Justin Hundley-Appleton, the Poole BID manager, to deliver the business plan as set out when the BID was formed in 2016.

Jeanette Walsh commented: “I’m looking forward to working with Justin and my fellow directors in order to help Poole flourish and live up to its true potential. Being an independent retailer, it’s vitally important to have organisations like the BID supporting everyone and bringing footfall and other initiatives to the town in order to futureproof the high street experience.”

Truly Scrumptious, located at 5 High Street, is an independent, traditional sweet shop stocking a variety of treats, as well as making fresh fudge on the premises.

Adam Keen, Poole BID chairman, added: “We are all really pleased that Jeanette has decided to join us on the board of directors. She is very active in promoting her business locally and will be joining the team that represents Area Six, covering Poole’s Town Quay.

“Last month we were sad to lose Joanne Bateman from our board of directors following the closure of Quayside Emporium, and would like to wish her and all her employees the best of luck for future endeavours.” Visit www.poolebid.com for more details regarding the business plan and details of current directors.

Showing civic pride at Light Up Poole 2019

With four world premieres, a European premiere and a raft of newly commissioned works the Light Up Poole festival of light art has thrust the town firmly in the twin spotlights of art and science.

The festival marks the first participation of cutting edge French engineering company MINUIT UNE as sponsor for the premiere of Harbour Glow, an ambitious site-specific work that will see Poole’s dockside and cranes illuminated by moving light to create a uniquely immersive experience.

MINUIT UNE’S products are the first lighting concept specially designed for experience. Lightweight and incredibly versatile they produce stunning architectural displays with innovative shapes and décor that envelope the audience. The very definition of seeing Poole in a new light Harbour Glow has been made by James Smith, the Poole-based international lighting designer, and local company Wolf Lighting with festival directors Audacious supported by Poole Harbour Commissioners and MINUIT UNE.

“We’re bringing the dock to life,” says James. “It is very much a working dock and quite beautiful in its own way, but we’re using colour to change how we see the dock, to bring some magic to the space.

“We’ll be using the sky and the water surface so that it is as complete an immersive experience as it can be – we will literally make the harbour glow. It’s a new piece, so a world premiere, and MINUIT UNE’s products have never been used outside in this way before.”

James Smith and Wolf Lighting have also designed Reach for the Stars, a large beacon of light at the Fish Shambles that accompanies the electronica soundscape of Sandie Elkins.

“I’m from Poole, went to school at Poole High, lived here all my life, but as a theatrical lighting designer I travel the world and there are light festivals all over the place. What we are creating with Light Up Poole is very special; it’s a big thing for the town and there are some incredible pieces to see.”

After the success of his playful piece Juxtapose at last year’s Light Up Poole, Bournemouth University graduate Ashley Wilkie has brought it back this year alongside the first showing of his new work Ebbs and Flows. An architectural projection mapping of Poole’s iconic Guildhall, it uses the sweeping double stairway as a backdrop to a journey across the world’s oceans.

Award winning light and sound artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of the Projection Studio are premiering their experimental immersive interior projection piece Zenith inside St James’s Church; simultaneously projecting another new work Horizon on the outside of the church. Produced in collaboration with NASA scientists and the Ordered Universe team, it was unveiled last month at Napa Lighted Art Festival in California and will be seen for the first time in Europe in Poole.

To support these ground breaking works Professors Giles Gasper (History) and Brian Tanner (Physics) from Durham University host Where Medieval Meets Modern, a community talk at Lighthouse on 23 February that will introduce the medieval scientist and thinker Robert Grosseteste whose ideas and research inform Horizon and Zenith.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, manager of Poole BID, the festival’s lead partner and sponsor, adds: “It’s incredibly exciting to have such high calibre artists in Poole premiering their work during the festival, and also for the science, technology and engineering companies to showcase cutting edge products for the first time.”

The other world premiere hosted by Light Up Poole is Sonic Tides, Karen Monid’s multi-channel audio installation in the ground of Scaplen’s Court. A unique translation of local research into sound it immerses listeners in soundscapes informed by the history of 16th century Poole.

The festival has also commissioned new work from teenage light artist Seren Birtles, who made her debut at last year’s first festival. A nest of plastic stretched from floor to ceiling with projected light inspired by the ocean, Eyrie invites the audience to consider how mankind places itself above other species in the name of consumption and possession.

Seren is one of the local artists selected for GLEAM, the Audacious talent development programme for regional light artists, and the company has also produced the community event Tidal Remedies for this year’s festival in which visitors are invited to share soup and have a chat in a pop-up street café on the High Street.

“This year we have set out to showcase how technology can enhance art and make it more accessible to audiences,” says Libby Battaglia of Audacious. “With artists working alongside scientists, engineers and academics we hope Light Up Poole is something the town can be really proud of, that enchants local audiences and attracts lots of people to visit and discover for themselves.” * There are further opportunities for local people to get involved in Light Up Poole as volunteer stewards to work with the Culture Volunteers from Poole Museum. It’s helpful but not essential to have some experience of arts events and to be enthusiastic about public engagement in the arts. To find out more email participate@lightuppoole.co.uk.

Global vision at Light Up Poole

As long as people have lived in what we now know as Poole they have stood on the shores of the harbour and pondered what lies over the horizon.

That quest for knowledge is just one of the ideas that inspired international acclaimed award winning sound and lights artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid to create a new work called Horizon as one of the centrepieces of this year’s Light Up Poole festival of light art to be projected on the outside of St James’s Church.

Sponsored by Poole BID and funded by Arts Council England, from 21 to 23 February Light Up Poole will see more than twenty light art spectacles transforming the Old Town as some of the world’s leading practitioners join local groups and artists to respond to the theme of ‘Tides’.

Horizon is quite a complex piece, but basically it’s about what we see of the Earth and universe at different points in history,” says Karen Monid. “We’re looking at the medieval view of the universe and where they understood our place to be in it. And then we’re looking at the modern take on the same thing and showing them in parallel using content provided for us by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA.”

The piece, a European premiere for Light Up Poole, has been produced in collaboration with Napa Lighted Art Festival in California and is juxtaposed with the world premiere of another new piece, Zenith, being made by Ross and Karen to be shown inside the church. It uses beams of interrupted light projected on a mirror ball to create an immersive sensory experience.

Ross, whose work has illuminated iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Shanti Stupa at Dhauligiri in India, explains: “On the outside of the church we’re talking about how we look back on the Earth and on the inside we’re talking about looking out into the universe as these light beams shatter into the stars – we’re kind of turning things inside out.”

Horizon deals with the idea that human understanding has always been bounded by things we can see that we extrapolate from to make sense of things we can’t see. In that sense the questions we ask today are similar those our forebears asked, but from a different point of view now that we can reach the stars.

From the global and universal to the intensely parochial, Karen’s immersive soundscape Sonic Tides has been created specifically for the garden at Scaplen’s Court where it takes audiences on a journey back to the Poole of the 16th century.

“It’s a multi channel audio piece based on research done by local volunteers,” she says. “It’s looking at the life of the property through the lens of the 16th century, a period when Poole was quite successful in terms of trade so it would have been a quite lively town.

“The idea is you walk through the garden and it is dark, things are transformed and you’re immersed in that world so you’ll hear voices from behind trees, there may be some French speaking, the sound of horses, whatever it takes to allow the research to speak.”

Ross and Karen are just two of the international artists showing work alongside emerging artists and students from Bournemouth and Southampton universities and Arts University Bournemouth, as well as Poole schools, as Light Up Poole sets out to challenge and inspire young people’s creativity.

“We are showing work by world class artists as well as young local practitioners so there are clues here for young people who feel the creative urge but wonder what their futures might look like,” says Libby Battaglia of festival directors Audacious.

A cornerstone of this year’s programme the Light Art Symposium led by Bournemouth University will consider creative and commercial opportunities presented by cultural events, such as their contribution to the regeneration of places by developing tourism out of season. Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, comments: “Light Up Poole is great news for the town and shows that we can rise to the economic challenges that lie ahead by developing cultural and out of season tourism. It all helps to put Poole on the map as a destination to visit throughout the year.”

Poole achieves Coach Friendly Status for group getaways

With miles of golden sands, gorgeous gardens, a glorious coastline and the largest natural harbour in Europe, groups visiting Poole can be sure of a warm welcome as the town celebrates 2019 with its new ‘Coach Friendly’ status.

Awarded by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) the Coach Friendly accolade recognises the town’s commitment to ensuring visitors have access to great facilities, information and outstanding products.

From fascinating history, top attractions and shopping to the bustling Quay and Britain’s best beaches, the sheer variety of inspiring things to see and do make Poole a great location for group visitors.  With centrally located coach drop off points, dedicated coach parking and useful itineraries for short stops or day-long stays, the award highlights all the positive work the town, attractions and the Tourism Office have done to help groups make the most of their visit.

With a bustling quayside and old town, historical walks and harbour cruises there are plenty of options which can be easily tailored.  Coach drop off points could not be more convenient, situated in the heart of the action on Poole Quay with views across the harbour. The Quay is home to café’s, independent shops and the dedicated team of staff at Poole Tourist Information Centre, based in Poole Museum who are on hand to help with information on places to go and things to do.  A meet and greet service by the TIC team or Town Ambassadors can also be arranged in advance.

Free coach parking is centrally located next to the Dolphin Centre, Poole’s indoor shopping centre with shops ranging from top high street favourites M&S and Primark to bespoke department stores such as Beales.  The handy ‘Route One’ Bus Service leaves every 15 minutes with a circular, hop on hop off service, between the Dolphin Shopping Centre and Poole Quay.  Alternative free coach parking is also available at Poole Stadium.

And with Poole’s stunning natural harbour complete with eight unique islands and striking peninsula, it is easy to see Poole at its best – from the water.  Poole’s traditional working Quay is the gateway to a wide selection of cruises taking visitors to Brownsea Island, Wareham and the iconic Jurassic coast.  The harbour also offers great opportunities for sailing, watersports and the chance to see wildlife on regular bird boats with friendly expert guides.

Relaxing on one of the longest coast lines thanks to the 110 miles of inland harbour and fabulous beaches, groups are spoilt for choice with superb al fresco dining options, vibrant bars and restaurants and fabulous fresh seafood overlooking fantastic waterside views.

John Burch, SW Regional Manager for the Confederation of Passenger Transport said, said: “CPT is delighted to add Poole to those locations that have achieved Coach Friendly status. The award is perfectly timed for the onset of the 2019 season. The Coach Friendly scheme looks at signage, parking, set down / pick up locations, customer facilities and customer and operator incentive schemes amongst other things. The Tourism Partnership has used its initiative to overcome several issues and has been judged to have achieved the appropriate standard. The status mark will now allow the town to attract more coaches and their customers to take advantage of the facilities on offer.  In turn I hope this will also show increased revenue for the town. I’ll be watching developments with interest as an important aspect of the scheme is monitoring the before and after effect. Well done Poole!”

Adam Keen, General Manager for Morebus, Excelsior, Damory & National Express – and Chairman of Poole BID – said; “Poole BID is working extremely hard to ensure that our town is seen as welcoming for coach operators by developing essential facilities such as free parking and the new toilet drop.  By understanding the needs of coach drivers and making visits easy and comfortable, it demonstrates that we take the value of their business seriously and hopefully, this will mean that they will return with more visitors in the future.” Carol Scott, Chair of Poole Attractions Group on the Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Management Board, said: “This award is just fantastic and shows how important it is for local businesses that the Council and Tourism work together.  Poole welcomes thousands of coach visitors each year and each visit is a chance to really show off all the town has to offer especially as many return with families and friends. It’s something to be really proud of and will help to build visitor numbers in the future.”