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Poole High Street Heritage Action Zone

We are delivering a £1.25 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme in partnership with Historic England. We are aiming to transform dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops and work or community spaces, and to fuel economic, social and cultural recovery following the impact of COVID-19.

Grants are available for property and business owners along the High Street to repair their historic buildings and bring vacant buildings and upper floors back into use.

Why Poole High Street

Poole is an established visitor attraction and has a lively sense of place with a mix of Georgian houses, fine Victorian commercial buildings and 1930s art deco shopfronts. From its origins as a medieval fishing harbour, the town became a major port by the late 17th century and its High Street links the historic Quayside with the town centre.

The town centre is experiencing a number of challenges, from a high vacancy rate to declining footfall, further exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions. The Conservation Area is on Historic England’s At Risk register due to disrepair, inappropriate shopfronts and poor public realm. The area lacks vibrancy and there is no real evening economy.

Poole Quays Forum Neighbourhood Plan policies include creating a more vibrant High Street during the day and evening and improving its layout. Our Poole Local Plan aims to Transform and revitalise Poole town centre.

Key objectives

The Heritage Action Zone aims to give the High Street a new lease of life, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery.

We are keen to make the town centre more attractive to residents, businesses and visitors by:

  • revealing hidden histories,
  • repairing and revitalising the historic environment
  • supporting sympathetic development, and
  • creating a legacy for the future care of the high street.

Our partners

We are pleased to be working alongside Poole Quays Forum and Poole Bid, our Business Improvement District.

Poole Museum will be consulting on plans to refurbish fifteenth century Scaplen’s Court this Spring, alongside their Our Museum project to rediscover Poole’s maritime heritage.

We are engaging with further partners to deliver a programme of cultural opportunities, such as Arts University Bournemouth.

Project funding

Poole High Street has been selected as one of 68 high streets across England and we will receive £625,000 from Historic England matched by money from the Community Infrastructure Levy to create a project fund of £1.25 million over three years.

Get involved

Thank you for participating in the Poole High Street Survey in autumn 2020, the results of the engagement are available.

Grants are available to owners and businesses for refurbishing selected properties on the High Street. Please send expressions of interest by email to HAZ@BCPCouncil.gov.uk.

There will opportunities to learn more about the heritage of the High Street, volunteer and join in activities, as we celebrate the many historic buildings that make Poole an attractive destination. Local communities will play key role in deciding what happens on the high street and what sort of place it should be.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said:

"We are pressing ahead with some major plans for Poole High Street which we aim to be transformative. We’re confident that Poole can be improved quickly and convincingly. Watch this space.’’