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Poole 'lacks big tourist attraction'
A LEADING provider of tourist attractions has told Poole that it does not have the footfall for a single major tourist attraction.
But that has not stopped feelers being put out for a significant attraction to be included in the regeneration of the town centre and lower Hamworthy.
Cllr Mark Howell, leader of Poole People who represents the town centre, raised concerns at a full meeting of Borough of Poole.
“There is now a real risk that the regeneration area will be developed without any significant tourist attractions,” he said.
“Poole desperately needs additional tourist attractions to attract visitors to the town centre and quay areas,” he added.
Cllr Xena Dion, portfolio holder for economy, said the Petersham Group, one of the largest providers, had told the council that Poole and the area as a whole, was not a “serious contender” for them to bring in a major tourist attraction.
However she pointed out that the RNLI had aspirations for a visitor centre reflecting the history of the life saving charity, and she had her own proposal.
“Personally, as portfolio holder for local economy I have written to Bear Grylls, Chief Scout, to ask the Scouting movement to look at Poole as a destination to have a museum,” she said.
With Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour the home of Baden-Powell’s first Scout camp, a museum could provide interactive and real life memorabilia, “as the movement is still thriving across the world,” she said.
Echo reader Mike Roberts-Butler of Alderney , had his own idea of a suitable attraction. He suggested “two glamorous tall glass towers” to replicate the demolished power station chimneys.
“They would be iconic tributes to the past, landmarks for shipping but now with high 360 degree views, complemented by restaurants and shops.”
Cllr Dion said: “It is of course recognised that tourism is an important part of the economy of the town and as such needs to be addressed but I am content that in accordance with the policies that we have adopted we are delivering the balance required that as a whole will benefit the people of Poole.”
Solar Pyramid failed to get go-ahead
The last major tourist proposal for Poole was the ill-fated Solar Pyramid scheme put forward for Baiter.
A private company approached the council with an idea for a “world class visitor attraction”, 58 metres tall and billed as the world’s largest timepiece.
But local reaction was hostile and within days the council had received 10,000 signatures of objection.
There was further anger when Borough of Poole committed £40,000 for a feasibility study for the privately funded scheme.
In January 2008 it was scrapped after council bosses announced they were no longer supporting the proposal and would stop discussions with Solar Pyramid Ltd.