NEARLY 600 ideas for Poole’s European Maritime festival were generated during a two-day workshop.

More than 150 delegates attended the Dorset Coast Forum events hosted by Poole Harbour Commissioners and the RNLI to explore ideas and put forward events for European Maritime Day in 2017.

Representatives from many different sectors attended the events and the groups looked at the arts, food and drink, tourism, employment, water sports and other creative ideas.

Presentations summarising the aims of the event and economic benefits it could bring to Poole as well as Dorset and the south west were given by Cllr Xena Dion, Borough of Poole cabinet portfolio holder for a prosperous and sustainable Poole, and Richard Lacey, chairman of Poole Harbour Commissioners.

Planned to take place at Poole Lighthouse on May 18 and 19 2017, the European Maritime Day Conference will be accompanied by a series of business events followed by a maritime themed festival on 20 and 21 May.

The next step will be to work with the community groups and draw up a schedule of activities, sponsors and responsibilities.

Cllr Dion said: “We are delighted with the interest in and enthusiasm for this important and prestigious maritime event from our businesses and community groups in Poole and across Dorset.

“I would like to thank Dorset Coast Forum for their tremendous hard work in making these events such a success and Poole Harbour Commissioners for their continued support. I would also like to thank everybody who attended for their creative and valuable input.

“The workshops captured so many interesting and innovative ideas which should create a truly extraordinary event.”

Jim Stewart, chief executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners said: “We are fully supportive of the Maritime Event in Poole as this will be a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate Poole’s maritime history and future, whilst creating a lasting legacy.”