POOLE has been highlighted to millions of American readers as a town working to revive local shopping.

The New York Times reported on efforts to reinvigorate the High Street and the relaunch of the Kingland shopping parade.

The news outlet has more than six million subscribers in print and online.

Under the headline “Can the pandemic rescue Britain’s shopping areas? This town hopes so”, reporter Eshe Nelson used Poole as an example of the challenges facing British town centres.

“Just a few miles from the most expensive coastal real estate in the country, Poole’s main shopping street is a tired mix of video game shops, coffee shops, small chain stores and lots of markets selling second hand items that have attracted a dwindling number of shoppers,” she wrote.

She highlighted Kingland – the new name for the parade of 10 shops at Kingland Crescent near the Dolphin Shopping Centre, where 10 hand-picked tenants will trade without rent or rates to pay for two years.

She pointed to the “unlikely combination of vested interests” that were working together, with giant landlord Legal & General Investment Management taking risks and “town officials … ready to spend heavily to spread confidence”.

Hope Dean, owner of the Wild Roots plant shop, said Kingland Crescent had previously been “the street that everyone would avoid”.

As previously reported in the Daily Echo, Kingland’s businesses include a surfboard and repair shop with cafe, a coffee shop with on-site roasting, an art gallery, a seller of mid-century modern restored furniture, a retailer of plants and interiors, a zero-waste grocery store and a fishmonger.

The aim is to put independent, creative local businesses alongside the traditional names found in the neighbouring Dolphin Shopping Centre.

The New York Times report also covered Bournemouth, describing it as a “larger city dealing with something of an exodus by large retail brands that have either failed or are downsizing”.

The report highlighted the plans by the site’s owner, Verve Properties, to reopen the Debenhams building as Bobby & Co, the historic name of the department store site.

BCP Council leader Cllr Philip Broadhead was quoted supporting the Bobby’s plans and hailing the “tremendous” rebound from the pandemic.

“Mr Broadhead, confident and sharply dressed, is among a new breed of high-spending Conservatives governing Britain, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” the report said.

“His council is planning to borrow £50million to finance redevelopment projects, and he argues that councils, which are chronically short of cash, should be allowed to borrow more and not have to rely on government grants.”