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Poole Park Heritage Project Unveiled

VIPs from selected local businesses and members of the council gathered at Poole Park’s cricket pavilion recently for a summer drinks party which saw the highly anticipated unveiling of a mystery project organised by the Poole Park Heritage Group.

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of Poole Park, local residents will be asked to upload a photo of themselves and their families in return for a small donation to the project. The thousands of photos will be collated to form a magnificent mosaic, which when viewed from the distance will depict the original design of the park from 1890.

The project gives locals the chance not just to be part of a legacy that will be displayed near the information centre in the park for years to come, but also to raise vital money to help restore the park to its original Victorian characteristics.  It is anticipated the mosaic will span 5 metres in width and nearly 2 metres in height, thus creating a massive visual impact in the park.

Every £5 donated to the project from every photo upload will help to unlock up to £50 in match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is an exciting time for the park, which received £285,000 of Heritage Lottery fund money to design the full plans of the proposed park improvements. It is hoped that this fundraising project will take it a step closer to being awarded an overall grant of £2.7 million towards  further improving  Poole Park for delivery between 2017 and 2020.

In attendance the Mayor of Poole, Councillor Ann Stribley, said: “It gives me great pleasure to witness all the hard work that has gone into this latest fundraising project. I am delighted to be celebrating the parks 125th anniversary especially as I was also Mayor of Poole during its 100th birthday year.”

In July, August and September there will be a prize up for grabs. The 125th person to upload their photo each month will be the lucky winner of a Sony H300 Camera with 35x Optical Zoom which is worth £149.00 and kindly supplied by Tesco Branksome.

Poole-based business telecoms specialists Grapevine have provided two of the latest tablets connected to Vodafone’s 4G high speed data network, this will enable volunteers to capture and upload images of visitors from anywhere in the park.

Councillor John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Parks and Open Spaces, Borough of Poole, said: “Poole Park is a fantastic facility that literally offers something for everyone. It’s only right that we take every opportunity to look after this local treasure so that future generations can enjoy it too.”

The launch event saw guests enjoy prosecco, which was kindly provided by Patrick’s Restaurant and Bar and Sally Carpenter of Featherbed generously donated the Pimms.  With a number of local business owners at the event, it is hoped that not just residents but also local businesses will take up the exciting opportunity to be part of the project. Eunice Marsden,  Chair of the  charity Poole Park Heritage Group  said: "I am delighted that my original idea has grown into this wonderful project that I am sure will be welcomed with enthusiasm by the people of Poole as they join us, The Poole Park Heritage Group, in giving our full support to the Poole Park Life Heritage Lottery Bid."

Three different corporate packages are on offer, depending on either the amount of money or resources that are donated to the project. Local businesses can donate directly to the project to help meet the fundraising targets, or donate in other ways, for example providing prizes to give away, volunteers to help promote the project or supplies for events.

For more information about the project, visit www.poolepark.org.