Council proposes scheme to safeguard future of Poole Park Miniature Railway

Councillors will consider proposals to reopen the popular Poole Park Miniature Railway to the public for next summer at a meeting on 4 September 2018.

A report to members of the Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee outlines a plan to invest up to £350,000 to secure the future of the miniature railway and bring the management of the attraction in-house in order to provide more stability and better levels of service.

The investment could pave the way for several enhancements to the service including a replacement track and a new train and more stable carriages with improved access, enhanced safety features, additional services for customers and improvements to the train shed and compound.

Anthony Rogers, Recreation & Community Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The safe operation of the Poole Park Miniature Railway has always been the Council’s main concern.  We have been careful to consider a wide range of options and feel this approach will deliver a reliable and sustainable miniature railway in the future, keeping this much-loved attraction in Poole Park. 

“As a commercial service the Council aims for the miniature railway to generate a net operational surplus within a few years which would be reinvested into Poole Park.

“We would aim to continue to involve local voluntary enthusiasts working alongside professional staff in the delivery and maintenance of the attraction.” 

The scheme will be funded via prudential borrowing which will be repaid by income generated from ticket sales. If approved, work could commence to design, construct and re-launch the Poole Park Miniature Railway for summer 2019.

At the meeting Councillors will make their recommendations to the Portfolio Holder for Environment who will make a final decision mid September 2018.

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