Poole is traditionally a working town with a port but it is a tourist destination and sub-regional centre for shopping too. It has a healthy economy with diverse sectors providing high levels of employment. It is set in an area of outstanding beauty with a natural harbour and golden sandy beaches, which make it an attractive place to live and work.
Poole’s economy continues to grow. It is home to many global brands and businesses operating in diverse sectors such as advanced engineering and manufacturing, financial and business services, creative and digital services, tourism and leisure and health and care. These combine to help Poole maintain consistently low levels of unemployment and a high Gross Value Added (GVA) which is a measure of the increase in the value of the economy due to the production of goods and services.
The town centre forms an important part of the economy and will remain the focus for shopping and commercial leisure. We have an ambitious plan to transform the Town Centre North regeneration area to provide high quality shops, cafes, restaurants, leisure and entertainment. Providing modern housing and office accommodation around attractive public spaces will help increase the footfall and boost the day and evening economy as well as enhancing the vibrancy of the area. The Poole Business Improvement District (BID) further supports the town centre. It brings together the public, private and community representatives to work in partnership for the continual improvement of the town centre’s offer to residents and visitors.
Although Poole is part of one of the largest urban areas on the south coast, it is set in an environment of outstanding beauty with places of wildlife interest and a rich heritage. Tourism contributes over £200 million annually to the town, supporting approximately 5,000 local jobs. Poole Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world and provides a superb arena for water based activities. Our sandy beaches hold Blue Flag Status for their cleanliness and high quality facilities. We have set out our proposals for conserving, improving and investing in our beaches in the Sustaining Poole’s Seafront plan. The town centre is a key focus with its Historic Quay and Old Town. Modern attractions include Tower Park with a range of commercial leisure activities that attract both residents and visitors.
Poole Harbour Commissioner’s Port Masterplan to grow and develop the port is resulting in new business and market development. They have recently invested over £10 million in a new quayside, based in Hamworthy, to become a new provider in the medium cruise liner market. As one of Dorset’s key assets, the port is a hugely important employment site providing jobs around sea-based freight, passenger ferries, cruise liners and marine related industrial/leisure activities.
Poole has two universities, both have global reputations in the media and creative sector. Bournemouth University (TEF Silver) has 17,000 students and specialises in management, media and communication, science and technology and health and social sciences. The Arts University Bournemouth (TEF Gold) has 3,000 students specialises in art, graphics, architecture, film, photography, fashion and performance. The universities provide opportunities for graduates to set up their own businesses in Poole, growing new sectors. Bournemouth and Poole College (Ofsted rating 2016 – Good) also works closely with local businesses to match up courses with employment needs.