Local community site for Broadstone, Dorset, since 1999

Broadstone Benches Bringing People Together


broadwayThe Neighbourhood Forum supported by the Chamber has submitted a bid for £10,000 to install new seating into Broadstone Village. The bid pursues the aim of bringing people together and to improve the feel and appearance of Broadstone as a place.

We win by gaining the most votes cast on-line before 30th May.

Our bid applies to the Community Category but also seeks to reflect the other three categories and particularly seeks to bring younger and older people together.

Broadstone is a suburb of Poole with 10,000 residents and is referred to, by its residents, as ‘the village’. It has a centre comprising community buildings, retail, services and leisure but it is significantly lacking in terms of the quality and appeal of the public realm. It has no focal points and its design has been arrived at through a century of piecemeal decisions leaving no consistent defining feature or features. Consequently people come to Broadstone to do something specific rather than to meet and socialise publicly. In addition, there is no communal encouragement or informal opportunities for young and old to meet or share spaces.

The residential profile is relatively polarised with many young families attracted to popular schools and an older generation who stay or come here to retire.

The Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum is one of the first associations to be established following the Localism Act of 2011 and is currently drafting a Neighbourhood Plan. The process has been approved by the Local Council and public consultation will go ahead in June 2015. The Vision is long term and incorporates concepts of community and sustainability. The plan incorporates the vision of the local Chamber of Trade to make Broadstone First Choice for residents.

The aspirations of the community have been established in joint surveying by the Neighbourhood Forum and the Chamber of Trade. Both aim to make people feel Welcome, Respected and Safe.

The plan is visionary and aspirational in cost terms with no funding streams yet identified.

One aspect of our plan is to provide focal points with seating that will both have a social purpose and help foster a greater sense of place and stronger identity for the heart of the village. We are therefore applying for funds to install new seating that will of high quality and distinctive design – to signal positive change in the public realm of the village and the promise of a more attractive, comfortable and welcoming Broadstone in the future.

The seating concept is a potential early win for the community, and its Neighbourhood Plan, that will both meet social aspiration but also encourage local people to get behind the concepts in the longer term plan.

We aim to locate up to ten sets of seating in the central area that will provide both meeting points but stopping locations and encourage people to not only meet but to move about from point to point.

We are confident that the provision will help meet the community aspiration to feel welcome, respected and safe.

The Aviva Community Fund will enable this initial stage of our plan and will consequently attract significant local interest and publicity.

The Forum involves membership from the Chamber of Trade, residents associations and the local free community magazine. All have community focussed websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts to help publicise proposal. Some popular Facebook posts have been reaching over 10,000 users.

Each seat plus installation will cost about £1000 and we seek £10,000 to enable this work. We have no other accrued funds or available streams therefore the project will be solely enabled by the Aviva Fund.

CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO VOTE. You may need to create an account with Aviva first : Broadstone Benches Bringing People Together | Aviva Community Fund


About Author

David is a retired Traffic Systems Engineer, previously working at Siemens, Sopers Lane, Poole. He has worked in Brazil for 17 years, returning to the UK in 1990, and living in Broadstone since then. David is Secretary of Poole Heart Support Group, and runs a number of charity and non-profit organisation websites.

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