In July 2017 a vote was taken at a committee meeting of The Friends of Poole Park to re-form the organisation as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which will work side by side with a newly formed organisation called the Poole Park Railway Community Interest Company (CIC).
A CIC is a formally established and registered company that is run for the benefit of the community, rather than for a private owner and/or private shareholders. The surpluses that it generates will be available for investment in community activities – such as Poole Park itself – but not for dividend payments to private individuals. So effectively we will shortly have a ‘People’s Railway’ operating in the ‘People’s Park’.
Those of you who have visited Poole Park since early May 2017 will probably have noticed many people working on the railway facility: replacing and repairing parts of the train track, restoring and re-equipping the train shed, and refurbishing the train station adjacent to The Ark. All these extensive works are being carried out by volunteers who share enthusiasm about restoring the railway, which began operations in 1949 and has run continuously under private ownership up until November, 2016. A new era begins!
The plan of the CIC is that, in sympathy with its ethos as a community interest company, we will run our operations long term through a wholly volunteer workforce who share our aims of maintaining Poole Park as a great local recreational amenity.
Having had wonderful volunteer support in the leading-up phase for resuming operations, we are now seeking to expand our volunteer workforce for operations. If you have an interest in this remarkable project, and have time that you could give to it, then we have lots of opportunities for you to join our team.