A REVIEW of all Dorset’s town centres is likely to be needed as the county partially emerges from pandemic lockdown.

Dorset Council Cabinet member Cllr Tony Ferrari says a review of the way all the county’s towns have fared, and how they might be helped, is likely to be necessary.

He was responding to a plea from Ferndown and West Parley councillors for help in their area.

Cllr Mike Parkes, speaking on behalf of a group of local councillors, asked for a regeneration study, prepared by the former East Dorset district council, to be picked up by Dorset Council.

He said the area had seen significant decline which was apparent by empty retail units, an increase in charity shops and a major bank expected to pull out of Ferndown in July. 

Cllr Parkes said the plan involves a series of measures, including a switch towards leisure and entertainment, all of which needed to be considered alongside other policies, including the release of Dorset Council-owned properties, and a review of the road system to make it safer.

Cabinet member responsible for council assets and regeneration, Cllr Tony Ferrari, said he would look at the Ferndown proposals and review them, but added that a look at all town centres in the county was likely to now be needed.

“Many have been impacted and a great deal of effort has been put into welcoming people back, but more may need to be done to secure appropriate investment,” he said.