Figures rise 128%

Visitors flock to south coast to see Italian garden revamp

A tourist attraction in Dorset has exceeded even its directors expectations as visitor numbers reached 161,546 from January to September 2003. The figures broke all previous records and were an increase of 128 per cent compared with the same period in 2002. Staff at Compton Acres, a leading Poole attraction, have attributed the rise to the extensive developments that have taken place at the site this year. Work that started in early January has included the construction and launch of a new retail facility, providing visitors with an improved shopping experience offering high-quality plants, gifts, Lugarde summerhouses and craft materials. The Italian garden has undergone extensive improvements, including a replanting programme to return it to its original glory. This summer, the Wildlife Walk, a natural display developed by local students to encourage butterfly species and wildlife, was launched. Managing director Andrew Sheppard said: “Our new features are all part of a £5 million investment over next five years. We believe the increase in visitor numbers is the culmination of our summer events, the new retail development and the Italian garden.” We are dedicated to developing Poole’s number one attraction.”

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