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Major work starts in Bournemouth's famous gardens today to smarten them up in time for summer.
Teams of maintenance workers will paint railings, lampposts, CCTV columns, litter bins, seating and signage. Metal railings will also be replaced surrounding the 'Paradise' area in Central Gardens.
The work is being carried out by the Council's maintenance team in partnership with young people from Bournemouth and Poole College currently doing a painting and decorating apprenticeship, local young people who are not in work or education through Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA), more mature residents looking to get back in to employment as well as vulnerable young people through YMCA.
Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
"Bournemouth's Gardens attracts more than two million visitors a year and has held a Green Flag Award for the last 14 years and so it's important that the gardens are maintained and looking their best. Bournemouth has also been shortlisted as a finalist for this year's Britain in Bloom competition and so it is timely that this maintenance work is carried out.
"I am really pleased that this project will provide a wide range of local people, including young apprentices and mature residents, the opportunity to work alongside our experienced maintenance team to carry out the work."
The work is being carried out as part of the town's 'Bournemouth's Growing' campaign for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)'s Britain in Bloom competition 2013. Bournemouth is a one of six finalists in the coastal category for towns with a population over 12,000. The town will be marked on its commitment to environmental responsibility, horticultural achievement and community participation.
The maintenance work will also complement the new kiosks and food terrace being created in the Lower Gardens in time for the summer season.