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Who We Are – Harbour Ambition

Who We Are

Harbour Ambition seeks to deliver a "Community Empowered" approach to the development of the Poole Quays regeneration area. We are seeking a positive working partnership with BCP Council and other alliance partners to ensure that development promotes community, delivers on the highest standards of environmental sustainability and meets the ambitions of local people.

Our Community

We define our community in the context of local people and organisations with aspiration and with professional skills and experience. People who are passionate about Poole and seek to overcome problems to find solutions to bring sites forward for development in a way that is environmentally sustainable, and community empowered.


Harbour Ambition was formed through The Power House’s journey as they explored the concept of Community Land Trusts. As there is a wider concern regarding the site as a whole and the surrounding area, it was decided that a different name was needed, while clarifying that while there is a connection and a working relationship, the two organisations are separate entities with different legal structures and different management teams.

Due diligence and governance is held that in any decisions regarding housing or community facilities where there is a conflict of interest by any of the Directors of Harbour Ambition, those persons leave the meeting for the remaining Directors to make a decision.

In Spring and Summer 2020, Harbour Ambition founding Members held a Purpose, Mission, and Values process, facilitated by local Business Consultant and Sustainability Practitioner Gwyn Jones. Members of the community we had links with were invited to be a part of this process. This is a working document, and as the Harbour Ambition CBS Membership grows we will invite Members to revisit this.

Harbour Ambition CBS Purpose, Mission, and Values, v4 Oct 2020

Building Community Led Affordable Housing

We have established a Community Land Trust and are exploring with the community to bring forward “Integrated Housing”* that delivers affordable & community led housing.  The legal structure chosen as the best option to ensure any property is asset locked for the community is a Community Benefit Society. The Harbour Ambition team is thankful to Wessex Community Assets, especially Colin McDonald who has not only given a wealth of advice, but has also been a critical friend.

*We describe Integrated Housing as inclusive development incorporating alternative ownership and rental models, Co-Living, Market Price, Social & Affordable dispersed across the development in a way that encourages a more diverse and equal neighbourhood.

Developing a Community of Future Residents

We seek to build a community of people who have an interest in living and being part of a Community of people who want to live lives in community and be more sustainable. We will do this by involving them early in the development of ideas and concepts.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

Meet The Team

Following our incorporation in July 2020 and in line with FCA legislation, a Special General Meeting was held on 27th January 2021. In this meeting the founding Directors stood down and the Membership elected six Directors.

Two of the four founding Directors stood for reappointment, along with one founding Member. Four community members joined as Harbour Ambition Members and offered to stand for Directorship.

Notice of the SGM was issued on 6th January 2021 in accordance to the Harbour Ambition Community Benefit Society Rules. This included listing all the Members standing to be elected for Directorship, with each candidate being invited to write a short bio and state why they want to be a Board Member of Harbour Ambition Ltd.

 All the Membership voted unanimously.

 Harbour Ambition’s newly formed Board held it’s first meeting on 1st February to appoint roles.

Charmaine Parkinson: Chair

Charmaine is a local lass, born in Bournemouth & lives in Poole. She has worked in libraries across both Bournemouth & Poole for 27 years. As library manager in Hamworthy Library she saw the transition from the old to the new building in 2009/10. helping to develop an important asset for the local community. Following her redundancy in 2011 Charmaine served as a local councillor for 4 years in Hamworthy. Since then Charmaine has been self-employed & main carer for her youngest child who has additional needs.

Charmaine is passionate about the local communities especially in Hamworthy and Poole Town and wants to see the right developments brought forward for the benefit of residents in the regeneration area.



John Noble: Secretary & Treasurer

With a background of over 20 years serving in the Royal Navy, he has since been privileged to work with a number of community based charities, including foodbanks and debt counselling. He is a firm believer that change is more likely to take place when it begins at grass roots level and the best way to achieve that is by working together to build good quality communities and support networks. Although he only moved to Poole in 2019, it feels like he and his family have ‘come home.’ This is why he is excited to be a part of this project, building a community led development on such a historically poignant site.

He is convinced that together we can once again make the old power station site a place that once again energises and empowers not only the people who will live there, but the surrounding areas as well.

Alix Digby-West: Vice Chair

Growing up locally, Alix settled in Parkstone and then Hamworthy after studying Speech and Language Therapy in Birmingham. A musician and singer, Alix is passionate about community life. Living abroad as a child and life as a single parent, she’s seen the power of community to combat loneliness and isolation, and the power of the creative arts on wellbeing.

Ten years working as a Community Outreach Worker in Poole she has seen how mutually supportive friendships formed in community can bring change – to strengthen and grow individuals, families, and communities. With a heart for social action and justice, she knows Poole has more potential through working together to bring forward what our community truly needs – especially good quality, truly affordable homes, and sustainable community businesses, that also work to look after our beautiful natural heritage.


Rebecca Smith

Rebecca has lived in Poole since she was a child and has a passion for community driven regeneration and intervention for Hamworthy and the surrounding areas. She has a background of working in finance, education and design, currently working as an Architectural Designer in rural Dorset, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience she wishes to share with Harbour Ambition.

Rebecca is extremely creative and hopes to be able to bring with her a fresh and energetic voice to help shape the areas we live, work and play in.