The Arts University of Bournemouth (AUB) are collaborating with Poole business improvement district (PooleBID) to regenerate the struggling high street.
The project is part of Poole 2058 which aims to reconnect the two sides of Poole town centre and fuse heritage into the high street.
Poole is currently suffering from closures of shops in the high street.
AUB architecture lecturer Channa Vithana said: “It’s really a sign of the times when McDonald’s and Burger King leave the town centre.”
The regeneration plans included Light Up Poole where AUB students displayed two containers filled with their architectural work based in Poole.
Justin Hundley-Appleton, manager of PooleBID said: “We had queues going into all of the containers during light up Poole.
“Any project that we do with BID, we look to drive footfall and dwell time on the high street.
“We are trying to create opportunities for businesses to trade and open for longer hours.”
Light Up Poole 2019 welcomed around 40,000 people into the town centre on dark February nights when Poole is shut and usually lifeless.
This is double the amount of footfall the festival saw last year.
Channa Vithana explained: “The town is fragmented and the 5 PM close means there is lack of light and life in the evening.
“Current second years are trying to give Poole an identity as a craft high street.
“They have been given small thin plots around 3-4 meters wide, they have high ceiling space similar to London infill projects.
“The students are creating live to work properties so there is life upstairs on the high street even when the shops have closed.”
Students aren’t the only ones helping to regenerate the high street with Empire Cinema constructing a new nine screen cinema in the town centre with one open air rooftop screen.
Elspeth McBain, chief executive of the Lighthouse in Poole told me: “I think the regeneration of Poole high street is absolutely desperately needed.
“It’s all part of an important new strategy for redeveloping and redefining the town.
“Working with AUB students will give a real sense of energy to Poole.”
Elspeth added that the plans were “long overdue” and expects them to have “only a positive benefit” to the town.