Posted on 15th November 2013

New Ark in the Park nears completion

Ambitious plans to transform Poole’s old Gus Gorilla’s and Central Park café into a stunning new family destination are nearing completion.

Local couple, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, acquired the old Poole Park site earlier this year and have, with the help of a team of local contractors, undertaken a major refurbishment programme.

The pair has invested more than £1.4m into the project to create a stunning new café and leisure complex at the heart of historic Poole Park – which is set to open on Saturday, December 14th.

The new café and attractions complex, which includes a three-storey bespoke soft play area, café, ice cream parlour and ice skating rink, will be called ‘The Ark’.

The Ark is now embarking on a recruitment drive for key senior management and general staff.

Owner Richard de Lisle said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the project coming together and we have now reached a stage when we can start recruiting for staff.

“As parents of young children we know what works best for families and The Ark is our vision of the perfect day out! 

“The aim is for The Ark to be a family-friendly, welcoming destination where local people and visitors to the town can meet up, socialise and enjoy great food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

“The soft play area and ice rink means you will be able to spend anything from a couple of hours to the whole day here,” he added.

As well as its local recruitment drive, The Ark has also launched an online competition on their website for youngsters to name its new penguin cuddly character and win a pre-opening party on 12th December for themselves and 30 friends.

For the latest news and information about The Ark and to enter the penguin naming competition visit

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. The Ark is a trading name of South Coast Caterers Limited.