The company operates five open pits and a central storage and processing works at Furzebrook and contributes many millions of pounds to the Dorset economy.
Dorset is one of just two places in Britain where Ball Clay is found. Ball Clay, which can be found in products in most homes including tiles and sanitary ware, is regarded as a mineral of international importance because of its special qualities and rare occurrence.
Chris Cleaves, UK Ball Clays General Manager for Imerys, said: “We are delighted to be able to make this substantial donation to the local community and are proud to add Wareham Town Pound to the list of many charities and good causes Imerys supports.
“As a business with a long history in Dorset, we are proud to be at the heart of the local community – and long may that continue. Imerys takes its social and environmental responsibilities very seriously, and donating to this play area fits well with our community ethos. We are all looking forward to seeing its progress.”
The money has been donated to Wareham and District Development Trust, which is hoping to raise £5,000 to rejuvenate the Town Pound, which dates back to medieval times. The Pound, where stray farm animals were held before being claimed by their owners, has fallen into disrepair over the years.
It is a Grade II listed building, situated at the end of Pound Lane as it joins West Street and many of Wareham’s residents and visitors pass by without realising its age, purpose or importance to the town’s history.
Wareham & District Development Trust has agreed with the owners, the Rempstone Estate, to rejuvenate the Pound by installing life-size animal artworks to be produced by a group of year 10 art students from the local Purbeck School, supervised by not only their own tutors but also Wareham based illustrator and graphic designer Maria Burns.
The entire project including the removal of years of bramble and weeds from the site, the construction of a path from Pound Lane to the gate of the Pound, the design and installation of an interpretation board, and the construction of the animals themselves will cost in the region of £5,000.
John Scott, development manager for Wareham & District Development Trust, said: “To raise the funding for this particular project, one of many that the Trust is currently involved in, we have approached the local business community, and have been successful with £50 from here, £100 from there, but are extremely delighted with the donation of £500 from Imerys. Their generosity will go a long way towards our target of £5,000, and a project completion date of next Easter.”
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