Member News & Events

BCP: Financial support for businesses – information and contact details as of 19/03/2020.

The Chancellor recently announced a new wave of measures to financially support businesses impacted by COVID-19. These include but are not limited to:

  • Businesses receiving Small Business or Rural Rate Relief will get a grant of £10,000 to support cash flow 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality grant – those with Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will get an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief – Discount of 100% extended to all businesses in sector regardless of Rateable Value 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. 
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. 

To keep updated with the latest government announcements on business support throughout the coronavirus situation check the Central Government website or subscribe to receive email alerts.

It is important to note that BCP Council is awaiting further guidance on the award mechanism of this financial support from Central Government. As soon as this information is known, we will inform you via this email, on our @Business_BCP Twitter feed, the @BCPCouncil Twitter feed and on our website. At this time businesses do not need to take any further action. Funding for the Grant Scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Further information and support for the local area can also be accessed through the Dorset Growth Hub, and the Dorset LEP.

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Get help and support for your business

Following on from the government’s announcement, the following helpline has been set up for businesses requiring financial assistance. 

Tel: 0300 456 3565 Website:

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A Message from Vikki Slade, Council leader regarding COVID-19 in the BCP area

BCP Council’s response to COVID-19 
Our Leader, Councillor Vikki Slade would like to update you on the actions we’re taking to make sure we continue to deliver the most essential services to residents most in need, while at the same time setting out plans to support community resilience.   

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Engage with BCP Council for Economic Growth, 24th April

BCP Council invite you to ‘Engage with BCP Council for Economic Growth’, an interactive business-focused event to find out what BCP Council has achieved so far and to introduce you to the Corporate Strategy going forward. You are also encouraged to engage with us to help shape our Economic Development Strategy and provide feedback on the day during round-table discussion.

Friday, 24th April from 7:45 am at the Marsham Court Hotel.

The event is free but you must register via Eventbrite: We hope to see you there to discuss the key challenges for growth. 

Event agenda

07:45-08:15 – Event registration / networking (tea/coffee & pastries provided)

08:15-08:30 – ‘The First Year of BCP Council’ – Vikki Slade, Leader BCP Council

08:30-08:45 – BCP Council Corporate Strategy – Bill Cotton, Corporate Director, BCP Council

08:45-09:00 – Q and A

09:00-09:20 – The Draft Economic Development Strategy – Sandra Rothwell, Economic Advisor

09:20-09:50 – Workshop feedback on the Economic Development Strategy 

09:50-10.00 – Next Steps and Close

10:00-10:30 – Further networking/discussion (tea/coffee provided)

Register here:

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Honour for Yellows’ night buses

STAR TURN: Celebrating Yellow Buses winning an AM:PM award are, from left Marketing & Promotions Assistant Pauline Foot, Marketing Manager Fiona Harwood and Sales Executive – Operations Jay Thornton

Yellow Buses has been honoured for helping people get to a night out in Bournemouth – and back home again afterwards. 

The locally-owned bus company triumphed in the AM:PM Awards which celebrate achievements boosting the town’s night time economy. Yellows were successful in the Getting Out Getting Home category for the introduction of the Night One and Night Five services. 

The category recognises individuals or companies operating in the BH postcodes area for their commitment or actions to provide a safe and/or pleasurable travel experience Night One is a half-hourly service from Westbourne to Christchurch via Bournemouth on Fridays and Saturdays from 12.30am to 4am. Night Five is a regular Friday and Saturday service from Bournemouth Square to Bournemouth University via Charminster and Winton between 12.45am and 3.55am. 

Yellow Buses’ Marketing and Sales Manager Fiona Harwood said: “We were delighted to win this award. We are very much part of the fabric of the Bournemouth community and it is our role to get people to their nights out and back home safely. 

“We work closely with many of the bars, clubs, venues, attractions and accommodation-providers right across the conurbation and it is this joined-up, partnership working that helps the vital night time economy to thrive. “The night time economy in Bournemouth is particularly important as it supports more than 2,500 jobs and brings more than £130 million into the local economy.” 

The AM:PM Awards focus on celebrating the achievements and successes of Bournemouth’s town centre (and beyond) hospitality businesses. They are administered by BCP Council, in association with the Town Centre BID, and primarily aimed at supporting the bars, clubs and other venues and rewarding great service and amazing staff.  

Yellow Buses operates a fleet of 130 buses and 16 coaches with more than 410 staff. The company carries just under 15m passengers a year with its vehicles operating nearly five million miles across the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset area.

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Due to recent local events the Dorset Police Crime and Commissioner has teamed up with the Dorset Anti-Slavery Partnership to offer FREE awareness raising training. 

Modern Slavery, child exploitation and human trafficking targets vulnerable members of our community and can lead to criminal activity happening with establishments. 

Hotels and restaurants need to take proactive action to equip themselves with knowledge and understanding to keep their business, staff and customers safe and to prevent and disrupt modern slavery, child exploitation and human trafficking. This training is also relevant to Taxi firms/drivers, clubs and pubs. 

We are running FREE sessions at The Hilton Hotel in Bournemouth for you and your staff. We invite you to send staff members to the training and all participating businesses will be given toolkits to be able to cascade the training throughout your staff. Limited spaces so it is first come, first served! 

Sessions are available on 25th March

To book sessions please email Tina Symington on

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A Cultural Future for Bournemouth, Christchurch, & Poole

The BCP Cultural Collective is holding a session of speakers discussing the Cultural Collective – a link between the Culture Section and Business, Healthcare and Education.

It is free, includes lunch, but registering is essential:

#bcpculturalcollective #healthcare #education #business

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Free Cyber Security Training

BCP Council are currently offering FREE cyber security and data management training for all Small & Medium sized Businesses (SMEs) in Dorset.

It takes place online, very little time commitment from an employee, no obligation and there is a chance to win additional Cyber Security Consultancy worth £900. All free.

The project is government funded and should be quite fun and engaging too. The aim is to increase the productivity of Dorset based businesses.

For more information and a short video on the project visit

#cybersecurity #bcpcouncil #bcp

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Finalists announced in the inaugural Destination Awards

The finalists have been announced for the inaugural Destination Awards – brand new accolades celebrating businesses that make the area a great place to visit, live and work.

A total of 42 Destination Award finalists across 15 award categories were revealed at the Lost Paradise Bar in Bournemouth on Monday evening (February 3).

The contenders will learn whether they have won a Gold, Silver or Bronze Destination Award at the glittering Night of a Thousand Memories Final, compered by the comedian Celia Delaney, at the BIC on Thursday March 19.

The Destination Awards have been launched by BCP Council to celebrate the wide spectrum of attractions, events and businesses working to make the area both a successful tourism destination and a great place to live and work.

Craig Mathie, vice chair of the Destination Management Board, told the finalists and their guests: “We have had a wonderful number of applicants on this, our first year and we would like to thank our wonderful judges who have worked really hard to examine the applications and to visit our shortlisted businesses.”

He continued: “Only applicants which achieved the highest of scores in their category have been named finalists. But every business, regardless of whether they are finalists, will receive feedback following the awards in March, to help them sustain and improve their business.”

David Squire, Managing Director of Yellow Buses – the headline sponsor for the awards – announced the finalists in several categories.

He said: “Yellow Buses is delighted to sponsor the awards, as they fit so perfectly with our own ethos of being completely and absolutely part of our community.”

Tickets to the Destination Awards Night of a Thousand Memories are priced at £75 per person or £700 for a table of 10. To find out who all of the finalists are and to book tickets visit: []

Also sponsoring the Destination Awards are Expectations Travel, the Marsham Court Hotel, Cameo & Myu Bar, The Lost Paradise and event organiser dbox events.


Photographs are being sought for the Destination Awards Photograph Competition, with the winner being exhibited in a local art gallery.

The photographs can feature people of any age enjoying Bournemouth, Poole or Christchurch, whether they are visiting for the day or a holiday, or living or working here.

The winner will have their photograph exhibited at Gallery 65 in Westbourne and will also win two tickets to the Destination Awards Final in March.

Two runners-up will also win afternoon tea at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth.

The competition will be judged by Paul Collins, Head of Visual at Deep South Media and former Picture Editor and photographer for the Southern Daily Echo.

The closing date for entries is 4pm on Friday February 28, 2020.

Entries can be posted on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #bcpphotocomp or they can be emailed to:

Postal entries should be sent to dbox events ltd, 16 King Edward Avenue, Bournemouth, BH9 1TY.

Entrants must be able to provide the original, high resolution version of their pictures in jpeg format if they are chosen as a winner.

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