Member News & Events

Yellow Buses at the wheel as headline sponsor of the Destination Awards

Yellow Buses are helping to drive official new awards which celebrate excellence in companies that make Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch a great place to visit, live and work.

The Bournemouth-based bus company is playing a leading role as headline sponsors for the Destination Awards, a new showcase for the great work being done in our part of the South Coast to make it a wonderful place for tourists and residents alike.

David Squire, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, now wholly locally owned after a recent management buyout, said: “Yellow Buses and the Destination Awards are the perfect fit and we are very pleased to be involved.

“The Destination Awards are promoting local businesses and we have become a truly local business, employing 400 people and contributing to the local economy.”

“At the time we were approached about sponsorship we knew about our management buyout although it was still under wraps – so we thought it would be an ideal partnership.

“We’re part of the fabric of the town so it’s an obvious match for us. A lot of the businesses at the launch event at the Marsham Court Hotel were companies we already interact with – and we carry a lot of visitors to and from their hotels to all the tourism destinations.”

Yellow Buses have signed up to be the Destination Awards’ headline sponsor for the next three years. Plans include a Destination Awards themed bus to travel around the town alongside others with poetry, history and wildlife themes.

James Dixon-Box, owner of dbox events, won a competitive tender to organise and deliver the awards earlier this year. The awards have been set up by the new Destination Management Board, which looks after tourism for the new Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (BCP) Council.

James said: “We are excited to be working with Yellow Buses, along with sponsors Expectations Travel and the Marsham Court Hotel, to shine a spotlight on the fantastic work being done to make this a premier tourism destination.”

Applications are now open for the awards. There are 14 award categories, including Attraction of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year and a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism award.

Following a comprehensive judging process, including ‘mystery shoppers’, the awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony at the BIC in March 2020.

For information on how to enter visit

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18 Dorset youngsters set sail thanks to Poole Harbour Boat Show

18 youngsters from Dorset will participate in a free 5-night voyage on a 32- metre sailing boat, thanks to a charitable partnership between the Poole Harbour Boat Show and Ocean Youth Trust South.

The Poole Harbour Boat Show is the largest, free to attend boat show on the south coast and event organisers, Poole Harbour Commissioners chose Ocean Youth Trust South as their charity partner of the year for 2019. As part of the charitable partnership they initially offered 12 lucky, local young people the opportunity to participate in a free 5- night voyage on the sail training vessel Prolific between 21st – 26th August 2019. Entries opened back in March and organisers urged the local community to get involved and to get nominating deserving young people, aged 12 – 18 years in Dorset.

Ocean Youth Trust South provides residential voyages as a personal development opportunity for young people, aged 12 – 25, the majority of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable in some way. Young people sail as active crew members, responsible for sail handling, steering, watch-keeping, helping with navigation and voyage planning, cooking, cleaning and more. The aim is to develop skills and qualities that will be of lasting value to those young people as well as their schools, employers, families and communities.

PHBS Marketing Manager Tracy Payne advised, “We are thrilled, we have managed to smash our initial target and raised over £9,000! This means we’ve been able to secure 6 extra places and we’ll get a total of 18 young people on a sailing voyage. The Poole Harbour Boat Show theme is to ‘get people on the water’ and through this initiative we have been successful in our mission. 15 of the crew will set sail this month, with the remainder due to sail in 2020.”

Continuing Tracy said, “We were inundated with nominations for this potentially life changing opportunity for a young person in Dorset. It was quite a task to pick our eventual ‘would be’ sailors’. We hope they have a fabulous time and look forward to hearing about their adventure when we welcome them back to Poole at the end of their voyage.”

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South enthused: “We were thrilled to be selected as the first dedicated charity for the Poole Harbour Boat Show. Poole has been a very special port in the history of the charity for nearly 60 years. It’s a place where we always know we will get a warm welcome and any support or help we might need. At the Boat Show in June, we met some of the young people who will be involved and I was incredibly impressed with their enthusiasm and with their stories about why they had won their places on the voyage. I’m tremendously excited to go sailing with them. And it’s a huge achievement by everyone in the Boat Show team who has raised the money to make this voyage possible!”

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The first event to be hosted by AFC Business in conjunction with a match staged by AFC Bournemouth has taken place at the club’s Vitality Stadium.

Almost 70 business people attended the AFC Business Al Fresco Evening before the Premier League club’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Italian Serie A giants Lazio.

They enjoyed the chance for networking in style in Bubbles Champagne Lounge before dining and then enjoying the evening match – with a Dorset cream tea served at half time.

Cherries Chairman Jeff Mostyn welcomed guests by emphasising the importance of the very close working relationship AFC Bournemouth enjoys with so many local and regional businesses.

He said: “The club is at the very heart of the business community and we feel our partnership with so many forward-thinking and vibrant companies and organisations has played a vital role in our progression.”

The Cherries’ new signing from Club Brugge, the Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma was introduced to the gathering and took part in a Q&A session with Sky Sports presenter Jamie Weir, who will be working with AFC Bournemouth this season.

Amy Marks, the club’s partnerships manager, said: “This was an excellent event which enabled a great many people to see AFC Bournemouth play against international opposition – a pre-season friendly was the ideal time for this.

“We felt it important that as the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth we should be able to offer AFC Business members the chance to see the team in action, something which is not often possible due to size constraints of Vitality Stadium.

“Such was the interest in this event from right across the regional business community that we will certainly consider staging another one in the future.”

Lazio, managed by Simone Inzaghi, are two-time Champions of Italy and have they have won the Coppa Italia seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana four times and both the Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup.

Although they haven’t won the Italian title for 19 years, they provided strong opposition for Eddie Howe’s side, with the Biancocelesti running out 4-3 winners in an entertaining game, notable for the use of VAR which ruled out one Lazio goal.

However, home supporters were able to see new signing Jack Stacey in action for the first time, as well as many of the younger squad members, as the Cherries prepared for the start of the Premier League season.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses. 

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Search & Rescue, Global Reach, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is the September Breakfast at Vitality Stadium, being held on Wednesday 4th September. 

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at

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Expert Eye

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance has been appointed as official Adjudicator of the new Destination Awards.

Janson, who has worked in tourism policy and development for over 25 years, was offered the role by the Destination Management Board which oversees tourism for the newly-formed Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (BCP) Council.

The Destination Management Board replaced the former Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Board on April 1 this year.

David Bailey, Chair of the Board said: “We are extremely pleased that Kurt Janson has agreed to bring his expertise to the Destination Awards as Adjudicator.

“These awards are unique in that they recognise businesses that are striving to make Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch a great place to visit and live and work.

“Kurt has spent much of his career working to improve quality and competitiveness within the sector and his role will be to oversee the judges’ scoring process, ensuring that all results are double checked by someone independent of the process and providing that extra level of assurance that the winners truly are the best in their fields.”

Janson said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to undertake the role of Adjudicator for the Destination Awards.

“Awards are an excellent way to develop and grow a business, providing expert appraisals and guidance, enabling you to benchmark yourself against other businesses and also to gain new ideas which you can incorporate into the products and services you provide to your customers.

“And if you are an operator that is going to spend time and resources entering an awards competition, you want to know that the judging process is run as professionally as you run your business.”

With just 14 award categories ranging from Large Hotel of the Year to International or Inbound Tourism Award, the Destination Awards will seek to recognise and celebrate the ‘best of the best’.

All finalists, not just winners will also benefit from detailed feedback to help them take their business to the next level.

Janson added “I never cease to be amazed by the innovation of the tourism industry and these awards will be an exciting new showcase for the great work being done in this part of the south coast to attract more tourism and increase facilities for residents.

“I’m very much looking forward to reading the judges’ reports on the finalists.

“The difficult bit will be singling out the winners.”

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RockReef and Oceanarium, the Bournemouth Aquarium join forces to offer discounted tickets

Popular Bournemouth seafront attractions, RockReef indoor climbing attraction on Bournemouth Pier and Oceanarium, The Bournemouth Aquarium have joined forces to offer a dual attraction discounted ticket to visitors over the summer period.

The promotion offers savings of up to 30% at the Oceanarium and 20% off all RockReef activities and the PierZip, thoughout the summer, until 30th September 2019. When you visit one of the attractions, you will automatically be given a discount voucher to use for entry into the other attraction.

Sarah Hunter, Marketing Manager of RockReef said “We are excited to be working with the Oceanarium to offer our customers this great value promotion over the summer period and we hope it will help to encourage more people to visit our wonderful seafront attractions and have fun. Visitors will be able to enjoy an exciting varied day in Bournemouth and experience the exciting challenges of our 28 Clip ‘n Climb walls, indoor activities and the PierZip, followed by an inspiring, immersive journey around the waters of the world at the Oceanarium which is home to thousands of amazing creatures, including penguins, sharks, otters and turtles.”

Sara Kirchel, Marketing & PR Manager at the Oceanarium said, “This is a fantastic joint promotion that allows visitors to enjoy both all weather attractions with extraordinary discounts. You can discover our new Shark Wreck Reef display, home to several endangered and vulnerable aquatic species and with tickets valid all day, you can watch the waters come alive during regular feeds and fascinating talks and then head over to RockReef to burn off some energy on their adventure climbing activities.”

To launch and celebrate the new dual ticket promotion, the Oceanarium’s penguin mascot had some fun and tested his skills on some of the RockReef Indoor activities.

Tickets at both venues are valid all day. Pre booking of activities online at RockReef is recommended in order to guarantee a time slot and ensure that free admission to the pier is gained.

For further information about the Oceanarium and RockReef joint promotion, visit or

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Run for a good cause at Bournemouth Marathon Festival

There’s a chance for runners to help a Bournemouth charity making children’s wishes come true at the town’s Marathon Festival.

Round Table Children’s Wish relies on donations and sponsorship to help children with life-threatening illnesses aged between four and 17.

The charity is hoping that runners in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, which takes place over the weekend of October 5 and 6, will sign up to support the charity and raise valuable funds for helping poorly children.

Places are available for the half-marathon, which takes in Boscombe and Bournemouth piers and beautiful coastal views, and the Supersonic 10k, which takes place on the Saturday afternoon and offers a flat, fast course ideal for setting a quick time.

Currently the charity is working on granting a number of wishes, and one of these is for a Dorset girl with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia whose wish is to visit Disneyland Paris this year.

Over the last 30 years Round Table Children’s Wish, which is based in Moordown, has helped make wishes come true for many youngsters and their families all over the country.

A dedicated wish co-ordinator takes care of every detail to ensure each child gets the wish of their dreams, whether it’s meeting a hero, going on holiday with their family, or a special gift.

Round Table Children’s Wish fundraising officer Clare Kyrillou said: “Our charity relies on local support to make a big difference to families with poorly children. It’s always wonderful to see runners supporting us in our home town so please join us and sign up.”

It costs £30.50 to register for the Supersonic 10k, or you can pay £36.75 to sign up for the Bournemouth Half Marathon.

To be part of the Bournemouth Marathon festival please contact Clare at

You can find out more about the charity at

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Baron of Beef Dinner

BCTC and BAHA are delighted to announce details of the traditional Baron of Beef Dinner on Thursday 5th September 2019 from 6:30pm in the Oceana Suite at The Cumberland Hotel, East Cliff, Bournemouth. The dress code for the evening is business attire.

The Bournemouth Tradesmen’s Baron of Beef Association was set up in 1885 whose main purpose was to meet quarterly for the discussion of public matters affecting the general welfare of the Town and to also hold annually a Baron of Beef dinner on the third Thursday of February. Annual membership was five shillings (25p).

A baron of beef is a joint of beef consisting of two sirloins left uncut at the backbone. This event is now recreated annually by Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce. The original silver salver for the Baron of Beef Dinner can still be viewed in the the Mayors Parlour Collection at the Town Hall.

A drink on arrival, sponsored by BH1 GIN, and canapés will greet you, along with a traditional beef dinner with wine on the table and entertainment throughout the evening from Jenny Oag, for only £35 per person.

The premise of the evening is to meet, greet and connect with other local luminaries from our conurbation. We anticipate that the evening will finish at approximately 10:30pm and hope that you can join us.

To book your place please email with confirmation of the number of guests and any dietary requirements by 21st August 2019 to

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Explosive life of brave bomb disposal hero

The amazing life and career of the ‘real life Hurt Locker star’ – bomb disposal hero Major Chris Hunter – was told to 100 businesspeople from across the region at the AFC Business Director’s Lunch.

He was keynote speaker at the event held at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium by AFC Business, commercial arm of the Premier League club, and hosted by Chairman Jeff Mostyn.

Major Hunter, whose gruelling missions in Iraq inspired the Hollywood blockbuster film, told his story from joining the Army at 16, serving with specialist counter terrorism unit and being deployed in operational theatres such as The Balkans, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions in Iraq, worked as a senior intelligence analyst at the Ministry of Defence and was seconded to COBRA, the Cabinet Office’s emergency response committee, at the time of the 7/7 London bombings.

Major Hunter, who also found time to author books about his exploits in the most dangerous places on Earth, continues to work as a counter-terrorism consultant, and returned to Iraq after the lunch, where he trains locals in bomb disposal.

A main thrust of his speech was to show how his experiences in the high-pressure, high stakes world of bomb disposal and intelligence led him to develop the skills, psychologies and life-or-death decision-making processes and translating them to the current needs of the commercial world.

During a question and answer session conducted by interviewer Harvey Thornycroft, Major Hunter referenced psychometric testing, communications, fear of failure, motivation, soft skills, dealing with mavericks and leadership.

He spoke of the military’s OODA loop decision action cycle, referencing his time in Iraq where every decision made could have been his last.

He said: “In any given activity to observe the atmospherics, you orientate your resources or your focus, you make a decision then you act – then you observe, orientate, decide act again. Your competitors will be doing exactly the same thing so your decision action cycle has to be faster than theirs in order to achieve success.”

“Fear comes in many forms and the most common one is fear of failure. I think this is misplaced. Sometimes you have just got to make a decision and if Plan A doesn’t work there are another 25 letters in the alphabet.

“Where I have seen amazing people be hugely successful is when they have been prepared to take a risk, albeit a calculated risk – and the reason others have not been successful is usually because their fear of failure has curtailed them and they have not been prepared to take a gamble.”

Peter Lamb, from Savills Planning which was sponsoring the event for the third time, gave an overview of the economic powerhouse that is the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole region.

The BCP Council area is the 12 largest in England with a population of 394,000, bigger than Cardiff, Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth and just 14 per cent smaller than Bristol.

He spoke of the area’s strengths, including the tourism industry – which is worth £10.7 million annually and supports 12,000 jobs – AFC Bournemouth, Bournemouth Airport, Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth, which have 23,500 students and a 22 per cent graduate retention rate.

Mr Lamb, based in Wimborne, also listed the challenges faced by what he described as Urban Dorset – infrastructure, roads, productivity – which is significantly below Bristol and Southampton – and unaffordable housing.

Opportunities include improving connectivity, building more homes and top quality commercial floor space, attracting more tech companies and repurposing unused retail space.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

AFC Business’ five main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is an Al Fresco Evening on Friday, August 2 which includes dining and the Cherries’ pre-season friendly against Serie A giants Lazio.

For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at

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Overnight road closures support Blackwater West junction improvements

As part of the initial phase of constructing a new and more efficient B3073 Blackwater West Junction, a series of overnight lane closures will be in place to install temporary traffic signals.

From Monday 15 July the permanent signals will be switched off and replaced with a temporary signal system, similar to those used during the Blackwater East Junction works which helped minimise the impact of the works on those travelling via the B3073.

This will involve installing the new power supplies and road crossing before removing the existing power supplies. Once the temporary lights are in place the old signals, poles, cables and existing traffic islands will be removed and reinstated with asphalt to move the traffic lanes to their new position. This will be followed by new line markings and installation of temporary barriers.

In addition two gas main road crossings will be installed, one across the A338 on slip and the other on the B3073.

To install the temporary signal system and carry out this work, Blackwater West junction and the A338 slip roads will be closed on Monday 15 July from 8pm to 6am for up to 7 nights therefore avoiding regular traffic restrictions at peak times.

Cllr Andy Hadley, Cabinet member for Transport and Infrastructure, BCP Council, said: “This latest scheme in the BIG Programme will widen the existing junction on all sides to allow for additional capacity and improved traffic signals as well as improved pedestrian and cycling facilities.

“We would advise motorists to plan their journeys whilst these overnight closures are in place to minimise disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.’’

During the week of night closures, remedial works will also be carried out at Hurn Roundabout.

From 18 July for two nights, kerbing and surfacing works will be carried out at Hurn Roundabout with three-way temporary traffic lights in place at the Matchams Lane/Avon Causeway Junction. There will be some noise due to the nature of this work but every endeavour will be made to keep disruption to a minimum.

The Blackwater West Signal Improvements are scheduled to last until Spring 2020 with the work having no impact on the main Spur Road. The improvements form part of the £45.2million investment in Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport, unlocking employment land and stimulating economic growth.

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