Member News & Events

Littledown’s food and music festival returns for third year

Littledown’s popular food and music festival returns later this month and the lineup promises to be tastier than ever.

The event is set to take place in Littledown Park on Sunday 23 June 2019 between 11am-5pm.

Back for its third year the programme is packed with home-grown culinary delights, a wide choice of stalls selling food from around the world, live music, activities and arts & crafts stalls.

Attractions this year include an international street food corner offering tasty treats from Vietnam, Turkey, India, Mexico, China and North America. There will also be a hog roast, wood fired pizza, wild game burgers and stalls selling local cheeses, homemade artisan breads, sauces and preserves. There’s plenty for those with a sweet tooth too including homemade cakes, crepes, waffles, shakes and handmade fudge.

Locally brewed ciders and ales will quench the thirst, or, for those who’d prefer a more spirited experience, a gin bar will be selling gins from the region.

There’s live music throughout the day, kicking off with three-piece ukulele band The Mother Ukers. Party band Clockwork Jukebox follow with an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary hits. And Brass Monkeys will close the event with a lively set of rock and soul.

There’ll be plenty to entertain the kids too with Get up and Bounce inflatables, face painting and body art. Jules the Entertainer will be stilt walking, balloon modelling, showcasing circus skills and performing magic shows. ALTITUDE High Ropes Adventure, the children’s playpark, paddling pool and Littledown Centre will also all be open as usual.

“We are looking forward to hosting our third food and music festival here at Littledown, says Colette Kiernander, BH Live’s Divisional General Manager.

“We hope everyone enjoys the variety of food, music and stalls on offer this year and a fantastic day is had by all.”

Admission to the festival is free although some activity charges will apply.

Walking, cycling and getting public transport to the festival is encouraged. Car parking is available on a first come first served basis.

Get updates about Littledown’s food & music festival on Facebook and find out more at

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AFC Business hails Rupert the Conkerer

AFC Business

The rise of Bournemouth’s award-winning Conker Spirit has been celebrated at the first Gin Evening to be staged by AFC Business.

The brand’s founder Rupert Holloway was guest speaker at the event staged in the Bubbles Champagne Lounge at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth Town Centre BID hosted the evening and Chief Operating Officer Paul Kinvig interviewed Rupert about his success story.

Businesspeople from across the region gathered for gin tasting, live music, food and networking at the newest event to be held by AFC Business, the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth. Rupert was on hand to discuss his journey from kitchen table to Dorset’s first gin distillery in Southbourne and the story of his Dorset Dry Gin, made from Dorset botanicals and New Forest spring water.

The former quantity surveyor gave up his job, sold his car and sourced funding from wherever he could to launch Conker Spirit and scale it up into the success it is today with a range of products stocked by major retailers.

Conker Spirit has won a host of awards, including a Bronze at the 2018 World Gin Awards, and has branched out with its Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and also the new 57% proof Navy Strength Gin, which benefits the RNLI by £5 from each bottle sold.

Bournemouth Town Centre BID – a not-for-profit-company established in 2017 and primarily funded by a levy on nearly 700 businesses within its area – is dedicated to raising the town centre’s profile, generating investment, increasing footfall and boosting revenue.

A fundraising raffle was held in aid of Dorset Mental Health Forum, AFC Business charity partner for the 2018/19 season, and the organisation’s Becky Aldridge and Sarah Rose were present to talk about the work of the long-established charity.

AFC Bournemouth Partnerships Manager Amy Brunton thanked all the sponsors for their continued support, saying they had been instrumental in the club’s success on and off the field.

Amy also announced a new AFC Business venture – a pre-match meal, hospitality and ticket to the pre-season friendly against Italian Serie A giants Lazio of Rome on August 2 at Vitality Stadium.

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 the Directors’ Lunch for senior business people at Vitality Stadium on Wednesday July 10, which is sponsored by Savills and features as guest speaker Major Chris Hunter QGM, counter-terrorist bomb disposal specialist, with former Northampton rugby star Harvey Thorneycroft hosting proceedings.

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

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Signs Express Bournemouth assisting Veteran’s Mental Health Support

Signs Express Bournemouth assisting Veteran’s Mental Health Support

Signs Express Bournemouth are supporting a fundraising challenge in aid of Icarus online who raise funds for Veteran Mental Health Support.

They are helping former Royal Marine, John Easlick’s Jurassathon. John has set himself the monumental challenge of running 100 miles non-stop along the Jurassic coast in the South of England. He is running from Sidmouth to Old Harry Rocks, and this is a route with some serious hills which definitely adds a little spice to the run.

Signs Express Bournemouth are helping by seeking sponsorship and producing eight 3 metre banners for local businesses to demonstrate their support for John’s efforts. Each banner will show up to 5 businesses logos costing £100 per business. These banners will be placed at locations throughout the 100 mile trek. If one business wished to take a complete banner at £500 then this is also fine.

To find out how to get involved and support John please email:

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Hill Osborne helps Josie Cox get another step closer to her dream career

Accounts Assistant, Josie Cox, of Dorset based Independent Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Hill Osborne, has started studying for her ACA Professional Level as part of her training to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, after successfully completing her Certificate Level with flying colours.

Josie, who attended The Purbeck School in Wareham before studying history and classics at the University of Winchester, has been with the firm based at its Poole office since April 2018, which she joined having decided upon a career change after working as cabin crew for British Airways.

Josie commented:“I wanted to train as an accountant as I have always been good at maths, I love helping people, and I wanted a career that would challenge me on a daily basis. I chose to train at Hill Osborne because I’d known of the firm for quite some time having been employed by one of our clients whilst at school. I knew it was a very friendly office where everyone would help me learn on the job and give me advice with my studies. Working here means I get a fantastic insight into all areas of accountancy, which has been invaluable for my studies.

“I love working at Hill Osborne. Everyone here has been so kind to me and really supportive; I couldn’t ask for better colleagues. I’m really lucky to work for a firm where I get to work on all areas of accounts, rather than specialising in one specific area. Every day is very busy, and I really enjoy my role and helping clients with their queries.”

Richard Osborne, director at Hill Osborne, said:“As a local firm, it’s incredibly important for us to be able to assist and guide our employees into a career they are passionate about. Josie has proved herself to be a very dedicated and hard-working member of the Hill Osborne team, whose positive attitude has made her popular with both clients and staff. Now that she has completed her Certificate Level it will take around 12-18 months of studying for her to gain the Professional Level Certificate, and another step closer to attaining her career goal as a Chartered Accountant.”

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Poole Harbour Boat Show draws record crowds

Poole Harbour Boat Show

The 5th annual Poole Harbour Boat Show (PHBS), in association with Sunseeker, which took place from 7th – 9th June, welcomed a record number of visitors from across the south and beyond. Event organisers are delighted with the continued success and growth of the event and reported thousands heading to the quayside and marina to enjoy the vast array of entertainment, boat displays and activities on offer over the weekend. Despite the heavy rain and high winds, which had threatened to spoil the popular event, visitors headed in their droves to Poole port and the sun did come out!

The PHBS is run by Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) and has the proud boast of being the largest, FREE to attend boat show in the UK. The Boat Show’s ambitions and theme are to get people ‘on the water’, particularly young people and this was certainly achieved. The show had something for everyone, including over 100 boats on the water, including tall ships, celebrity style yachts and motor cruises. There was an impressive line-up of ‘on-the water’ activities and workshops which included free taster sessions, allowing visitors to try their hand at paddle boarding, kayaking and dinghy sailing. Visitors were urged to ‘simply turn up and book a slot’.

There were many ‘firsts’ for the show and this year included the Poole Bay 100 Power Boat Racing which saw over 33 power boats in the marina, preparing to race out at sea at up to speeds of 120mph.

Newfoundland Rescue dogs made their first appearance and proved to be a huge crowd puller.

The show’s ambitious eco plans caused a stir with many new eco initiatives introduced and welcomed by the public. These included; efforts to eliminate use of single-use plastics wherever possible, ‘top tips’ provided by the organisers encouraging exhibitors to be eco-friendly, urging visitors to bring refillable water bottles and the provision of refill stations. Refillable coffee cups were also provided to exhibitors.

Of particular interest to visitors was the display of some of the plastic waste that had been collected from just one weekend of the recent ‘Big Harbour Clean Up’, which was run in collaboration with PHC. Rosie Bailey, a Big Harbour Clean Up organiser advised, “Over just one weekend of the harbour clean- up we collected enough plastic rubbish and waste to fill 4 skips! Our display at the boat show, which showed just a portion of what was collected, has instigated lots of conversations and interest from show visitors. It has been fantastic for awareness.”

Poole Harbour Marketing Manager Tracy Payne advised, “We have more plans for the 2020 Boat Show to become even more environmentally friendly. Watch this space!”

Poole Harbour Commissioners CEO Jim Stewart enthused, “This has been a hugely successful boat show. We have had lots of additional features this year which have proven to be very popular. We really feel that our mission to ‘get people on the water’ has been a success and attracted visitors to the show. The marine environment focus this year has also shown to be extremely popular and grabbed attention. We hear from marina exhibitors that boats have been sold and excellent sales leads achieved, which is excellent news. Over the weekend we welcomed the ‘Grand Circle Travel’ 7-star cruise ship, Corinthian, into the port. No doubt the cruise ship guests were thrilled to be part of the show.”

The next Poole Harbour Boat Show will take place on 12th – 14th June 2020.

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KTPR Celebrates 5 Years in Business!

Kate Shaw of KTPR in Bournemouth has recently marked and celebrated the 5th anniversary of her business.

Kate enthused, “I’m thrilled that Nathan Ake joined me in marking the 5th birthday of KTPR.  Nathan is of course AFC Bournemouth’s iconic number 5 and what better person to high five the business on this special celebration!

“Five years have flown by.  When I started out, I never imagined that KTPR would be the success that it is. I’m celebrating working with a brilliantly diverse mix of talented clients, many who have been with me for several years now. My main clients include Poole Harbour Commissioners, Saffery Champness Accountants, Stackhouse Poland and Coleman Marine Insurance, Gales Solicitors, Bournemouth Pier and Dorset Business Angels.  I love working in Bournemouth and further afield in Dorset, it’s certainly a good place to set up a business with lots of opportunities. 

Nathan said, “I’d like to congratulate Kate on 5 successful years in her PR business and wish her continued success in the future.”                                                            

Anyone interested in connecting with Kate is urged to contact Tel 07971 552224

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The Destination Awards

The Destination Awards have been created by the Destination Management Board to celebrate true excellence in businesses that help to make Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole a great place to visit, live and work. Through a clear and transparent process, our judges will search for the businesses showing true innovation and creating unique and exceptional experiences for their customers.

There has been a lot of talk about this exciting new initiative and we are pleased to say the waiting is finally over! We are pleased to invite you to the launch event on Thursday 3rd July at 5.30pm.

Come along and enjoy reception drinks and some delicious canapes in the spectacular new ballroom at the Marsham Court Hotel with views across Bournemouth Bay.

We will be announcing all of the exciting details about the new awards including the 15 chosen categories, the judges and our fantastic awards dinner. Following the event, applications and nominations will begin for the first ever Destination Awards.

To book your place at the launch event click here

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Nominations Open For BHStar Awards 2020

Nominations are open for the BHStar Awards 2020, following the success of this year’s inaugural event throughout the BH postcode area.

The official launch will take place at Drgnfly restaurant and bar in Poole, which won the New Business Award 2019 (sponsored by A-One Insurance Group).

Jackie Phillipson from the BHStar Awards, said: “We’ve seen a new wave of local entrepreneurs enter into business in recent years and they have drive and a dynamic approach, which should be encouraged and recognised.”

“The BHStar Awards does exactly this by creating standout events and a campaign which provide the opportunity to make connections and create a powerful community, whilst celebrating the hard work, determination and dedication that goes into creating this award-winning destination.”

The BHStar Awards will be launched in June, with the semi-finalists and winners from each category announced and presented with their prestigious BHStar Award in readiness for 2020.

The BHStar Awards 2020 is proving to be more dynamic and community driven than ever, with the value of first class regional awards going way beyond celebrating at the finals.

Jackie continues: “In their first year, the awards attracted a vast array of talented and highly successful new wave local businesses, individuals and organisations, which resulted in kudos and valuable publicity for those who took part and got involved. Those winners have gone onto become beacons, with many going onto win national and international awards, and as a result they are already sending us nominations and encouraging other businesses to enter.”

“We could not have staged the BHStar Awards without support from the local community – from nominees and entries, to the judges, our fantastic sponsors and partners, plus the local media and the venues. As the curators, we’ve been told we’ve created something special and as a result we’ve made the commitment to develop and grow the awards to continue to showcase the South and the destination, delivering relationships with savvy, talented businesses who want to make a difference and to sparkle with stellar performance.”

The BHStar Awards work hand in hand with the Southampton Star Awards, which were equally well received by the city and the SO postcode community. This summer will see the return of the SOStar Awards with the 2020 launch event.

For more information about the BHStar Awards, including how to nominate, enter or get involved with sponsorship, visit or email

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What’s on the agenda – BCTC May 2019

We always get asked the question “what does the Chamber do?” so we thought we would share some of the items that have been on our agenda over the last month to give our members an idea of the discussions that the BCTC are currently involved in as most of the work our volunteer Directors do is not reported.

So far this year we have been:

  • Discussing the increase of PCSO powers at our monthly Local Government Affairs meeting held at the Town Hall.  Increased powers will mean that PCSO’s will have increased ability to assist businesses experiencing recurring issues with homeless and aggressive beggars operating on or near their premises. Local traders have reported several issues relating to the persistent use of doorways to sleep in and beg from which has a negative effect on customers shopping with them. We are hopeful that increased powers will assist businesses across the town in a positive manner.
  • Reviewing the formation of the new BCP authority and how this will affect our local economy.
  • Learning about the provision of support for rough sleepers and the homeless community and how these services can assist local businesses if problems arise.

Our Local Government Affairs meeting is a key meeting of the conurbations Business Trade Group Chairs, Councillors, Council Executives and local business leaders. Attendance is by invitation only however the Chamber encourages members to email the Executive Officer via with business issues which they would like bought in front of the Council for discussion.

As a Chamber of Commerce, we are unable to liaise with the Council on individual business issues however if a common thread or problem is reported from several businesses in one area, we are able to raise this with the local Council or appropriate support service via the meeting agenda.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to raise a business issue or query that you are experiencing.

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