Member News & Events

AFC Business celebrates first decade

AFC Business, the commercial arm of AFC Bournemouth, has celebrated its tenth anniversary with a Christmas lunch for 180 businesspeople at the Premier League club’s Vitality Stadium.

Launched in 2009 when the Cherries were bottom of League 2 and had just come out of administration, AFC Business has flourished alongside the football club’s rise to elite league status.

The free-to-join business club now has almost 1,800 members and is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

AFC Bournemouth commercial director Rob Mitchell said: “I am really proud and delighted that AFC Business has reached 10 years – and it is getting stronger.

“We are a long way from 2009 when I was working alone in the commercial department and we had lost a lot of connections with the business community.

“I believed a new business club was a great opportunity for the football club to reconnect with business, bring people into a fantastic venue, showcase our hospitality and facilities and secure support, partnerships and sponsorships with companies.”

He added: “Our roots, focus and commitment to the community, through the Community Sports Trust or business connections haven’t changed at all. If anything, they have grown and become more important.

“Thank you to the businesses who have supported the football club since those League 2 days. Our strategy won’t change – it is very important that we celebrate the business community that we have got and keep those connections as strong as we possibly can.

“We have grown and there are now bigger brands which are interested in supporting us, but our roots are vital and our priority is with the local business community, people who have supported us through difficult days.”

One such firm is chartered accountants and business advisers Hill Osborne, which sponsored its first AFC Bournemouth match back in 1991.

Richard Osborne, director and die-hard Cherries fan since 1965, said: “Backing the business club was a natural progression for us – and sponsorship has certainly worked. We have all grown together in this club and made excellent long-term constructive relationships with businesses and professional people.”

Mr Mitchell said AFC Bournemouth was continuing to look at ways of developing the business club, refreshing the events programme, delivering even better networking opportunities and ensuring businesses were getting full value for membership.

He added: “We don’t stop here – we continue to grow and develop what we are doing commercially. These are exciting times and I am looking forward to the future.”

Mr Mitchell and Mr Hill were speaking as part of a Q&A session hosted by Paul Kinvig, chief executive of Bournemouth Town Centre BID at the celebratory lunch. 

AFC Bournemouth player liaison officer Jimmy Glass staged his annual festive quiz which was won by a team from event sponsors Think Aero, including Bournemouth’s newly-crowned Commonwealth cruiserweight boxing champion Chris Billam-Smith, a huge Cherries supporter.

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

The next AFC Business event is the January networking breakfast at Vitality Stadium on Wednesday, January 8.

AFC Business celebrates first decade. For further information about the business club, email or call 0344 576 1910. 

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Yellows welcome new finance chief aboard

Yellow Buses has appointed a highly experienced new Financial Director.

Noel Smith has joined the management team at the Bournemouth-based, locally-owned bus company.

He has previously held senior positions with BAE Systems, National Air Traffic Services and Aquila Air Traffic Management Services, as well as an interim role at Tower Supplies in Poole.

Noel said: “I am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead and am delighted to be given this opportunity. These are exciting times for Yellow Buses as we continue the transition journey from RAPT Dev ownership and develop and grow the business as a profitable independent entity.

“My focus will be to use my extensive corporate experience to drill down into our business, looking at key financial drivers, to see where I can make a difference and add that one or two per cent so crucial to making a success of anything in life.

“There is a close knit team at Yellow Buses, a real family atmosphere with everyone pulling in the same direction, which is fantastic.

“I am open and honest, I like complete transparency and because I work best in an integrated operation my door is always open to any views from anyone in the company.”

Managing Director David Squire said: “We welcome Noel aboard to our leadership team as someone who is an excellent practitioner right across the board and will bring a wealth of experience to Yellow Buses.

“Noel is very much an all-rounder, a problem-solver and a blue sky thinker who is already deeply immersed in the Yellows’ culture and I look forward to a long a fruitful professional relationship with him.

“His role – as someone new to the industry – is to sometimes put fresh eyes on the company and, if necessary, challenge the way things are done, drive results across all sectors.

He will help to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible service for our 15 million passengers each year – with our expanded services, new vehicles and increased investment already leading to more customers and giving him a great platform from which to work.”

Noel, who is married with two children and lives in Verwood, is a governor of a Bournemouth school and a trustee of two local Verwood charities.

Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director; Simon Newport, Commercial Director and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

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Dorset LEP invests in education

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (Dorset LEP) has allocated just over £1.3 million of Local Growth Funding to three local colleges and a university in Dorset – a significant local investment in our young people.

Dorset LEP’s investment will work to address key skills gaps and unlock talent and ambition across our local communities, supporting valued economic activity, as outlined in our emerging Local Industrial Strategy<>.

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director, said: “Increasing the local education skills offering and competitiveness is of great importance in consolidating Dorset as a great place to learn, and then work. In particular, these four projects demonstrate investment in    the areas of arts, land-based studies and engineering & manufacturing.”

Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) will receive £51,000 for the purchase of new laptops and a bespoke locker unit from which further education students will be able to loan the computers, giving students free access to specialist Mac laptops fitted with the latest creative industry standard software. This project is expected to be operational in March 2020, it will upskill AUB students as well as support local creative industry businesses seeking skilled employees.

Kingston Maurward College (KMC), Dorchester, have been allocated £111,000 to build an Outdoor Education Centre and undertake college refurbishment works. The new centre will include a bouldering climbing wall which is a teaching resource and commercial asset. By late 2020, the land-based education college will have this new centre, a refurbished commercial kitchen and improved access roads.

Weymouth College will introduce an Engineering Centre of Excellence to Dorset thanks to a £605,000 investment, which will vastly improve advanced engineering teaching capabilities by paying for state-of-the-art equipment. Plans include a new digital media suite, allowing students to develop computer-aided-design and modelling skills. There are also plans to advance the College’s Electrical Engineering Centre at their Poundbury Campus, as well as the machinery and IT equipment available within the Centre of Excellence for Motor Vehicle Technology project recently completed, also supported by Dorset LEP.

Finally, £610,000 of skills funding from Dorset LEP will support Bournemouth & Poole College (BPC) in further establishing an Engineering Centre of Excellence in Dorset by increasing their engineering & manufacturing offering. This will involve the refurbishment of an existing building on Fulcrum Business Park for engineering and advanced manufacturing skills training and the creation of a workspace construction hub at BCP College’s North Road campus.

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Junior Cherries partners sign up for season

AFC Bournemouth have renewed their association with the four official partners of the Junior Cherries for the 2019/20 season.

The Premier League club has linked again with Bournemouth University, Hot Rocks restaurant and bar, Lemur Landings at Tower Park and Splashdown Waterparks.

Amy Marks, the club’s Partnerships Manager, said: “All four businesses are well-established partners and we are delighted to be continuing our long and fruitful relationship.

“We want to thank each of them for their support – it’s because of backing like this that the Junior Cherries can operate successfully and competitively and offer so much for so many young people across the region.”

Bournemouth University is a long-term partner of the club and has extended its partnership with the popular Junior Cherries scheme for a third season.

Hot Rocks restaurant and cocktail bar enjoys a prestigious location next to Bournemouth Pier where flavours from around the world are expertly cooked from fresh ingredients, are available on the premises.

Lemur Landings at Tower Park is a new generation children’s entertainment centre for those under the age of 12 with massive soft play frames, a climbing zone, a role play village, and party venue for children.

Splashdown Waterparks, which have water slide parks in Poole and Devon, is a great day out for family and friends, with something for everyone.

Special offers from AFC Bournemouth’s Junior Cherries official partners include: £3 discount off entry any time at Splashdown Waterparks in Poole or Paignton, Devon and £2 off and a free adult entry at any time at Lemur Landings indoor soft play, per cardholder.

At Hot Rocks restaurant, Junior Cherries can eat a kid’s meal for just £1 for every adult ordering a main course. Hot Rocks then donates £1 to Julia’s House. Junior Cherries also have a free 2019/20 Nathan Ake pizza voucher with Hot Rocks.

Becoming a Junior Cherry brings many benefits from a range of exclusive offers and events held especially for members.

Memberships cost just £7.50 and will last until the end of the 2019/20 season, when an option to renew will become available.

The benefits include: Invitations to exclusive events with AFC Bournemouth first team players; free replica AFC Bournemouth home shirt on your eighth birthday (terms apply); 10% superstore discount; opportunities to be a league match mascot or flag bearer (age restrictions apply); year-long discounts at Hot Rocks, Splashdown and Lemur Landings; 10% discount on official soccer schools; £2.50 matchday meal deal on concourses and exclusive competition prizes including signed merchandise

To become a Junior Cherry see

To visit the Junior Fanzone before a matchday see

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Panto bus is a work of pure genie-us

Audiences heading for Bournemouth’s pantomime at the Pavilion this Christmas will find Yellow Buses’ specially-branded vehicle just the ticket.

For the single-decker is emblazoned with the faces of the stars of Aladdin – including television’s Richard Blackwood and Amelia Lily.

The bus will be running on all routes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the run-up to the panto and duration of the show itself, from December 7 to January 5.

And the Bournemouth-based, locally-owned bus company’s mascot Buster Bear was on hand to meet the cast at the theatre and on a short journey.

Aladdin stars actor and rapper Richard Blackwood as Abanazar, X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother finalist Amelia Lily as Spirit of the Ring, and Bournemouth panto favourites Noel Brodie and David Ball as Wishee Washee and Widow Twankey.

Richard is best known recently for playing hardman Vincent Hubbard in EastEnders from 2015 to 2018, followed by ITV’s Dancing on Ice last winter.

Aladdin, sponsored by Pier Approach bar and restaurant Hot Rocks, is being staged by the same team behind the hugely successful production of Cinderella last year.

The laugh-out-loud story of Aladdin’s spectacular adventures is likely to play to packed houses and includes stunning scenery and, of course, a flying carpet.

Fiona Harwood, Marketing and Sales Manager of Yellow Buses said: “Yellow Buses is very much part of the fabric of Bournemouth and the Pavilion’s traditional family pantomime is at the heart of the community we serve.

“Therefore, we didn’t have a moment’s hesitation before dressing our first panto bus. We will also be running our special open top Christmas bus for our passengers to experience the sparkling Christmas lights in November and December.”

The bus is among a fleet of 10 community inspired vehicles produced by Yellow Buses for particular organisations or occasions.

Tia Thorp, BH Live Product Marketing Manager, added: “We are trying to get as many people exploring the arts as possible and this bus will help to spread the word right across the conurbation and help us build audiences across all age groups.

“We are grateful to Yellow Buses for their support. It is another excellent example of how businesses in Bournemouth can work together for the common good. And remember, catching a bus is way to get to the panto.”

Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director; Simon Newport, Commercial Director and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

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Local community invited to shape the future for Wessex Fields

Residents, community groups and business representatives are invited to help shape the future of Wessex Fields at an engagement event next month (19 November).

Following the decision by BCP Council’s Cabinet to build part of the road from the A338 up to the Wessex Fields development site boundary line, work is now underway to shape the future plans for the Wessex Fields site.

Those interested in shaping the future development of Wessex Fields are invited to attend the engagement day on 19 November at The Bridge, Littledown where the future of the site will be discussed.

This event will be an opportunity to hear from the Leader of the Council and share ideas on what the site should be developed in the future. Any ideas put forward will need to be financially viable and environmentally appropriate.

The engagement day will be split into three 1 ½ hour sessions and those who wish to attend must register at in advance choosing their preferred time slot.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said; “The development of the Wessex Fields site will be going ahead and it’s important for the local community to have an opportunity to get involved in shaping any future plans for the area.

Within these plans, it is vital that the future infrastructure development supports clean economic growth, helps to improve health and wellbeing and makes the area a better place to live, work and visit.

I would encourage anyone interested in the future of Wessex Fields to register and attend the event so that they can tell us what is important to them when it comes to developing this site.”

Ideas can also be submitted after the event via the dedicated webpage and presentations from the day will be available to view online.

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BCP Council and Royal Bournemouth Hospital to work together on future travel options at Wessex Fields

BCP Council and Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals (RBCH) will work together to draw up future solutions to tackle congestion in and around the hospital site.

Following yesterday’s (30 September) decision by BCP Council’s Cabinet to build part of the road from the A338 up to the Wessex Fields development site boundary line, councillors have pledged to work with the local community on any future plans for the site, including working with representatives from the NHS to develop new infrastructure and policies that prioritise sustainable travel to and from the hospital.

Currently earmarked for employment use, Wessex Fields is located near the A338 and Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Funding via the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership will see part of a road built from the A338 up to the Wessex Fields boundary line which will enable future jobs to be created in this area.

A public engagement event on the future use of Wessex Fields is planned for November 2019.

A partnership between BCP Council and the NHS will see both parties work together to explore future funding options which could include a controlled access road built that connects the A338 to the hospital site, as well as better cycling and public transport access.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said; “We are clear that Wessex Fields represents a good opportunity to create some valuable, high-quality and skilled jobs, whilst also supporting our Partners in the NHS in addressing congestion in the area.

“We have made it clear that as a Cabinet we want to see any future development plans place more emphasis on sustainable transport options and not just focus on increasing road-space for cars. We are conscious of the impact of transportation on the environment, air quality and reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible.

“It is vital that travel, transport and infrastructure developments support clean economic growth, help to improve health and wellbeing and make the area a better place to live, work and visit.

“We recognise the steps already taken by RBCH to encourage and enable sustainable travel to, from and between its various locations, and we are pleased it has plans to develop this even further.

“We are committed to working with the local NHS in delivering a high quality, integrated and low carbon transport system not just for the immediate future, but for generations to come.”

Debbie Fleming, Chief Executive, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals, said “We recognise patients, visitors and staff are keen for improved access to the hospital, and we believe that working with our Council partners we can reduce congestion in the area, in a way that supports health and the environment. There’s lots of work to do and we’re committed to doing this as a partnership with BCP Council.”

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Village Hotel Club’s boost for Cherries youngsters

AFC Bournemouth is partnering with the Village Hotel for a sixth year in succession.

The Village Hotel will continue its partnership with the Cherries as regional supporters for season 2019/20.

The Village Hotel, located off Castle Lane East, supports AFC Bournemouth’s under-21 squad by providing the team access to the leisure facilities, helping with recovery sessions as well as personal development.

The Village will also continue to sponsor the coaching kit of AFC Bournemouth under-21s manager Shaun Cooper.

Facilities at the Village include a state-of-the-art gym, spin studio, spa, 25-metre swimming pool, meeting and events facilities and free parking.

AFC Bournemouth partnerships manager Amy Marks said: “The Village Hotel in Bournemouth has stunning facilities and provides a brilliant venue for our young players to stay match fit.

“We are delighted to have signed them up for a sixth consecutive year and look forward to an ongoing and fruitful relationship.”

Amy Spreadbury, director of sales at Village Hotels, said: “We are so pleased to be continuing our partnership with AFC Bournemouth which sees the Premier League club’s players utilise our gym, spa and pool.

“Seeing the Cherries youngsters about the place is an inspiration to so many people to stay fit and active – and this perfect link between two regional sporting market leaders keeps that message at the forefront of our minds.”

The Village Hotel is also continuing as an executive partner of AFC Business for a third season running and will be regularly attending corporate and club events.

AFC Business, the free-to-join business club with 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. 

The monthly events – consisting of breakfasts, evening occasions and director level events – are well established and regularly sell out in advance.

For further information about the business club, email or call 0344 576 1910

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Cherries sign Goadsby for sixth year

Cherries sign Goadsby for sixth year

Leading property consultancy Goadsby has signed for AFC Bournemouth for a sixth consecutive year. 

The independent firm of estate agents, surveyors and valuers will remain as Official Partners of AFCB’s Community Sports Trust for the 2019/20 season.

Goadsby, which celebrated its diamond anniversary last year, will continue to sponsor the Trust’s schools project Citizenship & Respect.

The project uses young people’s love of football to encourage good behaviour at school, at home, in sport and within the community.

The project is split into two 30-minute sessions for youngsters – an interactive class lesson followed by a practical session, allowing them to discuss and share ideas about the importance of respect.

Paul Stewart, managing director of Goadsby (Commercial), said: “As a long established business working right across this beautiful part of the world, we felt we wanted to continue supporting this important project and give something back to our community.

“We didn’t have a moment’s hesitation about signing up again to sponsor the Cherries’ Citizenship & Respect campaign, which does so much superb work with young people and positively enriches their minds as they take their first steps into adulthood.”

AFC Bournemouth partnerships manager, Amy Marks, said: “We are delighted to once again partner with Goadsby. Our long relationship has seen the firm commit to so much good work with young people in the region.

“The Citizenship & Respect project continues to expand and has proved be a huge hit with local schools over many academic years, thanks greatly to the support of Goadsby.”

Goadsby has been providing professional services across residential and commercial property markets since 1958 and has grown to become one of the leading independent estate agents in central Southern England and the largest covering Dorset, Hampshire and South Wiltshire.

Goadsby is one of the UK’s top ranked property providers and with 23 residential sales offices, 15 letting departments and three commercial offices.

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