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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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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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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Overnight closures on A338 to run throughout May

As part of the final phase of the A338 / Blackwater Junction Improvements scheme, a series of overnight lane closures will be in place until the end of May 2019. The closures will run between Ashley Heath roundabout to the Cooper Dean roundabout from 8pm to 6am.

To ensure that residents and visitors can get the most out of the long weekends, there will be no overnight closures over the Bank Holiday weekends in May. By carrying out the closures at night, people will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy a wide range of local tourism and retail attractions. Other scheduled works will however continue during the day.

The overnight closures will enable a new road surface to be laid across the entire works area. It will also allow the protection barriers to be safely taken off, moved and reinstalled in different sections of the works area. This will require the northbound carriageway to be closed overnight from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 May, from Monday 13 to Friday 17 May and again on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 May 2019.

In addition, the southbound carriageway will be closed overnight on Wednesday 8 and Saturday 11 May. The southbound carriageway will also be closed at night from Monday 13 to Saturday 17 May and from Monday 20 to Friday 24 May.

There will be further night closures at the end of the month. The current schedule is also subject to change and road users and encouraged to check for updates, use alternative routes and allow extra time for their journeys.

Gary Powell, the senior responsible officer for the A338 improvements, said:

“We are pleased to see the works progressing on time and on schedule. Throughout May we will be working at night and at weekends to complete the surfacing works as we approach the end of the scheme. We advise you to be mindful of the closures before you travel. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.’’

These improvements form part of the £45.2 million 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.

For regular updates, please visit:

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