We are thrilled to announce that the 10th Arts by the Sea festival will go ahead, in a revised COVID-friendly format this September!
With safety firmly in mind, there will be a limited number of ticketed outdoor events which will allow for social-distancing, as well as a digital programme of engaging workshops and live-streams.
For details and how to apply for tickets to some installations, click here.
Dorset Growth Hub have opened up applications today for the Dorset SME Recovery Grant.
This grant is a result of the Government announcement that a share of £30 million would be distributed to each Local Enterprise Partnership, including a £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package for small businesses in tourism sector and a further £20 million funding to help smaller businesses recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, Dorset Growth Hub has been awarded a total of just under £550,000 of grant funding to distribute to eligible, Dorset based SME businesses that are trading in the tourism sector as well as the wider economy.
You can now apply for the amount of £1,000 – £3,000 or £5,000 in exceptional circumstances via the Dorset Growth Hub website (http://bit.ly/SMErecoverygrant). These non-repayable grants are funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Grants will be spent on projects to aid job safeguarding and business survival, such as improving websites, implementing new technology, improving use of outdoor space, with awnings and heating and also consulting, accessing expert advice on management, legal and HR.
The guidelines on the Dorset Growth Hub web page (http://bit.ly/SMErecoverygrant) also point out what the grant can’t be spent on such as PPE and business as usual items.
Nick Gregory, Operations director at Dorset Growth Hub says “with over 1100 businesses registering their interest in these grants, we are expecting a huge number of applications to flood in over the next few weeks. We have employed 3 new members of staff, 2 part time consultants and 1 full time administrator to deal with the influx of applications and enquiries. They will be doing their best to reply to you as soon as they can, process your applications efficiently and give you a decision on whether you have been successful. We are hoping to do this in a two week turn around, but this is dependent on the number of applications we receive in the first instance. So please bear with us, we really want to get this money to the businesses in need!”
If you are considering applying, make sure to read the full guidance to determine your businesses eligibility along with the project you have in mind. Your business must have been impacted by Covid-19 and you will be asked how the grant will help the business recover.
If you have any questions on the grant please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A BCP Council scheme to provide safer space for cycling and walking on Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drives, which was intended to relieve pressure on the promenade, and where concerns about speeding traffic have been a barrier to switching local journeys in that area, will be delayed to allow more time for dialogue with local residents.
The scheme was not planned to close the area to cars or prevent clifftop parking, but only to remove the through traffic. The idea was first identified at the time when our seafront was inundated with holidaymakers, and the summertime ban on promenade cycling was about to commence. It also intended to provide a route that can be used more easily by pedestrians and cyclists year round, where storms can render the promenade impassable. There have been a number of collisions involving injuries to people on bikes at junctions along the Overcliff in recent years and making roads safer as well as encouraging sustainable journeys remain a priority for the council.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport, BCP Council commented;
“As part of the response to COVID-19, it’s clear to see that the way we travel is changing, and as we head towards the new normal – going back to school and returning to workplaces – we want to support people to choose to travel more sustainably for shorter journeys. This also supports our vision is to create vibrant communities with outstanding quality of life where everyone plays an active part, and the new National Walking and Cycling Strategy.
“The Overcliff scheme has generated huge interest and concern in the local area. Whilst these travel measures are designed to be temporary and to allow time for people to give their feedback based on their experiences, it is clear we need to pause our plan for the Boscombe / Southbourne experimental traffic scheme and to seek further views from local people.
“We are keen to work with the local community on the extent and location of low-cost experimental measures in this area, and we need the views of those living, working in, and passing through the shopping areas of Southbourne Grove, Beechwood and Wentworth Avenue, Parkwood, Seabourne and Southbourne Road in order to shape a future scheme.
“We must recognise that doing nothing will not solve congestion, or deliver on our climate emergency response, and that some of the respondents were keen to see the scheme implemented. We are still keen to implement a scheme in this area.
The scheme at Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drives is in direct response to the government’s call to get more people cycling and walking as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Hadley, added; “The tight timescales and limited upfront consultation was mandated directly by government requirements to implement these schemes urgently to combat gridlock, and to consult over the following months.
“There are other schemes being implemented across the conurbation to support commuting, school and leisure journeys, and we are keen to ensure that the value of these is better understood.
“We will therefore also pause and consult with local people before implementing the planned measure on the railway bridge on Cleveland Road. This will mean that is not in place for the return to school this September.
“We intend to pursue the remaining schemes already in progress as part of phase one, and we had already planned that if we are successful with funding for phase two work, this would be done in a different way with early consultation given available time. A scheme for Boscombe and Southbourne will become part of that phase two work”
More information can be found by clicking here.
The Government recently announced that they will be bringing an end to the grant support schemes that were made available during lockdown to help businesses with their cashflow. Specifically, these are the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The application process for these grant schemes remains open and we are keen to ensure that all eligible businesses in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole apply by 27 August in order to receive this support. We have sent letters to the remaining 15% of businesses we think might be eligible (our third prompt) to encourage them to apply for the available funds.
If these funds are not claimed they will be reclaimed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
It’s warm, it’s beautiful and it’s nearly the summer holidays! For many of you this would have been a very welcomed time of year and particularly after these last few months we’re all the more eager to get outdoors, visit some lovely beaches and parks and stay at a home away from home – Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are here waiting for you.
We have been working tirelessly, in collaboration with a number of partners, to ensure that your visit is a safe one. Tourism sector partners and businesses are preparing to welcome you, providing information about what you can expect from your stay and we urge everyone to Respect, Protect and Enjoy our destinations, in line with the latest Covid-19 Government guidelines. We have also prepared itineraries outlining the many things you can do and still remain safe.
When you visit, we want to ensure you feel as comfortable as you can, knowing you are in safe hands which is why we communiate the latest Covid regulations and guidance and are actively encouraging Visit Britain’s We’re Good to Go accreditation.This UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark aims to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism so that businesses can demonstrate they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the required processes in place.
A handy holidaymaker information sheet has been pulled together helping you to stay safe during your visit. Should you become poorly with suspected Covid-19 symptoms this guide will let you know what practical steps to take to keep you, your loved ones and others as safe as can be. There is also a useful Tourist Charter that we encourage all visitors to review before you set off on your journey so that you can ensure you are well enough to travel and can thoroughly enjoy your stay.
While you’re here, our colleagues over at Visit Dorset have launched a survey to measure consumer intention and sentiment. We’d be grateful if you could kindly complete the survey and thank you, on our partners’ behalf, in advance.Make sure you Know Before You Go: check out the dedicated pages on our Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole websites providing details about how you can make the most of your visit and keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
#RespectProtectEnjoy our resorts, and enjoy that well earned time and space during your summer holiday.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
We’re looking forward to helping you prepare to re-open your business and operate from 4th July
The new government guidance to help you plan to re-open hospitality and tourism businesses has now been released and comes in to effect from 4 July 2020.
Working safely during COVID-19 sector guidance:
List of businesses able and not able to open from 4th July:
Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Kee ping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars- takeaways-230620.pdf
Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the- visitor-economy
Guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation:
Guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers:
UK Hospitality is preparing guidance to help prepare COVID-19 Risk Assessments: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/coronavirus
Free webinar to help businesses keep a safe record of customers visiting their premises as part of the NHS ‘Track and Trace’ system, in accordance with the new guidelines:
Over the coming week BCP Council will be issuing further support and guidance from our local agencies including Licencing, Police and Fire services to help your business to re-open and recover. Please continue to check back for updates.
Good luck with your re-opening plans.
The LGA was very well attended and we were delighted to welcome the Leader of the Council, Cllr Vikki Slade and CEO Graham Farrant attendance.
Graham Farrant gave an update on the impact of COVID19 on the community, the economy and its resultant effect on BCP. As we know the amalgamated Council was created 1st April 2019 and whilst it has been in place for just over a year in time, they have still not completed a full year under ‘normal circumstance conditions’.
With a budget of £283million/year made up of council tax, 50% business rates, and some grant money, the authority has seen a loss of £50-53 million. (Affected by big losses from car parking, trading and more money spent on moving patients out of hospitals and into care homes earlier than necessary.) Graham highlighted that food distribution and shielding were left to Council and with children not attending school, many referrals and safety issues have arisen. However, the Councils relationship with Police and Health have improved over the past few months which benefits the community.
Graham went on to say that before he arrived in post, everything in the Council was paper based and that this has completely been reversed with everything ‘online’, significantly improving planning.
Vikki Slade discussed the Community Response, Business Grants and new Discretionary Grants scheme. The Council were able to very quickly pull together a community hub response called “Together We Can” with the intention that everyone who needed it, got support in terms of food, medicine, shelter etc. Council staff were redeployed to help with essential services and participated in creating a new environment together, as well as 2,000+ volunteers who were matched up with vulnerable people. BCP is now a leading council in the way it has worked during COVID19 and found new ways of communicating with the public, including weekly ‘FaceBook lives’. To date, 6000 businesses within BCP have received £75 million in grants.
Graham and Vikki continue to lobby government to look to accommodate those businesses that aren’t covered by the grants. The Discretionary Grants Scheme has a small budget which will not go far, with the Council allocating £0.3million to business that didn’t meet criteria but were deemed important to the local economy e.g. hospitality & tourism, nurseries, finance, health & social care. Currently, the Fund has had 502 applications, with 650 businesses anticipated to apply.
At BCP Council we are working hard to ensure our high streets are ready and welcoming for customers to return safely and securely as shops re-open from 15th June and hospitality businesses from 4th July. Whilst we have been out visiting our town and district centres we can see that many of you are taking this opportunity to refresh and refurbish your shop fronts and interiors. Thank you.
We want to work alongside you to reassure visitors that our high streets are more safe, attractive and welcoming than ever.
We are rolling out social distancing signage across our centres and in some areas traffic management measures have already been put in place where pavement space proves difficult to maintain social distancing. We will continue to monitor and respond to social distancing issues as lockdown lifts and businesses reopen. We have been in regular communication with businesses and listed below is a reminder of some of the key messages to help ensure a safe and successful re-opening. By working together we can deliver a positive message to visitors to our high streets and ensure that they feel comfortable and safe to return.
Please follow the links below for more information on topics that may be of interest to you and your business:
COVID-19 Safe guidance for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
HSE COVID-19 Guidance and Advice: HSE has posted advice and is also offering an enquiry service for businesses via an on-line form or phone. Details here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/index.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=contact&utm_content=home-page-info
ASB & Street begging: Please see the attached flyer for information.
Legionella Legionella advice is posted on the COVID pages of our website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Reopening-businesses-support-and-guidance.aspx
Food Business Re-opening Checklist (Food Standards Agency) https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Food-Delivery-And-Takeaway-Guidance.aspx
As the country emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions BCP Council aims to make sure that its shopping centres and streets, its town centres, and its parks, gardens and beaches are ready and confident to welcome shoppers, residents, visitors, employees and students in a safe and secure environment.
From 15 June 2020 all non-essential retail businesses in our town and district centres will be able to re-open. This includes shops that sell clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors and photography studios.
Read the report by clicking the link below.