Member News & Events

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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Do you know what it feels like to lose yourself?

Behind every smile there’s a story. Some wish to hide theirs to give them control and others wish to show theirs to let go. We invite you to Athelhampton House to lose yourself in an immersive theatre and dining experience, where we urge you to explore YOU. Based around our beloved friend Alice, we want to educate and raise awareness of mental health, create an unforgettable experience for you, our guest, and to raise money for Bournemouth based charity BCHA (Bournemouth Churches Housing Association), specifically supporting their mental health department, SMILE.

There will be opportunities to donate and help the cause at the event with a silent auction, inspirational speakers and of course to indulge in a scrumptious 3 course meal and entertainment.
If you cannot make the event or wish to help us further, please support us in making this event reach its full potential by generously giving on our Crowdfunder page.
We hope to see you there, because we’re all mad here.

Standard Tickets £50 available at:
Group & Business Ticket packages available at:

**All tickets include the performance, a welcome drink on arrival, and a 3 course sit down meal.

Pick ‘n’ Mix Productions are a group of students from the Arts University Bournemouth. Like our page to keep up to date with everything we do


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Alice-themed immersive experience event to raise awareness of mental health

A group of students from AUB (Arts University Bournemouth) are organising a special immersive experience event at Athelhampton House near Dorchester on April 28th to help raise money and awareness of mental health in the workplace.

The team of seven third-year Creative Events Management students – Natalie Dayes, Josh Watson, Jodie Wellman, Jess Bray, Tara Edwards, Kirsty Meade and Emily Spiers.– are known collectively as Pick ‘n’ Mix Productions and will be raising money for mental health services run by Bournemouth housing charity BCHA.

Entitled ‘ALICE’, the event runs from 6pm – 11.30pm and is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous book ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. Using themes from the story, the students will be basing the evening around the issues of mental health at work, while the setting of Athelhampton Manor House and Gardens, a spectacular 15th century Tudor country house situated 5 miles east of the Dorchester, is the perfect backdrop to bring this imaginative immersive experience to life.

Tara Edwards, one of the students involved in the project, said, “Do you know what it feels like to lose yourself? Behind every smile there’s a story. Some wish to hide theirs to give them control and others wish to show theirs to let go. We therefore want to invite people to Athelhampton House to lose themselves in an immersive experience where we urge everyone to explore themselves.

Based around mental health, awareness of mental health in the workplace, and our beloved friend Alice, we want to educate and raise awareness, create an unforgettable experience for you, our guest, to raise money for BCHA, specifically supporting their mental health service, SMILE.”

Tickets begin at £50, which includes a delicious three-course meal and a welcome drink on arrival, and there will be entertainment, inspirational speakers and there will be plenty of opportunities to donate on the night, including a Silent Auction.

Paul Tucker, Campaigns and Communications Manager at BCHA, said, “We were delighted when the students approached BCHA, not just because they are raising money, but also because they want to help spread the word about mental health and end the stigma surrounding it. Although there is a better understanding about mental health, there is still a very long way to go, especially in regards to homelessness, where the two issues very often go hand in hand.”

The event is open to the public, and standard tickets are £50, with discounts for groups available. Tickets need to be purchased no later than April 18th and all details and links can be found via

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