Member News & Events

Come See AFC Bournemouth U23’s vs Southampton U23’s

We are delighted to offer AFC Business members an exclusive event giving you the chance to combine football, hospitality and networking.

The Cherries will be looking to do the double over south coast rivals Southampton and secure their place in the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup. The squad is set to feature future stars such as Alex Dobre and Gavin Kilkenny who have already made their first-team debuts.

Treat clients or staff to a night under the lights at Vitality Stadium and join us for our AFC Business Premier League Cup evening on Friday 21st February.

Hosted in Bubbles Champagne Lounge from 5pm, guests will receive a pre-match buffet, drinks vouchers and access to our executive seating. The perfect way to start the weekend.

Places are just £35 + VAT and can be booked here. For more information, please contact

We hope to see you on the night!

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BCTC Lunch & Learn, 27th February

Lunch & Learn provides ambitious, pro-active business owners with the opportunity to connect with like-minded local entrepreneurs.

Try a new type of networking- exclusive for business owners who want to grow their business and increase business performance.

Join us for an exclusive ‘Lunch & Learn’ series for a really nice balance of work and socializing with the added bonus of advice and training. 

There will be ample opportunity for business networking with other guests, where you can look for referrals and business opportunities amongst fellow business people who are just as passionate and determined as you.

At Lunch & Learn you can:

  • Introduce your business
  • Grow your contacts
  • Increase visibility
  • Gain referrals
  • Learn and grow


Guest Speaker for the 27th February, Efe Ohwofasa


This session will be facilitated by one of our Directors, Efe Ohwofasa, award winning business coach and entrepreneur, where you will work together to:

• Clarify your business vision for 2020

• Identify key strategic milestone objectives

• Uncover hidden challenges and blind spots that could be sabotaging your success

• Leave the session renewed, inspired, and re-energised about your business and your goals for 2020 .


Seats are limited and it’s first-come, first-served. Workshop takes place on 27th February, 12 pm -2 pm, Basepoint Business Centre.

Take action now and register to attend.

FREE for BCTC members. Non-members £10. Speaker and delicious sandwich buffet included.

Register NOW to secure your place.

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BCTC Networking #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019

Promoting diversity and International Women’s Day

This networking event is promoting Diversity and celebrating International Womens Day

Most of us have an idea about ‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusion’ based on our own understanding and experience, and the term ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ risks becoming another label.  This inter-active event aims to clarify what diversity and inclusion really mean, both generally and contextually for Bournemouth businesses, to inform and challenge individual perspectives, and to contribute to the promotion of Bournemouth businesses being employers of choice, locally, regionally and nationally.


Heather Martyn – Vice President of BCTC
Tim Petransky, Diversity and inclusion consultant, and the Army’s BAME ‘lead’ for Southern England
Minaxi Mistry, Diversity and inclusion champion, the Asian Media Group’s corporate sponsor, successful working mother
Mark Pountain CBE, former HR Director and MD, now Managing Partner of CapRising, a business management consultancy (Chair)

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BH Star Award semi-finalists revealed

BH Star Award semi-finalists

The BH Star Award semi-finalists were revealed at a starry event held at Shorefield Holidays’ Oakdene Forest Park, St Leonard’s, Dorset, on 12th February.

Launched to honour and bring public recognition for varied achievements and positive contributions from those professionals working across the hospitality, tourism and retail sector, these new awards not only recognise and celebrate the BH region’s best-loved tourism, hospitality and retail businesses from the BH postcode areas: Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Wimborne, plus surrounding towns and villages.

Headline sponsor Shorefield Holidays, an award-winning, family owned business which operates eight holiday and leisure parks in the BH postcode and New Forest area, welcomed smartly attired entrants to a glamorous early evening reception, with canapés served as the semi-finalists were revealed.

Simon Pitman, Shorefield’s Group Head of Marketing, said: “We congratulate all the semi-finalists. Every one represents a business covering tourism, hospitality and retail, which contribute significantly to our local economy.”

The awards were also supported by sponsors and partners including: A-One Insurance Group, County Foods, Country Fare, Mploy, Goadsby, Eskimo EPOS, Meridian Lifts, Meridian Air Conditioning, Oceana Hotel Group, Nativ, Ist Waste Management, Bournemouth Echo, Wave 105, ELIS, Templar Wines, Conker Spirit, Amica and Expect Best.

Initial judging was carried out by representatives comprising of independent trade and business executives and educators, entrepreneurs and innovators. They will now make their final decisions as to who the BH Star winners are, which will be revealed at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at The Lighthouse, Poole, on Thursday 14th March.

Jackie Phillipson, co-founder of ROUTEpr and Events, organiser and curator of the Star Awards, said: “The judging panel was impressed by business growth, vision, drive and development. Well done to all entrants, semi-finalists.”

“The categories have a clear focus and are open to businesses, suppliers and individuals. As we approach the final judging, our focus now turns to staging a glamorous and stunning gala ceremony and dinner, which will be the standout event for making regional connections.”

“The value of winning, kudos and related publicity mean that the winners have something to shout about as they return to congratulate their teams. They act as ambassadors for the future and for other regional Star Awards.”

The BH Star Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony at The Lighthouse, Poole, on March 14. Tickets are now on sale. Visit the website to find out more and to purchase tickets.

The BH Star Semi-Finalists 2019 are:

Attraction of the Year Award
Adventure Wonderland
Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park
Marvo Mysteries Escape Room
New Forest Water Park
Poole Hill Brewery

Chef of the Year
Antonio Balmon, Lolas
Christian Orner, Salt Co
Dean Kavara, Banque & Bohem
Jordan Hale, The Goods Yard
Luke Jefford, The Tickled Pig
Maciek Kijewski, Molecular Magic
Manash Choudhry, Hotel Collingwood
Matt Budden, Hilton, Schpoons & Forx
Pete Tofis, The Connaught Hotel
Sarah-Ali Choudhury
Steve Hall, The Noisy Lobster

Pub of the Year
1812 Lounge Bar and Restaurant
Church St. Gin House
Jenkins & Sons
Renoufs Westbourne
The Silent Woman

Boutique Hotel
The Grove Hotel
The Lord Bute
The Urban Beach Hotel
Tiien Boutique Hotel

Business Tourism & Venue
Dorset Cruises
Hilton Bournemouth
Hotel Miramar
Marsham Court Hotel
Oceana Hotel Group
Parley Manor Weddings

Café / Tea Room
Binnies Cafe
Frieda’s Tearoom
Little Pickle Deli Cafe
Number 9 on the Green
Pause Cat Cafe
The Paddle
Upton Central Coffee Shop

Community Award
Bourne Free
Bournemouth Rocks 2018
Bournemouth University
Dorset Foodie Family
Ellis Jones Solicitors
Frankenfest 2018
HAT (Highcliffe Action Team)
Hays Travel Southbourne
Poole Bay Rotary
Poole Hill Brewery
Shelley Theatre
Wave Project

Customer Service
Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa
Country Fare
Hotel Collingwood
Hotel Miramar
PRC Streamline Taxis
Tiien Boutique Hotel
Webster Family Butchers
Willow Floristry

Dining Experience
Art Sushi
Christian Orner, SALT Co
Molecular Magic Creative Catering
Renoufs Westbourne
Renoufs Wimborne
The Jetty
The Larder House
The Noisy Lobster
The Tickled Pig
Tiien Thai Restaurant
Urban Reef Restaurant

Education & Mentoring
BU Dept of Tourism & Hospitality
Capital School of English
Trainer Lash

Environment & Sustainability
Anna’s Sorbet Lollies
Handmade New Forest & The Naked Pantry
Poole Hill Brewery
South Lytchett Manor Caravan & Camping Park
Sturts Community Trust
Terrior Tapas
The Urban Guild

Getting About
Dorset Cruises
PRC Streamline Taxis
South Coast Caravan Hire

Innovation or Product of the Year
Anna’s Sorbet Lollies
Capital School of English
Conker Spirit – RNLI Navy Strength Gin
Drop the Anchor Brewery
Food For Thought Cookery School
Handmade New Forest & The Naked Pantry
Nativ Hot Sauce
Soapbox Spirits Ltd, Pothecary Gin
South Coast Caravan Hire
Terrior Tapas, The Larder House
Yomp and Chomp

Investing in People
Brewhouse and Kitchen
Hilton Bournemouth
The Green House Hotel and Arbor Restaurant
Village Hotel Bournemouth

Large Hotel
Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa
Hilton Hotel Bournemouth
Hotel Collingwood
Hotel Miramar
The Cumberland Hotel
The Marsham Court Hotel
Village Hotel Bournemouth

Leading Star, Unsung Hero
Andy Lennox, Zim Braai
Don Nutt, Poole Bay Rotary
Fiona McArthur, SOSBA
Ian Goode, Goode Experience
Jane Hart, Oakemedians
Keith Hemmings, Morebus
Malcolm Angel, Gullivers, Wimborne
Malcolm Whitham, Care Home Bed Finder
Wendy Parrott, Youth Cancer Trust

Learning Experience
BU Dept of Tourism & Hospitality
Food For Thought Cookery School
Hotel Miramar
Webster Family Butchers

Mix Master
Alex West – Ojo Rojo
Ashley Barnett – Church Street Gin House
Claudio Gomes – 1805
Daniel Alves – Lolas
Danny Vickers – 1812 Lounge Bar
Iva Peshava – Brewhouse and Kitchen
Jess Smits – Be At One Bar
Jordan Crane – Mai Tai Cocktail Bar
Julezz Towers – TGI Fridays
Stuart Reeves – Chaplins & The Cellar Bar

New Business
Care Home Bed Finder
Christian Orner, SALT Co
Dilli Haat
Food For Thought Cookery School
Luvwed Group
Makla Bistro
Poole Hill Brewery
Pygmy Pineapple
Renoufs Soutbourne
South Coast Caravan Hire
Terrior Tapas
V. Dorset
Wanderlust Retreats
Zim Braai

Night Time Award
Be At One
Carls Comedy Club
Coastal Comedy
Mai Tai Cocktail Bar

Rising Star
Adrienne Coles – Coastal Comedy
Bill Webb – Poole Hill Brewery
Gemma Elson – The Tap House
George Barry – Dudsbury Golf Club, Hotel & Spa
Hamit Kircal – MyShake Bar
Kamil Skalczynski – Art Sushi
Louise Clarke – Bourne Free
Mark Rush Palmer – The Luvwed Group
Rupert Holloway – Conker Spirit
Ty Temel – Halo & Canvas

Self Catering Accommodation
Burnbake Forest Lodges
South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping Park
Wanderlust Retreats

Shopping Experience
Dacombes of Wimborne
Gullivers Farm & Shop
M’s Bakery Ltd
The Christchurch Confectioner
The Furlong Shopping Centre
Webster Family Butchers
Westbourne Bookshop
Willow Floristry

Spa, Pampering & Wellbeing
Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa
Flawless Medical Cosmetics
Oceana Day Spa
Soda Beauty & Blow Dry Bar
Village Hotel Club Bournemouth

Tourism Event/Festival
Bourne Free
Bournemouth 7s Festival
Bournemouth Coastal BID / Christmas Tree Wonderland
Camp Bestival
Dorset Cruises
Hotel Miramar, Navy Blue Party
Poole Harbour Boat Show

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Anniversary celebrations to mark Bournemouth Pavilion’s ninetieth year

Bournemouth Pavilion

This year Bournemouth Pavilion, the town’s Grade II listed theatre, ballroom and cultural venue, will be celebrating its ninetieth anniversary.

It opened on Tuesday 19 March 1929. During March 2019 there will be a series of special anniversary events and activities.

On Sunday 10 March Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will be delivering a Best of British Concert celebrating British music played around the time of the venue opening.

Conducted by Stephen Bell, the BSO will play Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, performed at the very first Pavilion concert. Elgar described the music as “cheerful and Londony – ‘stout and steaky’”. More of London is evoked in Coates’ Knightsbridge March made famous as the theme tune for the BBC’s In Town Tonight. The concert also features a trip to the country for two bucolic idylls by Delius and Butterworth and a rumbustious suite of English folk dances by Malcolm Arnold.

Vaughan Williams’ scintillating overture to The Wasps will feature, and Walton provides the pageantry with his rousing coronation march, Crown Imperial, complete with stirring central maestoso tune and incidental music to Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Henry V. This concert will be presented by Classic FM’s John Brunnings.

On Thursday 14 March a lunchtime Compton Organ and Steinway Grand Piano performance features Byron Jones who will take us on a journey of musicals performed at the venue throughout its ninety year history. The Compton Organ has been a continuous musical thread at Bournemouth Pavilion throughout its ninety years. Played by Philip Dore for the opening in 1929, its claim to fame relies on Civic Organist, Percy Whitlock, who took over in 1932; now recognised as an important British Composer of the era, writing much organ music during his time at Bournemouth Pavilion. He also wrote light music for the Municipal Orchestra often under his pseudonym Kenneth Lark. A Heritage Plaque on the front of the venue acknowledges his residency at the venue.

On Saturday 16 March the venue will be opening its doors for a free-to-attend community open day. Guided backstage tours of the building will be available and 200 children from local schools will be performing a medley of songs from the 1920s to the present day. There will be performances from Pavilion Youth Theatre pupils and strolling theatrical performances from the Pavilion Adult Theatre group. The Compton Organ will be played throughout the day and copies of archive material, including photographs and show programmes, supported by the Cinema Theatre Association, will be displayed.

On the evening of Tuesday 19 March there will be a special black and white screening of the Warner Bros. 1933 blockbuster hit 42nd Street. The musical show has been staged almost every decade at the Pavilion. The Municipal Orchestra will also re-create a 25 minute musical interlude prior to the Compton Organ rising to play nostalgic tunes, as it would have been seen regularly in the 1930s.

The celebrations conclude on Wednesday 20 March with a Gala Tea Dance in the ballroom with MC Michael Wooldridge, a performance from soprano Emily Matthews, and the Pavilion Ballroom Band.

“This is a superb showcase of anniversary events and activities which will create a snapshot of the era and mark Bournemouth Pavilion’s ninetieth year, says Pat Coyne, BH Live’s director of Venues and Events.

“We will also be announcing exciting plans to restore some of the original features and launch new ones. These will be in keeping with the venue’s heritage and also appeal to today’s customer needs.”

Councillor John Beesley, Leader, Bournemouth Borough Council commented “The Pavilion has been one of the most iconic landmarks in Bournemouth since it was built in 1929. It has hosted many big names in the world of entertainment over the years, and the events planned to commemorate the last 90 years are very fitting for the enduring legacy of this remarkable building.”

More information about events, including times and ticket prices, are available at

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New2Business Networking sponsored by Bournemouth Chamber

Bournemouth Chamber sponsors New2Business Networking

The south coast’s only networking club for new businesses is partnering with the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce (BCTC) to take on the ‘challenging’ times ahead.

The BCTC will become official sponsor of New2Business Networking at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth, from its next meeting on January 23, 2019.

The Marsham Court founded New2Business in January 2015 to provide support for new business owners and trainees of larger businesses.

In the past four years the free to attend, bi-monthly meetings have hosted around 300, new start-ups.

Jane Swift, Business Development Director at the hotel in Russell-Cotes Road, said: “We are thrilled to gain the support and expertise of the BCTC, particularly as we all proceed towards the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.”

She continued: “During the last four years, New2Business has welcomed hundreds of new companies which have reached a certain level but need further help to grow.

“We enable people to share their experiences, ask questions and ask for advice.

“Starting a new business is a big step and connecting with other businesses is key – but it can also be daunting.

“Our members tell us they appreciate the informality of our meetings and the opportunity to share the wisdom of speakers who have already achieved success with their businesses.

“Working with the BCTC and its diverse membership will only enrich what we offer.”

Richard Milton, Executive Director of the BCTC and MD of marketing consultancy e-nexus Ltd, agreed: “This partnership is a perfect fit for both New2Business and the Chamber.

“I myself have attended New2Business as a business owner for over 18 months and have been immensely impressed by everything about it, from its informal atmosphere to its level of attendance and the way it supports its members.

“The BCTC was born over a hundred years ago, but has the same very relevant aim – to support the local business community by providing networking opportunities, the very latest business information, training and development.”

He continued: “The south coast continues to witness encouraging business growth and as Brexit and its implications for business unfold, there will be an even greater need than ever for the BCTC and New2Business. I am excited about the months ahead.”

New2Business Networking meetings are free to attend and feature a speaker, followed by an informal networking session.

To sign up to attend the next meeting on January 23, please visit the Eventbrite page.

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Funding boost to support and prevent rough sleepers in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Council Logo

Targeted work to support rough sleepers in the town has been given a boost with almost £400,000 awarded to the Council.

A total of £387,500 has been awarded following a successful bid for a share of government’s national £30M pot that was identified for 2018/19 to help Councils further support vulnerable rough sleepers. This funding aims to support actions and interventions expected to have the greatest and the quickest impact on rough sleeping numbers.

Leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, Councillor John Beesley, said: ‘’We are delighted to receive confirmation that our bid has been awarded in full by central government to fund additional rough sleeper services. The funds are to be mobilised as soon as possible, with the aim of reducing rough sleeper numbers ideally before this winter and for services up until the end of March 2019.“

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We will use the money to build on what we already have in place to prevent rough sleeping in Bournemouth.  The funds will provide valuable additional capacity for our established rough sleeper team delivered by St Mungos, increase our Housing First project which sources self-contained accommodation with intense support for the most complex rough sleepers (also delivered by St Mungos), recruiting an additional psychological specialist to work with individuals, and increase resources and packages of support to help rough sleepers into the private rented sector.

“The challenge is significant but we are committed to making prompt and effective use of this additional fund and we know that it will make a very real and positive difference to many people’s lives.”

The Council has also submitted a bid for additional funds for 2019/20 and awaits the outcome.

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Free hearing and ear health screenings at The Triangle, Bournemouth. Hearing screenings are available to all on Tuesday 14 November 2017 from 10am-2pm.

 The hearing screenings will take place ahead of the British Academy of Audiology’s annual conference at Bournemouth International CentreThursday 16-Friday 17 November 2017.

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AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund help for children affected by domestic abuse

A member of staff from a Women’s Refuge in Bournemouth collected a cheque for £1,000 from AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund to support children who are impacted by domestic abuse.

The refuge, which is run by local housing and support provider BCHA, plans to use the donation to convert a garage, which is damp and used for storage, into a computer room for the children to use. Currently the refuge has no computer access for the women and children and the building also has no wi-fi service.

Naomi James, BCHA’s Project Leader for Domestic Abuse Services in Bournemouth, said, “We are very grateful for the generosity of AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund. Our ambition is to have a computer hub with 3 work stations that would give children the opportunity to learn, complete school or college homework tasks and projects and also have fun in a safe environment.

However, the refuge still requires an additional £6,000 of funding to complete the project, so will need to find the remainder via donations, fundraising and grants.

Naomi, added, “While the AFC Bournemouth donation won’t pay for the whole project, it will be an enormous step forward in helping to kick start the refurbishment. If there are local people or businesses out there that could possible donate time, resources or materials to help us complete the conversion, we would really love to hear from them.

When women get into the refuge their priority is their children, so we desperately want to provide a computer room that would benefit both women and children and help promote digital inclusion.”

If you would like to help with the refuge’s refurbishment project, please call Naomi James at BCHA on 01202 410500.

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