Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce


Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce


Take part in Future Skills Employment Week

Between 18th and 22nd October, Boscombe’s Royal Arcade will play host to the ‘Future Skills and Employment Week’. Whether you are an individual wanting to know more about careers in creative and digital technology or a business looking for new and innovative ways to upskill staff, this week is your opportunity to ask for expert advice, find out about the new ‘virtual careers platform’ and even test the latest technologies.

For example, find out how your team can use virtual reality as part of a training programme; and see 3D printing in action. The events programme includes a range of interesting talks from knowledgeable speakers too and you are encouraged to sign up in advance to secure your place.

In addition, Dorset Growth Hub is on hand to answer questions about setting up a business, they can even help get you started; and career advisors will be there for some friendly guidance.

Curious? Feel free to head in between 10 and 4 (every day except Wednesday), no appointment necessary.

For more information, click here. 

Chamber hails “great coup” as Bobby’s returns

Multi-million pound plans to restore what was once the home of ‘Bobby’s’ department store to its former glory have been hailed as “a great coup” for Bournemouth.

Jacqui Rock, President of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, was speaking after Verve Properties announced that it was restoring the prominent building in The Square.  It was due to lie empty when the current occupier, Debenhams, closes its doors for the final time on May 15.
Many of the building’s original features will now be reinstated, including the original 1933 front entrance, or uncovered.

Jacqui told Dorset Biz News: “This is a great coup for Bournemouth.
Very much a ‘wow’ retail shopping experience, which is just what we need as people’s expectations become higher.  Bobby’s is something that is not only iconic to us locally, it is wonderful to launch the town as we re-emerge from lockdown. I, for one, can’t wait to visit.”

In a press release, Verve Properties, the development company which recently transformed the nearby Avenue Centre, said that it was “focused on securing local, independent, and socially conscious brands to work with, to ensure that the regeneration reflects the changes the pandemic has accelerated in social and shopping patterns.”

Plans are in place for the first parts of the store to reopen in mid-July this year, with more elements opening all the way through the year and into 2022.
First to open will be Bobby’s Beauty Hall, a traditional ice cream and coffee parlour, an art gallery, and a dog café in the Lower Gardens.

The beauty hall will have local, sustainable, and conscious brands sitting alongside the big brands.  As an independent beauty operation, Bobby’s Beauty Hall will offer products and brands not previously available at Debenhams.  There will also be a Sushi and plant-based Poke Bowl Bar, a nail bar and treatment rooms for female and male grooming.  The watch repairing station ‘In Time’ will be retained.

On the first floor the large windows overlooking the Square will be opened up, new balconies installed, and the floor will house a food and market hall.
This will include street food outlets including plant-based food, a deli, a bar and speciality retail market pods.  Spa facilities are in the planning stages and, it is hoped, will open in 2022. The second floor will house an art gallery with more details to be revealed in coming weeks.

Accessed from Terrace Road, old buildings at the rear will be reorganised to create a garden area and a micro-brewery and craft ale smokery bar. Following that, plans are in place to open a 4th floor restaurant and bar and roof terrace bar. – all with a key focus on the local community.
There are also plans in place, due to be announced soon, for a very special collaboration with the Bournemouth-bred artist Stuart Semple, which will involve memories of the town.

Bobby & Co opened in 1915 in The Square in Bournemouth and remained under that name for more than 50 years. It was rebranded in 1972 as part of the Debenhams group.

For the complete article visit Dorset Biz News here.


Hannah Mazrae promoted to Partner at Saffery Champness Accountants

Hannah Mazrae has been promoted to Partner at Saffery Champness Accountants.

Based in the firm’s Bournemouth office, Hannah said, ”I am delighted to join the Bournemouth Partner team. To date, I’ve learnt so much from the Partners, colleagues and clients, so it’s a pleasure to now be working alongside the senior management team. I hope that I provide the same level of support to others as they progress through their career as I have received. The office has more than doubled in size from when I joined as a graduate in 2009. All being well, we hope our growth continues in the years to come, it feels like we are constantly recruiting in order to grow our teams!

“I work with a range of clients, including individuals and owner managed businesses around the local area and further afield. I will continue to support those, whilst focusing on growing my portfolio in my area of specialisms, which include FCA regulated entities, Estates and agribusinesses.” 

Head of Bournemouth Office, Nick Fernyhough added, “We are extremely proud to be promoting Hannah.  She’s Saffery ‘born and bred’, having started as a trainee and has enjoyed swift progression through the business, as a result of her hard work, commitment and determination.”


About Saffery Champness LLP

Saffery Champness LLP is a firm of chartered accountants that advises individuals and families, not-for-profit organisations and businesses across a range of sectors. As a member of Nexia International, it is part of a worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms.

For over 160 years, the firm’s success has been founded upon providing clients with a genuinely partner-led service and working with them to create bespoke solutions that help them to achieve their personal and business objectives. For more information visit or see Twitter @Safferys.

Lift off for the South Coast Events Forum

From every challenge comes opportunity.

Set against a backdrop of the most challenging year in the event industry’s history, the South Coast events community has pulled together to create the South Coast Events Forum (SCEF).

From award-winning event organisers to industry-leading event suppliers, the forum brings together the very best event professionals from across the South Coast with a combined aim to re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a more unified, collaborative and sustainable offer.

The not-for-profit forum will be led by a newly-formed steering group consisting of 9 hugely-experienced professionals from across the events industry including chair, Craig Mathie, Managing Director of Bournemouth 7s Festival.

The entirely voluntary board of the South Coast Events Forum also includes Nicole Richman, a highly experienced events professional and owner of NR Event Services; the owner of V-Dub at the Pub Festival and event delivery expert, Alan Dove and Simon Stewart who owns and operates a host of fantastic food festivals across Southern England.

Representing suppliers, Garry Wakefield, Director of the recently formed Capital Barriers and Temporary Fencing and Gavin Barnard founder of industry consultants, Event Advice Agency, bring immense expertise, great industry networks and more than 50 years’ industry experience to the organisation.

Suzy Wheeler runs her own events and marketing company, Strawberry Fields RePresents alongside her role at Absolute Music whilst Paul Ashurst, Events Director at Bournemouth 7s Festival, is widely recognised for his expertise in event delivery, content and promotion. Adam ‘Ski’ Hart prides himself on representing the ‘little guys’ of the events industry and also liaises with musicians, performers and venue owners.

Full of excitement about the new group, Craig Mathie commented:   “It is an absolute privilege to have been joined in this concept by so many excellent industry professionals. In these most challenging times, I have been blown away by the spirit of collaboration and positive approach of our members and the fantastic steering group who will represent them.

We are full of admiration for everything that has been achieved by the national organisations who represent our industry to government and help to drive standards across the industry. Groups such as the South Coast Events Forum will help us to engage with local decision makers, to influence regional strategy and share best practice with those we work with most regularly.”

The group’s membership consists of a variety of organisations of all sizes and includes event and exhibition venues, festival promoters, contractors, agencies and freelancers. Members will benefit from monthly networking meetings, regular communication and a conference scheduled for Autumn 2021.

Membership of the South Coast Events Forum is free for both organisers and suppliers. To join or for more information please: visit

Online education platform heads up Dorset Business Angels pitch event

The 1st Dorset Business Angels Virtual pitch event of 2021 takes place on 1st February. Online pitch events in 2020 attracted a record number of attendees, with some 40 at the previous event in October.

A provider of online education will be one of the first up in a bid to seize the moment and grab investor attention. This currently ‘hot topic’ business states that it focuses on life skills that promote social and emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking with an aim is to help young people to thrive in life, both at home and in their future work-places. By complementing the traditional academic education with live, interactive online and offline courses for 5-13 year-olds, they help develop young people’s skills in leadership, confidence, resilience and creative problem solving.

Other pitches include:

  • A pre-launch Fintech Investor Analysis SaaS company has developed a platform that tracks the data performance of private, early-stage companies and gathers operational metrics. The platform is now capable of profiling the investment readiness and business potential of start-ups and early revenue companies extremely well. In the present pre-launch phase, the Company has 12 customers paying monthly recurring revenues and has generated 1300 worldwide data profiles that help with the investment analysis and business decision making of its current users, namely, angel investors, accelerators, funds, support organisations and consultants.
  • A company with a range of healthy drinks, containing all the nutrients necessary to produce many tasty options, without the sugar and artificial ingredients usually found in traditional soft drinks. Their ‘health pod’ modules offer users the facility to use their home coffee machines to provide a quick and easy way to get these nutrients into a cold press juice or smoothy for around 70p per unit. UK distribution is now ramping up with the product available in 5 supermarket chains and the Company is distributing their range door-to-door in over 50 countries. The product launches in the US in January.
  • A Customer Data Processing software business which offers its clients a platform that immediately creates a seamless customer experience easily and at scale. Formed 5 years ago with the founders own money, the Company is now employing AI techniques to further enhance the efficiency of their model, to the satisfaction of their growing client base.
  • A business in the Advanced composite materials sector with aims to increase the capabilities of the World’s most demanding products through the application of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. In revenue and with an expanding customer base, the Company is currently focussing on the delivery of key contracts in the automotive, electrification, electric machines, defence, and aerospace sectors.

Dorset Business Angels Chairman, Don McQueen advised, “We encourage would-be investors to get in touch with us and be involved. We are enjoying growing levels of interest at all our events and it’s a great opportunity to come along to learn more about the Angel Investor network and how we operate.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels or to book on to the pitch event visit

Stowe Family Law opens its first office in Bournemouth

Stowe Family Law (Stowe) has opened an office in Bournemouth taking the firm’s national presence to 26 offices and reinforcing its position as the country’s largest specialist family law practice.

The new family law office in Bournemouth will be headed up by Managing Partner, Paul Linsdell and supported by Senior Family Lawyer, Cath Porter, both of whom will bring a wealth of family law knowledge to the town.

The team specialises in all aspects of family law including divorce, separation, cohabitation issues, nuptial agreements, arrangements for children and financial settlements.

As with all the firm’s offices, Bournemouth will have access to a network of over 70 specialist family lawyers, together with its in-house Forensic Accountancy team who examine financial disclosure specifically within divorce proceedings.

Southern Regional Director, Andrew Miller, said:  “The addition of an office in Bournemouth adds to the firm’s family law footprint in this region, where we also have an office in Winchester.”

He continues,  “With 26 offices across the UK and more specialist family lawyers than any other firm in the country, we provide the very best legal knowledge and experience to our clients.”

Managing Partner, Paul Linsdell said:  “I am delighted to head up the opening of the Stowe Family Law office in Bournemouth.  Both Cath and I work with empathy and compassion to achieve the best outcomes for clients so that they can move forward with their lives. We are looking forward to welcoming clients to our new office soon.”

Photographed: Paul Linsdell, Managing Partner at Stowe Family Law.

Stowe Family Law is the UK’s largest specialist family law firm with offices in cities including London, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Reading and Birmingham and market towns including Ilkley, Winchester, Tunbridge Wells, Beverley, Harrogate and Wetherby.

Founded in 1982, the firm employs over 70 specialist family lawyers with a collective experience of over 800 years.

The team practices all areas of family law including divorce, separation, financial settlements, arrangements for children, out-of-court settlements, mediation, nuptial agreements, surrogacy, adoption and international family law.