Dorset Business Awards 2008

You can almost taste the excitement in the LLPR office as the 2008 Daily Echo-backed Dorset Business Awards draw ever closer. And this year the DBA’s are even more special for Liz Lean PR as we are a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a wonderful way to mark the agency’s 10th year Anniversary wouldn’t you say!

On Tuesday 18th November all the LLPR ladies will be dressed in their finest for glitz and the glamour of this Oscar style Award ceremony. We will be joining the cream of local businessmen and women to hear the top honours being announced at the glittering black tie gala dinner at the Bournemouth International Centre.

The coveted role of host this year goes to ITV Meridian’s Fred Dinenage, who will be accompanied by fire and light performance group, F.L.A.M.E. to bring a certain spark to the evening’s proceedings.

Here’s a tiny taster www.myspace.com/flamefireshows

Ten Dorset companies, one charity and one school will be put into the spotlight and presented with an Award, which has been exclusively designed and created by Alexandra Swift and Michael Kazar, former Arts Institute BA (Hons) 3D Design students.

Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Business (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) says: “We wish the best of luck to all finalists of the Dorset Business Awards 2008. This year has been tough for business, and it is fantastic to see so many shining examples of successful organisations. It is no mean feat to reach the finals of the Dorset Business Awards and this year’s finalists really are at the top of their game.”

The finalists are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Creative Project of the Year Award, sponsored by The Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Liz Lean PR

* Bournemouth Tourism – the introduction of the inaugural More Bus Bournemouth Air Festival which took place from 28th to 31st August 2008. An estimated 750,000 visitors descended to the seafront to enjoy the free four day Air Festival. The Festival is now set to be an annual event.

* Carmel Ltd: The Print Room, Bournemouth – a traditional French style brasserie. Carmel Ltd transformed the former print floor of the 1930’s, grade II listed, Daily Echo building into an award-winning brasserie and Grand Café.

* Thinking Juice, Bournemouth – an advertising agency and brand communications specialist. Appointed by Wyke Farms to develop, design and market two new cheese brands – organic cheddar and Vintage cheddar – and make the half-fat cheddar the brand leader.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Bournemouth University and the Institute of Directors

* Chococo, The Purbeck Chocolate Company, Swanage – produces luxury hand-made chocolates. Husband and wife, Andy and Claire Burnett, launched Chococo in 2002 and they are committed to creating fine quality chocolates using fresh ingredients of local provenance.

* Liz Lean PR, Poole – a highly motivated and dynamic public relations and marketing consultancy. Established 10 years ago, Liz Lean PR works together with some of the South Coast’s leading businesses and its role is integral to their success, which in turn supports the South Coast and helps Dorset’s social well being and economy to flourish.

* Urban Beach Hotel and Bistro, Boscombe – a contemporary boutique hotel and bistro. In 2005, Mark Cribb purchased a run down bed and breakfast with his wife Fiona on a neglected corner plot in Boscombe. Following huge investment in time and money, Urban Beach has become an impressive 12-bedroom boutique hotel, bar and bistro.

Environmental Excellence Award, sponsored by BP

* Bournemouth Borough Council Seafront Operations Team, Bournemouth – responsible for managing 5 ½ miles of seafront and cliffs. Careful environmental management of the beaches, through cleaning, signage, education and byelaw enforcement ensures Bournemouth Seafront is able to cope with up to 5.2 million visitors a year without adversely affecting the long-term sustainability of the seafront environment and cliff habitats.

* Mobile Media, Christchurch – a UK leading outdoor mobile advertising contractor using ground breaking recycling techniques for all of its PVC posters for advertising campaigns. The company have also considered the environmental aspects of a wide rage of their activities and sought ways to reduce those impacts.

· Precision Disc Casting Ltd, Poole – specialises in the manufacture of ventilated brake discs which are supplied to the European automotive industry. Its policy is to ensure that company practices, manufacturing processes and business operations achieve environmental excellence through an effective Environmental Management System. The firm have demonstrated significant improvements over several years.

Excellence in Customer/Client Care Award, sponsored by Porter Dodson Solicitors and Advisors

* Altogether Care, Weymouth – a family owned business offering a range of services including residential care. Their approach to client care is underpinned by the belief that old age is a stage in life and not a condition. To this effect a major emphasis is placed on high quality nutrition, person centred activities and a philosophy of living life to the full.

* Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park Ltd, Poole – a family-run farm park leisure attraction specifically designed for children 8 years and under and their family members. Since opening in 1998, the Park’s customer base has grown year on year and attributes its success to its efficient, polite and dedicated staff and remaining focused on meeting and exceeding the expectations of its target customer base.

* Teacher’s Building Society, Wimborne – a mutual organisation providing mortgages to those working in education and a range of saving products to the wider public. Originally founded by teachers for teachers, the Society constantly assesses its service to ensure its policies and procedures reflect the best interests of its customers. The team believes that traditional values of professionalism and courtesy are the foundations of great customer care.

KPMG Company of the Year Award

* Coastline Produce Limited, Christchurch – providers of fresh produce to the catering industry. The company has grown both organically and by acquisition in the last three years. It has grown considerably since Managing Director, Christopher Lewis, became the sole owner in 2004 with the company recently opening a depot on the Isle Of Wight and the purchase a fresh produce company in Kent.

* Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd, Christchurch – one of the UK’s leading organics recycling firms, annually processing 145,000 tonnes of material on its 14-acre site at Parley, Dorset. The firm’s strategy is one of expansion and growth through further investment in technology and infrastructure, together with developing existing and potential markets.

* LV= (formerly Liverpool Victoria), Bournemouth – the UK’s largest friendly society offering financial products from savings to insurance and investments. Following a re-brand, 2007 was the first year of its five year business transformation plan. As part of this plan, LV= has created 350 new jobs this year, announced a major new partnership with Nationwide Building Society and completed an acquisition of Britannia Rescue in May 2007.


Linking with Schools Award, sponsored by The Borough of Poole, Bournemouth Borough Council and Dorset County Council

* De Vere Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth nominated by Ashdown Technology College in Poole and Winton Arts & Media College in Bournemouth. The hotel heavily supports the hospitality and catering course at Ashdown Technology College and the catering students at Winton Arts & Media College, providing a host of opportunities including work experience and mentoring.

* Hunt’s Foodservice in Sherborne nominated by The Gryphon School in Sherborne. Hunt’s has provided support to Gryphon School’s applied GCSE and A Level courses since 2004, offering students the opportunity to undertake work experience and attend workshops.


Outstanding Working Environment Award, sponsored by Dorset Business (the Chamber of Commerce & Industry) and P H Warr plc

· Neals Yard Remedies, Gillingham – offers the UK’s largest range of organic health and beauty care. The company designs, tests and produces its own products at the eco-headquarters situated on a 9-acre brown field site.

* RLA Group, Christchurch – a full service integrated marketing agency. Based within an open-plan converted barn the firm strives to provide an exceptional, stimulating and comfortable working for the benefit of staff and clients.

* Weymouth and Portland Housing, Weymouth – is a Registered Social Landlord dedicated to the provision of high quality, affordable housing and related services. The Egdon Hall office has recently been re-developed to incorporate new facilities, which include a staff room and gym, as part of the mission to ‘make the workforce healthier and happier’.


Princecroft Willis Family Business Award

* Dorset Glass Company Ltd, Poole – glass merchants. Established by two families in 1946, the business is currently run by the fourth generation with three separate generations involved in the day to day operations of the company.

* Fudges, Dorset Village Bakery Ltd, Stalbridge – produces award-winning baked goods. Founded in 1926, the company is run by the third generation of the Fudge family and was traditionally a baker of bread and cakes until the early 1990’s and now produces quality niche sweets and savoury biscuits for food specialists and supermarkets.

* Pineapple Rural Limited, Bridport – help rural businesses diversify by managing and delivering rural business solutions. Established in 1924 by the Dyke family, Pineapple Farm has evolved through four generations to a successful UK-wide rural business.


RBS Management Team Award

* P H Warr plc, Christchurch – founded in 1992 by its MD Philip Warr, the company has grown to be one of the south’s leading Quantity and Building Surveyors with a network of offices covering London and the south of England. The company has a focused, cohesive and determined management board who recognise the importance of regular and close dialogue and relationships with all clients.

· Redweb Ltd, Bournemouth – a digital agency specialising in digital strategy, websites, intranets, online development, online marketing and managed services. Headed by CEO/founder Andrew Hennings, the eight-strong management team have been instrumental in the agency gaining recognition by Media Momentum as one of the top 50 fastest growing digital companies in the UK.

· Ward Goodman Ltd, Ferndown – provides a range of accountancy, business support and financial advice services. The Board of Directors constantly look to improve the company and the service it provides to all clients and the working environment for its staff development.

All the above three finalists have Investors In People.

2012 Legacy Award sponsored by Team South West

* B+B Weymouth Ltd – a new style of Bed and Breakfast hotel for the 21st century. Opening in July 2008 as a result of the announcement that Weymouth would host the sailing during 2012, the new brand offers a quality, contemporary environment at affordable rates for the discerning business traveller and the cost-conscious tourist alike.

* CEM Group, Ashley – a conference and event management company. The Group launched the Weymouth and Portland Catering Show as a direct result of the growing commercial interest in 2012 and is passionate about raising Dorset’s game especially in the hospitality, tourism and “welcome” sector.

* Spirit of the Sea, Portland – a nine day festival of independently organised and funded marine events. The overall objective is to build the ‘Spirit of the Sea’ brand over the next four years and contribute to a lasting legacy for the county from its role as sailing venue for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

* The Portland Spa Ltd – a world class venue for entertainment, business and leisure. This new spa, conferencing and banqueting centre is a significant investment which makes a major contribution to enhancing the area for 2012 and overall promoting Weymouth and Portland as an attractive area to live and work.

Dorset Charity of the Year, sponsored by Sunseeker International

· Dorset Blind Association, Poole – an independent charity providing services, support and advice to visually impaired people living in Dorset. Established in 1918, the charity aims to provide help and services to people of all ages from home visiting to access to an extensive audio library.

· Leigh Village Hall Trust, Leigh – Leigh Village Hall was built in 1926 of wood and corrugated iron and in 2002 a surveyor reported that the hall needed replacing by 2012. The Trust has acquired a one hectare village centre freehold site, gained Conservation Area planning permissions, has sold the old hall site and now aims to deliver a replacement hall to regenerate its whole community.

· ReRun Dorset Runaways Service, Sturminster Newton – provides advice, information and support to young people in Dorset, aged under 19, who have run away from home, are at risk of doing so, have left home in an unplanned manner or are at risk of having unsafe or insecure accommodation and parents of these young people.

These short-listed charities have been invited to present their entry to the audience at the Awards’ Dinner, who will then vote live on the night for an award winner.

So check back next Wednesday when we will be revealing the results. Fingers crossed for all the finalists and that Liz’s nerves hold out!