Dorset Chamber and Local Enterprise Partnership join forces

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FORCES: From left: Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling, Dorset LEP director Lorna Carver and Dorset LEP chairman Jim Stewart (Picture: Deep South Media head of visual Paul Collins)

Businesses are being urged to have their say about future economic growth plans after the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) joined forces with the Dorset Chamber.

The Dorset Chamber, the county’s voice of business, welcomed the LEP as a Platinum Business Partner – its top tier of membership.

They have joined forces as the LEP develops a Local Industrial Strategy to set out how Dorset can boost economic growth and achieve greater prosperity over the next 20 years, and ensure the county’s voice of business is heard.

Ian Girling, who is Dorset Chamber chief executive, said:  “We’ve already built very strong links with Dorset LEP and having them on board as a Platinum Business Partner will give Dorset an even more powerful voice.

“I would encourage all businesses to take part in the Local Industrial Strategy to help us improve job creation, productivity and prosperity while addressing the challenges Dorset faces especially around infrastructure and skills.”

The LEP is seeking the views of all Dorset business, industry leaders and groups that represent industry sectors.

It has already held consultation events with more due to be held before the strategy launch in autumn 2019.

Dorset LEP Director Lorna Carver said: “The business community’s influence is pivotal to the growth and prosperity of Dorset and so it is an entirely natural move for us to work even more closely together.

“It’s an especially important time for partnership working as we take forward consultations on our Local Industrial Strategy which will help to shape our shared economic future.”

The LEP is drafting a local strategy to link with the Government’s National Industrial Strategy for a co-ordinated approach to create a more productive, innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy. Businesses will be able to find out more about Dorset’s Local Industrial Strategy and how to get involved at its annual business conference in May.

Dorset LEP chairman Jim Stewart said: “Dorset Chamber is at the very heart of the county’s business community and plays a crucial leadership role for its members.

“It makes perfect business sense for us to work more closely together with the Chamber to help achieve growth and investment in Dorset.”

Dorset’s economy is worth £17bn to ‘UK plc’ and the county is home to more than 47,000 businesses, according to the LEP.

The Dorset Chamber’s Business Partner scheme is for ambitious firms looking to develop their own businesses and join forces, as well as playing a role in helping the Chamber shape economic growth.

It has two Premier Business Partners: Premier League club AFC Bournemouth and events specialist Brighter Productions.

Its Platinum Business Partners are: A-One Insurance Group, Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa, Blue Sky Financial Planning, Bournemouth Airport, the Bournemouth and Poole College, Bournemouth University (BU), Crystal Clear Telecom Ltd, Deep South Media, Digital Storm, Dorset Echo/Daily Echo, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, ESET, Field International, Global, Greendale Construction, HSBC, ITSB, JP Morgan, Lester Aldridge, Meggitt, morebus, Purple HR, Ouch Training Team, PKF Francis Clark, Savills, Sunseeker, TeamJobs, Travel Counsellors for Business and Westover Group.

The Chamber – Dorset’s leading business support organisation – continues to grow as it celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019.

For more details contact account director James Tourgout on 07827 806400 and