Published: August 20, 2020 | Updated: August 20, 2020

Biz News round-up: Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve, Dorset LEP & Savills

National winner: Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset picks up gold, silver and bronze at VisitEngland awards

Well done Dorset!

The words of Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, organisers of the Dorset Tourism Awards, after the county scooped gold, silver and bronze in VisitEngland’s annual Awards for Excellence.

Top honours went to Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve which won the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award.

Meanwhile a silver went to the Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen at Burton Bradstock for Pub of the Year and a bronze to the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester for Small Visitor Attraction of ther Year.

In total there were 13 national winners from the South West with the region again outperforming all other areas.

Robin, pictured left, said: “What an amazing evening and success for tourism across the South West.

“The passion, innovation and resilience of our winners has shone through yet again in what has been an extraordinary year.

“I invite everyone to share in congratulating them as well as all those working in tourism  who are continuing to ‘pull out all the stops’ to offer a fabulous experience to visitors.”

The VisitEngland winners were announced during a virtual awards event hosted by Julia Bradbury from ‘The Outdoor Guide’.

Nominations for the national awards were put forward following the South West Tourism Excellence awards in Exeter Cathedral in February.

It followed a record year for the awards with 773 entries into the Dorset, Cornwall, Bristol, Bath and Somerset, Devon and South West awards.

Nominees then went through a further round of judging leading to the announcement of the national winners.

The 2020/21 awards are now open for entry at with a deadline of September 20.


New lab and support space expected to secure over 120 jobs

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is allocating more than £2.28m local growth funding towards the creation of a new histopathology diagnostic hub for the county.

The funding has been awarded to the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The hub is part of wider plans to significantly improve patient diagnostic services.

It is expected to secure over 120 jobs in the healthcare sector.

Histopathology is the diagnosis and study of diseases of the tissues and involves examining tissues and/or cells under a microscope.

The Dorset LEP allocation is for the introduction of a 500m2 high quality histopathology laboratory and support space at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital which is being supported by a further £20 million match funding contribution by the NHS.

The histopathology diagnostic hub will be part of a wider new pathology hub in Dorset which aims to significantly improve patient diagnostic services.

It will help to put Dorset at the front-edge of histopathology diagnostics, speeding up patient diagnosis, and ensure a healthy county for the future.

The new digitalisation and application of artificial intelligence will potentially lead to improved speed and reliability of diagnosis for illnesses.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP, said: “Investing millions into our local NHS services at this time makes me extremely proud.

“The new histopathology diagnostic hub will deliver against the strategic objectives as set out in the Dorset Local Industrial Strategy utilising medical technologies to address the grand challenge of an ageing society and will be an important asset in improving healthy ageing.

“It will also support our ambition for Dorset to be a national leader in the One Health concept, adopting a holistic approach that ensures our population ages well and lives sensitively in the environment.”

The new Histopathology Diagnostic Hub is expected to be completed and operational in autumn 2022.


Waterfront residential development opportunity comes to the market

A waterfront residential development opportunity has come to the market in Mudeford.

A computer generated image of the proposed two-storey detached houses with sea views.

Brix, 17 Mudeford, is a 1.167 acre site with planning permission for the demolition of two existing bungalows and outbuildings and replacement with two, two-storey detached houses with sea views, basement swimming pools and detached double garages.

The site is being marketed by Savills and Winkworth.

Vanessa Patel of Savills’ South Coast development team said: “This is a very rare opportunity to build two new detached homes with exceptional sea views in the popular former fishing village of Mudeford.”

Unconditional offers are invited in excess of £2.5m by Friday September 4.