Published: June 14, 2020 | Updated: June 14, 2020

Biz News round-up with Trethowans, Dorset LEP, BCP Council and Drewlec Electrical Services

Staff at the Bournemouth office of Trethowans.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Trethowans raises £5,000 for Bournemouth charity

Just under £5,000 has been raised by the Bournemouth and Poole offices of law firm Trethowans for its chosen charity, Hope For Food, during the past year.

Staff organised a range of fundraising activities including monthly cake sales, dress down days, a Grand National sweepstake, and an office-wide lottery.

They were also treated to home-made lasagne, chilli jacket potatoes and bacon rolls, which were sold at lunch time to raise additional money.

One lucky employee took home a wheelbarrow full of wine raffled off just in time for summer.

Trethowans has been operating as a food drop off point for the Bournemouth-based charity

In 2019 it ran a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ scheme where staff were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items every day during advent.

It resulted in the delivery of at least eight boxes, overflowing with food, toiletries and selection boxes – just in time for Christmas.

Earlier this year the Give It Up For Lent scheme saw employees donate foods they would usually give up and instead give away their chocolate and crisps to the charity.

Chris Whiteley, Managing Partner at Trethowans, said: “Hope For Food provides people living in our community, who would otherwise go hungry due to homelessness or poverty, with a safe place to turn.

“As a team, we’re truly inspired by the efforts of the volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that those in need have access to hot food and drinks for all 52 weeks of the year.

“We’re pleased to know that the money we have raised is going towards this wonderful cause.”

Hope for Food aims to provide day to day essentials to people in the local community who are most in need, including those who have been financially affected by Covid-19.

The charity, set up and operated entirely by volunteers, runs five soup kitchens every week and supplies hampers of food, good quality clothing, bedding and household goods where needed.


Smart Place Project expected to add £137m to local economy

A Smart Place Pilot project which offers the opportunity for Dorset to lead a 5G connectivity revolution is expected to add £137m to the local economy over the next ten years.

As first reported on Dorset Biz News in January, Dorset LEP has allocated £1m of the government’s Local Growth Fund to BCP Council, which has increased the total funding to £1.3m.

The project was confirmed for start in December 2019 after a detailed public consultation by BCP Council about 5G, which included assessment of public health concerns.

Based in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth, a 5G digital test bed will improve services, provide free public wi-fi and attract new investment, employment and innovation.

The project is expected to create around 200 new jobs at the project site and in the surrounding area in the first two years and 400 jobs by 2025.

Dorset will benefit from a gross value added of £37.6m by 2025 and add a likely £137m to the local economy over the next ten years.

Dorset LEP has also allocated a further £380,000 of the Local Growth Fund to BCP Council to create a Dorset Smart Place Investment Plan.

The strategy will be used to attract significant inward investment for Dorset of up to £1bn in new digital connectivity and technologies.

Dorset LEP Chair, Jim Stewart, pictured right, said: “We are incredibly excited about these two projects, which will put Bournemouth ahead of competitor towns and cities in the UK as a leader in digital communications.

“Creating a digital test bed in Dorset will lead to new investment, new employment, innovation, higher productivity and sustainable economic impact and growth.

“Unlike previous wireless technologies which have been mainly focused on mobile phones, this new technology will enable machine-to-machine connectivity at a massive scale with high performance functionalities like real time and an enhanced broadband communication.

“This opens up huge new opportunities for local manufacturers and integrators and could see Dorset lead on the development of 5G-enabled machines.

“Existing businesses could diversify by creating new digital portfolios and new businesses could be established.

“Ultimately our aim is to see an improved digital infrastructure throughout the conurbation and the rest of the county.”


Promotion for Henry at Drewlec Electrical Services

Bournemouth-based Drewlec Electrical Services has promoted Henry Thomas, pictured right, to Technical Supervisor – Fire Alarms.

In his new role he will oversee a number of new projects for the firm as well as existing servicing and maintenance contracts.

The electrical services business is part of the family-owned Drewitt Group and employs 12 people.

Richard Drewitt, Managing Director of The Drewitt Group, pictured left, said: “Henry’s promotion is testament to his dedication and commitment to new challenges.

“He is a valued member of our team and we’re excited to see him progress and advance his skills at Drewlec.

“The business continues to go from strength to strength and that allows us to promote and progress our loyal team members.”

Henry has worked for the group since 2007 and was previously a fire alarm engineer.

As construction restarts, and businesses prepare to reopen, Drewlec has taken on several new fire alarm projects in Dorset and Hampshire.

They include The Lantern Community retail shop at Ringwood and Bournemouth Police Station.