Published: April 21, 2020 | Updated: April 21, 2020

Biz News update: Harbour Hotels, Local Shops 2 U, Aeronautical & General Instruments (AGI)

By Andrew Diprose, editor

NHS superheroes to be rewarded with two night getaways

A hotel group is paying its own very special thank you to frontline NHS staff working in intensive care units (ICU).

Harbour Hotels is donating 250 complimentary two night getaways including dinner and breakfast.

The company, which includes the Christchurch Harbour Hotel, pictured above, and The Kings Arms in Dorset, pictured left, says the offer works out at one break per ICU unit.

The stays can be at any of the company’s hotels across the south of England.

A social media driven initiative, followers are invited to nominate their NHS ICU hero by tagging them in the comments and briefly explaining why they are being nominated.

Nominations close at 6pm on Friday May 1 2020.

The 250 nominees will be selected at random.

To nominate click here.

More details can be found at


Website helps independent high street retailers

A North Dorset company has adapted its technology to support local independent high street retailers.

Designed In Ltd, launched Local Shops 2 U website – – as soon as it realised the country was going into lockdown and shopping restrictions would have an impact on local businesses.

The website allows retailers to upload their products in bulk and sell online immediately without the usual time it takes to build an e-commerce website.

People living within five miles of the participating villages or towns can buy from multiple shops and have it delivered for £2 but only pay once.

Jim Chetwode, of Designed In, pictured right, said: “Since the start of this crisis we, like most companies, lost our regular income stream and decided to use our time to benefit the local community.

“Working alongside volunteers to create a delivery service for those in need has been rewarding and put us in touch with some amazing people.”

Retailers register their shop on the website and add details such as logo, address and description.

They can then ask for help or upload their products onto their own profile and set the price and how they want to be paid.

The website charges five per cent per sale to cover credit card charges, bank fees and a contribution towards the software and hosting.

Participants include The Kitchen Garden Company outside Shaftesbury, The Real Cure from Fontmell Magna and Fordington Gin.

Deliveries to isolating families have included a mix of fish, dairy, vegetables and wine, all locally sourced.

“We are currently talking to two local butchers and a delicatessen about joining the project which will enhance the offering,” added Jim.


Ben wins praise for playing major PPE role

A mechanical design intern at a Poole company has won praise after producing more than 100 headbands for vitally needed face shields.

Aeronautical & General Instruments Ltd (AGI) answered an appeal from the 3D Crowd Big Print Project for volunteers to get involved in 3D printing.

It was in response to the national shortage of PPE supplies for healthcare workers in hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and pharmacies.

Ben Butler, pictured left, who usually prints parts to support various projects, jumped at the chance to play a major role.

To date he has produced 150 headbands.

They will be sent either to the national hub for assembly or, if AGI can source the visor component, will be assembled by Ben himself to meet local demand.

David Hyde, AGI Managing Director, pictured right, said: “Front-line healthcare staff are playing such a vital role in treating patients and AGI is pleased to be able to provide support in producing faceshields for our local community.

“Ben, a member of our engineering team, has driven this 3D printing solution forward to a finalised product which will help our health services.

“This project has brought together a number of parts of the business, going from concept to finished product within a week.

“This joined up and co-ordinated view demonstrates the capabilities of AGI and has been undertaken while production continues with our company supporting the UK armed forces and allies across the world.”