Published: December 5, 2021 | Updated: December 6, 2021

Dorset Biz News round-up featuring Scrivens, BBX UK, The Gresham, Dorset Business Angels

Daniel Craig, Scrivens’ Winton Branch Manager with (left) Vici Forster, Area Manager, and Linda D’Arcy, Regional Manager.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Winton opticians wins South West Branch of the Year award

A Winton opticians has been named Branch of the Year by national high street retailer, Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care.

The Wimborne Road branch won the accolade after coming top in the South West area to clinch the title at Scrivens’ annual conference and awards ceremony.

Manager Daniel Craig, who has worked for the company for nearly four years, said: “This means a lot.

“I’m so happy for the team here who work well together and take pride in their work.

“We have a mix of new and existing customers and many of the new people we have attracted over the past year have come through recommendation.”

The award is recognition for the team’s first class customer care, general positive attitude, optical and hearing expertise and all round professionalism.

Commenting on the annual awards, Nicholas Georgevic, Scrivens Chairman, said: “Our success is thanks to the fantastic people who work in our branches to deliver a great community and customer-focused service.

“Their commitment has been particularly valued during the pandemic and its aftermath.

“Congratulations to our Winton branch, who are very worthy winners.”

Family business Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care was established in 1938 and has 173 branches.


Judges revealed for global ‘Dragons’ Den’ style investment contest

The judges for a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style global investment contest which carries a top prize valued at £100,000 have been unveiled.

Bournemouth-based BBX UK celebrated the opening of its online Quantum Leap Business Show by revealing the names of the five.

They are:

  • John Attridge, BBXUK Founder & CEO and digital trade pioneer since 1989
  • Sunny Bird, CEO & Founder of Sunny Bird PR, Perfect Dress Company & Reaching Millions PR & publicity courses
  • Santosh Kumar, Geecon Global’s Managing Director, member of Forbes Business Council
  • Shikha Rishi, CEO & Founder of Elegant Beauty Clinics, aesthetics practitioner & award-winning pharmacist
  • Alex Clapcott, entrepreneur, management consultant, mBraining master coach & Crypto enthusiast

As reported on Dorset Biz News, ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses are being urged to enter the competition.

If you are over 18 and have a business idea, just set up a new business, or are looking at a way to scale up an existing business, there’s still time to enter with the closing date of December 9.

The six businesses who make it through to the semi-final will be notified on December 10.

The first virtual pitch is on December 17.

Businesses will have seven days to put their pitch together for the BBX Dragons.

The finals are on January 14, 2022, when one business will walk away with £100,000 of support and funding.

To enter the competition, just fill in the form here.


Owner’s delight after guest house goes from two to four star

The owner of a Weymouth guest house says all the hard work has been worthwhile after it was given a four star rating by Visit England.

Businesswoman Louise Matthews bought The Gresham on Weymouth’s The Esplanade earlier this year.

She immediately set about refurbishing the then two star establishment and uncovering some of its former Regency character.

The work included restoring an original balcony and the cornicing in the dining room as well as the original window shutters.

The anonymous assessor booked in for an overnight stay, before checking the levels of service and facilities, the bookings process and the quality of the breakfast.

Louise, pictured left, said: “I cannot describe how delighted I was when the assessor introduced herself, before saying she was awarding us four stars.

“It made all the hard work worthwhile and was an amazing way to end an incredible first season.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many lovely guests and are very grateful to our staff who have worked tirelessly throughout what has been a very busy summer.

“Every morning, when I look out of our dining room windows at the view of the beach and bay, I count my blessings.”


Register now for first 2022 Dorset Business Angels pitch

Registrations are now open for the first Dorset Business Angels pitch event of 2022.

It’s on Monday January 24 at Bournemouth’s Marsham Court Hotel.

Five entrepreneurs will be looking to secure investment by pitching to the angels.

There will also be an online option for investors unable to make this date.

Don McQueen, DBA Chairman, pictured left, said: “Our January event looks set to be another fascinating occasion to bring entrepreneurs and investors together, in a bid to raise equity capital and accelerate the growth of early-stage businesses.

“Whether you’re a seasoned investor, or interested to find out more about angel investing, you are very welcome to attend.

“I promise you that we won’t ask you to get your cheque book out on the night!”

For further details and how to register for the event, please visit the DBA website at

At the last event in October, three of the pitching businesses secured investor interest.

They included Bath-based 3UG Autonomous Systems Ltd which achieved its full funding ‘ask’ of £144,000.