Dorset Biz News round-up featuring Marketing West, Frettens and Activate Performing Arts

Left to right: Declan Curry, Nick Gregory, Tej Parikh, Susannah Brade-Waring, Sarah Ali Choudhury, Chris Loder MP.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: March 15, 2021 | Updated: 15th March 2021

Major initiatives announced to help promote local businesses

Marketing West, the West Dorset events and marketing company, has announced two new major initiatives to help get business moving again.

It is holding the first of a series of business bounceback seminars starting on Friday, May 7.

The seminar will be free to view through live streaming to reach the maximum audience.

It has lined up high-profile speakers, each briefed to help businesses expand after the recent lockdown.

They include:

  • TV business news journalist, Declan Curry
  • Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors
  • Chris Loder, West Dorset MP
  • Nick Gregory of the Dorset Growth Hub
  • Susannah Brade-Waring, business adviser and coach
  • Sarah Ali Choudhury, entrepreneur and Small Business Britain champion

Anyone wishing to receive the login details for the seminar can register here.

Marketing West has also announced the inaugural Weymouth and Portland Business Awards..

The awards will be launched on Tuesday,  March 30, at 1pm, with a series of recorded speakers.

It will be streamed from The Gresham on Weymouth seafront.

The awards website will also go live on the same day with entries opening early in April and the awards ceremony in late spring.

Nigel Reeve, of Marketing West, pictured, said: “The idea of the bounceback seminar and the awards is to help and focus on getting business moving again.

“The first bounceback online seminar will have advice for businesses, designed to motivate and help, while the business awards won’t be an excuse for a party.

“It will be to show the range of local businesses we have in Weymouth and Portland as well as the rest of West Dorset.”


Two new additions at Frettens including first trainee of 2021

Law firms Frettens has welcomed two new team members.

Olivia Parkinson, pictured left, has joined the law firm’s Corporate & Commercial Team for her first training seat.

She will continue to train with various teams across the firm.

Olivia received her law degree at Bournemouth University before going on to work as a paralegal in Sheffield while completing her Legal Practice Course.

More recently, she has worked as a civil litigation paralegal in London; specifically within personal injury and clinical negligence.

Matt Fretten, pictured right, Managing Partner and a solicitor within the Corporate & Commercial Team, said:  “As the firm continues to expand across all departments the continued investment in the next generation of lawyers becomes increasingly important.

“We are delighted to welcome trainee solicitor Olivia Parkinson to the team as she starts her journey to qualifying as a solicitor.”

Frettens has also recruited Patsy Whitford, pictured left, as a Commercial Property Solicitor.

The experienced solicitor has dealt with all aspects of commercial property.

She has particular expertise in development land, options and landlord and tenant work.

Patsy has worked for national and local developers and a variety of landlords and tenants from mixed use commercial sites, to start up businesses acquiring their first premises.

Oonagh McKinney, pictured right, a Partner who heads up the Commercial Property Team, said: “Patsy is a solicitor with over six years experience in commercial property, having worked at another highly regarded local firm.

“She brings with her great knowledge, experience and local connections.

“Patsy is a fantastic addition to our expanding team.”


Diverse women leaders set to inspire Dorset arts organisation

The first group of trailblazing women have been selected for a pioneering arts leadership programme.

Women Leaders South West (WLSW) aims to address the gender imbalance in the arts and cultural sector.

It has chosen 16 Associates from over 350 applications for a training opportunity at eight arts organisations in South West England.

The organisations, including Activate Performing Arts in Dorchester, will host two Associates each over the next 18 months.

They will be supported by social entrepreneurship and business training from Southampton Business School and mentoring from Jude Kelly and The WOW (Women of the World) Foundation.

The programme is funded by the Arts Council’s Transforming Leadership scheme.

The two Associates training with Activate are Natasha Nixon and Ruth Pitter.

Natasha, pictured left, is an international theatre director and practitioner based in Bridport.

She said: “The programme offers the vital infrastructure needed to allow artists like myself to expand their practise and make long lasting connections with other leading women in the community.

“It has given me the courage and belief to finally make a step change and transfer my current leadership skills into new and exciting territories.”

Ruth, pictured right, is based in Bristol and co-founder of Black Women Let Loose Theatre Company, Breathing Fire Black Women’s Playback Theatre Company, and ‘Our Stories Make Waves’ collective for artists of African Diaspora heritage.

She has performed, written, produced, taught and directed productions locally, nationally and internationally.

Ruth has also worked in the voluntary sector for many years in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion.

She said: “This training is essential for supporting and shining a light on women like myself, enabling us to demonstrate we can soar higher particularly when we are believed in, and invested in.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We are proud to have invested £585,284 in Women Leaders South West, a consortium of  eight successful female-led cultural organisations from all corners of the south west, through our National Lottery funded Transforming Leadership programme.”

Kate Wood, Executive and Artistic Director at Activate Performing Arts, said: “We are  delighted to have Ruth and Natasha join our team as part of their training for the Women Leaders South West programme.

“We will learn lots from these inspiring and dynamic women and will support them in developing their leadership skills over the coming months and beyond.”

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