Dorset's top 70 privately-owned businesses are featured in the latest Solent 250 annual listing

Julian Boardman, Group Finance Director, Europlacer (centre) receives the International Company of the Year Award from Simon Smith, Regional Director for Global Trade & Receivables Finance, HSBC UK, and Leila Jundi, Senior Corporate Trade Director, Hampshire & Dorset, HSBC UK, at last year's Solent 250 awards.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: January 9, 2023 | Updated: 9th January 2023

Seventy of Dorset’s top privately-owned businesses feature in the latest Solent 250.

And one, or more, could now be in line for a top award.

The annual listing of the 250 biggest companies, by annual sales turnover, is compiled by The Business Magazine.

It is sponsored by HSBC UK, Irwin Mitchell, RSM, Vail Williams, University of Southampton Business School and CMA Recruitment Group.

The Solent region is defined as most of Hampshire (south of Basingstoke) as well as parts of Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex.

To be included in the listing, businesses need to be independent, privately-owned companies, headquartered in the region.

The highest placed Dorset-based business is Lush Cosmetics at #6 followed by the Richmond Group at #8 and Hobbycraft at #13.

All those featured in the Solent 250 are invited to put themselves forward for one of six awards.

A private dinner celebrating companies on the list, and also recognising outstanding achievement across the dedicated awards categories, is to be held at the Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa in April.

Last year’s winners included Upton-based electronics manufacturer Europlacer which was named International Company of the Year.

This year’s awards are:

  • Leadership Team of the Year Award
  • Business Culture Award
  • CEO of the Year
  • Growth Story of the Year
  • International Business Award
  • Entrepreneurial Business of the Year

Jo Whittle, pictured left, Operations Director, The Business Magazine, said: “The private dinner is the perfect way to celebrate the vibrant region that we live and work in.

“The awards given out on the night highlight the achievements of companies on the Solent 250 listing, be it exceptional growth, leadership, capability or vision.

“It’s great to be able to champion business in the Solent and provide a true reflection of the key role that it plays.”

More details on the awards can be found here.

For more information or to put yourself/your company forward for the awards – and you have to be listed in the Solent 250 – please contact [email protected].

The Business Magazine is published bi-monthly in print and online by expanding media and events group, Black Ox Ltd.

Smart energy expert Utilita, based in Chandlers Ford, is the #1 biggest privately-owned business on the Solent 250 followed by car dealership Hendy Group (Eastleigh) and community infrastructure specialist Arqiva (Winchester).

The full Solent 250 listing can be found here.


Dorset-based businesses featured in the latest Solent 250 (number denotes position in the annual listing):

6: Lush Cosmetics (Poole, cosmetic manufacturer/retailer)

8: Richmond Group (Bournemouth, business investment/support)

13: Hobbycraft Group (Christchurch, arts & crafts retailer)

22: Ocean Automotive (Poole, car dealership)

24: Sunseeker (Poole, yacht manufacturer)

32: The National Lighting Co (Poole Lighting) (Poole, lighting specialist)

35: Platinum Components (Bournemouth, computer hardware manufacturing)

37: Spire Technology (Verwood, trade-only IT distributor)

38: Nasstar Group (Poole, IT services and consulting)

40: CG Fry & Son (Dorchester, housebuilder)

41: Farrow & Ball (Wimborne, internal décor manufacturer)

45: Breeze Motor Company (Poole, car dealership)

47: DB Foods (Poole, meat wholesaler)

48: Clipper Contracting Group (Dorchester, financial solutions)

55: 4Com (Bournemouth, telecoms solutions)

58: Hall & Woodhouse (Blandford Forum, beer manufacturer)

60: Sydenhams (Bournemouth, timber & builders merchants)

61: Ceuta Group (Bournemouth, consumer brand services)

63: Hunt’s Foodservice (Sherborne, food wholesaler)

67: AFC Bournemouth (Bournemouth, football club)

75: Dextra Group (Gillingham, lighting manufacturer)

79: Bourne Group (Poole, constructional innovators)

84: Harbour Hotels (Christchurch, hotel operator)

93: Mildren Construction (Christchurch, building contractor/civil engineering)

100: Hoburne (Christchurch, holiday park operator)

101: Beyond Retail (Christchurch, retail sale via mail order or internet)

103: Care South (Poole, residential & home care)

104: R.J. & K.D. Mclean (tractors and Plant)

107: Neals Yard Remedies (Gillingham, natural and organic health and beauty)

111: 288 Group (Bournemouth, collectable coin & stamp distribution)

120: Canford Healthcare (Bournemouth, residential care for the elderly)

123: Haskins Garden Centres (Ferndown, garden centres)

128: Superior Group (Wimborne, precision moulding)

130: MSP Capital (Poole, property finance)

135: Morrish Builders (Poole, housebuilder)

144: JDT Utilities (Dorchester, civil engineering and utilities)

147: Penton Securities (Motor Group) (Bournemouth, car dealership)

148: Blakell Europlacer (Poole, electronic manufacturing)

152: REIDsteel (John Reid & Sons) (Christchurch, steelwork construction & cladding)

154: Horizon Motor Company (Poole, car dealership)

159: Double H (Wimborne, indoor plant production)

160: Acheson Construction (Dorchester, building construction and development)

164: Kamm (Verwood, civil engineering)

166: Blackmore Vale Farm Cream (Shaftesbury, liquid milk and cream production)

168: Ford Civil Engineering (Wimborne, civil engineering)

174: Muc-Off (Poole, bike care & maintenance)

178: Marlborough Sterling Investment Group (Incl. NWM) (Bournemouth, payroll specialists)

179: Charles Trent (Poole, vehicle part specialists)

180: Virginia Hayward (Shaftesbury, hampers)

182: Hospital Metalcraft t/a Bristol Maid (Blandford Forum, manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment)

183: Birchclaim (Bournemouth, construction)

193: Pukka Pads (Poole, manufacture and supply of pads & notebooks)

197: M.B. Crocker (Sturminster Newton, farming business)

199: EIMS (Bournemouth, marketing agency)

201: Langham Industries (Dorchester, marine & aerospace engineering)

206: South Coast Building Supplies (Bournemouth, building supplies)

207: Harts of Stur (Sturminster Newton, cook and kitchen ware retailers)

211: Wyatt Homes (Poole, housebuilder)

213: Magna Motor Company (Poole, car dealership)

214: Protect Line (Poole, life insurance brokers)

215: Burry and Knight (Christchurch, holiday park construction)

222: Mploy (Wimborne, recruitment agency)

224: U-Drive (Poole, vehicle hire)

229: Aviation & Defence Spares (Poole, aviation and aerospace component manufacturing)

231: Lester Aldridge (Bournemouth, legal services)

235: Fence Stores (t/a The Fencing Centre) (Poole, fencing/decking/cabins/sheds suppliers)

239: Structural Metal Decks (SMD) (Poole, structural floor & roof solutions)

242: Bistech Group (Ferndown, IT services provider)

244: Caspian One (Bournemouth, recruitment agency)

250: Suttles (Swanage, civil engineering contractor)

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