Blanchards Bailey does the double

From left: Principal Paul Dunlop, Principal Sarah Heath, Senior Associate Tilly Clarke and Principal Jerome Dodge

Shaftesbury Chamber member Blanchards Bailey LLP has claimed a double victory and a special commendation in prestigious awards.

Blanchards Bailey LLP scooped the coveted Dispute Resolution Team and Private Client Team titles at the 2018 Dorset Legal Awards.

The expanding firm, with offices in Shaftesbury, also received a special commendation for Company Commercial Team of the Year.

Blanchards Bailey principal and chief executive Alan Horne said: “These awards are recognition of the tremendous commitment of our talented team.

“There was fierce competition from the many excellent law firms in Dorset so we are thrilled to have won in two categories and receive a special commendation.

“We remain client focused and dedicated to providing the best possible legal advice and greatest customer service for clients and business leaders in Dorset and beyond.”

Blanchards Bailey was nominated as finalist in a record seven categories in the awards at the Bournemouth International Centre – more than any other law firm.

There were more than 200 nominations from 25 firms, with an independent judging panel choosing a shortlist of 42 finalists across 14 categories.

Blanchards Bailey is a Legal 500 firm – one of the top firms in the UK for the third year running with eight individuals singled out for their work.

The 70-strong firm has supplied guidance and advice since 1924. It has offices in Weymouth, Dorchester, Shaftesbury and Blandford.

More than 1,000 qualified solicitors, legal executives and licensed conveyancers work in Dorset, along with thousands of legal and practice support individuals.

The Dorset Legal Awards bring together the legal community to celebrate the success of the county’s 200 regulated practices.

Visit for more information.



THIS THURSDAY 22ND, 12:30 – 14:00 at

Dear Members & Friends of the Chamber

Our next networking event will be a lunch this Thursday 22nd March and we’d love you to join us.  Basset’s Estate Agents have recently expanded and opened their latest office in Shaftesbury.  They are a small independent company who are very involved with local business networking and the local communities at their other locations.  We are therefore pleased to welcome Director Matt Boatwright who will be giving us the opportunity to ‘Ask an estate agent’.  If you have any burning questions about buying, selling or letting Matt will be happy to share some top tips and words of wisdom.

Our networking meetings are friendly events with opportunities to introduce yourself without the need to stand on ceremony.  We aim to provide an informal opportunity for local business people to spend time together for mutual support.  Feel free to bring along any business cards or literature and you are welcome to attend two meetings without joining The Chamber.

Meeting details:
§   Date: Thursday 22nd March
§   Time: 12.30-2.00pm
§   Venue: The Grosvenor Hotel, High Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8JA
§   Cost: £12, payable on the day

Booking is essential for catering: Please email by Tuesday 20th March or call our networking coordinator, Dr Karen Janes, on 07941 031427 to book your place and let us know, at the time of booking, if you have any dietary requirements.

Forthcoming meetings
-Thursday April 26th – Breakfast at Turnbull’s Café, £7
Speaker to be confirmed
-Thursday May 24th – Lunch – venue tbc
With Keri Jones, from Great Destinations.

Future dates for your diary. Please let us know if you would like the opportunity to speak at one of our meetings.
-Thursday June 21st – Breakfast
-Thursday July 19th – Lunch
-Thursday September 20th – Breakfast
-Thursday October 18th – Lunch
-Thursday November 29th – Breakfast

Breakfasts are 7.45-9.00am and cost £7 and lunches are 12.30-2.00pm and cost £12 unless otherwise stated. Booking is essential but payments are made directly to the venues on the day. Thank you!

PHOTOS: Shaftesbury Christmas Spectacular lights switch on.

Shaftesbury Christmas Events 2017

Shaftesbury’s Christmas late night spectacular on MONDAY 4th of December will see (and hear) the town raising the spirits with a huge sing-along.

The massed community and local schools’ choir will join together in a chorus of around 200 to kick off the festive season.

Santa’s grotto will be inside the town hall and there will be street food, children’s fairground rides and traction engines on show throughout night.

At around 6pm the Town Band will march from the football club introducing Father (and Mother) Christmas accompanied by the Nutcracker and Sugarplum Fairy.

When Santa is safely in his grotto the massed choir will ring out with a carefully practised festive song before the lights are turned on. They will then continue with a number of well-loved carols and songs such as “Ding Dong Merrily on High”, so everyone can join in.

Throughout the festive evening shops will be open offering lots of seasonal spirit, some of it mulled!

Our Chair, David Perry, says, “For the past few years we have had a celebrity to turn the lights on. Although this pulled in big crowds we were beginning to lose the true community spirit. We are now returning to the original idea of a late night shopping event where local traders can give something back to their customers. On the night participating retailers will be giving shoppers a 10% off voucher which can be redeemed in the New Year.”

The seasonal festivities continue on SUNDAY 17th December with the Christmas Market filling the town. With around 100 stalls selling high quality crafts, food and drink this will be one of the biggest Christmas street markets in the county.

During the day Churches Together will be performing their annual nativity play.


Come and join us for our next business networking meeting hosted by Shaftesbury and District Chamber of Commerce. This month is our last meeting for this year so don’t miss out on a chance to mix with other business people in Shaftesbury. Please do drop us an email to book so we can be sure of numbers for our venue’s catering.

At our November meeting we will be pleased to welcome Claire Commons, recently appointed Town Clerk who will be joining us to tell us a little about her involvement with the town and how the Town Council want to work alongside local businesses.

Our networking meetings are friendly events with opportunities to introduce yourself without the need to stand on ceremony. We aim to provide an informal opportunity for local business people to spend time together for mutual support.

Meeting details:

  • Date: Thursday November 30th
  • Time: 7.45-9.00am
  • Venue: Turnbulls Café, 9 High Street, Shaftesbury SP7 8HZ
  • Cost: £7, payable on the day

Booking is essential for catering: Please email by Tuesday 28th November or call our networking coordinator, Dr Karen Janes, on 07941 031427 to book your place. 

It is really helpful to our venues to have accurate numbers for catering. When booking please let us know if you would like a bacon baguette or scrambled egg on toast or let us know if you have any other dietary requirements.

There is no meeting in December so we will be back again with a lunch at The Grosvenor Hotel on Thursday 25th January. Scroll down for all the dates for 2018 and click on the link below to read more information on our networking principles.

Additional Networking Info

2018 meeting dates for your diary
Please note: there will be no meeting in December.

  • Thursday January 25th – Lunch at The Grosvenor Hotel
  • Thursday February 22nd – Breakfast at Turnbulls Café
  • Thursday March 22nd – Lunch, venue to be confirmed
  • Thursday April 26th – Breakfast
  • Thursday May 24th – Lunch
  • Thursday June 21st – Breakfast
  • Thursday July 19th – Lunch
  • Thursday September 20th – Breakfast
  • Thursday October 18th – Lunch
  • Thursday November 29th – Breakfast

Breakfasts are 7.45-9.00 and lunches are 12.30-2.00pm unless otherwise stated.

Happy Networking!

End of an era for Shaftesbury Chamber

After an unprecedented four consecutive years as chair of Shaftesbury and District Chamber of Commerce Clive Carter stepped down at the AGM on Thursday 13th April.

The 62 year old chain of office was passed on to David Perry of Shaftesbury Wines who has been acting Vice Chairman for the last couple of years.

Chamber president Tony Morgan, founder of Wessex Group, presided over the meeting which unanimously praised Clive’s contribution noting that the Chamber is now stronger than ever.

As incoming chair David’s first act was to propose that Clive became an honorary member. This was carried unanimously. David commented, “Clive will remain a most valuable member of the executive team but making him an honorary member means he can never leave!”

Photo: David Perry (Left) Clive Carter (Right)

For any more information please contact

Let the Dorset Growth Hub help you find the key to unlock your growth potential!

Are you aware of the support you could potentially access to help develop your business?

Let the Dorset Growth Hub help you find the key to unlock your growth potential!


The Dorset Growth Hub are delighted to invite you to our free workshop on the morning of Wednesday 29th March at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton.


This is a great opportunity to learn about support and funding that could be available, whilst also networking with other local businesses.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the Dorset Growth Hub support available to your  business and also an exciting new European funded programme which will be delivered by Dorset Growth Hub designed to make your business more competitive. This support is fully funded and provided at no cost. On the day you will have the opportunity to meet our team and find out what support is available to your business in Dorset.


If the answer is “yes” to any of these, please join us to find out more:

  • Do you run an existing business in Dorset?
  • Have you just started your business or are just about to?
  • Would you like to know what support is available to your business?
  • Do you want to be more digitally savvy?
  • Would you like help with accessing finance?
  • Could your business become more competitive?
  • Do you want to reach more markets?
  • Would you like to work with a mentor?


Who should attend:-

This event is aimed at any Dorset based SME business who hasn’t already engaged with the Dorset Growth Hub.


This event is free to attend. Book you seat at:

For any further information, please contact Dorset Growth Hub:

Tel – 03454586480 E-mail –


We look forward to welcoming you.

The Dorset Growth Hub Team

The British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey

The British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey for the current quarter closes on Sunday 12th March.

As affiliate members of Dorset Chamber we are entitled to take part in this and have our voices heard on a national level- so please do so!

Click here to complete the survey, it only takes 2 minutes to do.

Could a new office benefit your business?

You might be working from home and need more space, or perhaps you even need to downsize and make your business more efficient and profitable?  The Wincombe Centre is a thriving hub for small businesses in Shaftesbury, with a meeting room onsite and large free car park, there are lots of reasons why moving to the centre could prove to be a great idea.

They don’t often have space, so grab the chance to go and take a look at these two lovely offices – available now!

Unit 11 on the ground floor is 273 sq ft:


Unit 33 is on the first floor of Block 3 and is 155 sq ft:


Call Wincombe Centre reception on 01747 850404 now to pop up and take a look at these offices and the rest of the facilities, or email for more information.

PHOTOS: Michael Eavis switches on Shaftesbury Christmas Lights