OVER the last couple of weeks we’ve been incredibly busy working with our members across Dorset.

Last week we were privileged to have a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Bournemouth Airport, Dorset Chamber patrons.

Once I finally made it through customs after a thorough body search (I must look guilty, it happens to me all the time), we had a fascinating tour of the whole airport.

What was interesting was to see the range of businesses and activities based at the airport – and get a better understanding of how important the airport is locally from an economic perspective.

So often all we see or experience is the airport as the first stop on our holidays.

The holiday routes are incredibly important but the airport is also home to a huge array of business from hi-tech aerospace manufacturing busi-nesses, valuable storage for private jets, freight businesses, flying schools as well as numerous other businesses across all sectors.

It is obviously fantastic news this week that three major airlines have confirmed they will be flying from Bournemouth with new routes over the winter and next summer (including new destinations).

This is incredibly important for the area in terms of growth and job creation – the airport really is important for the area.

Within the chamber, we continue to go from strength to strength.

I am delighted to welcome Anne Warner as our new membership manager.

This is a crucial role as we focus on developing the chamber. Next week will also welcome Richard Burn, our third business navigator, who will be working across the county advising businesses as part of the Dorset Growth Hub we deliver with WSX.

Our new PR arrangements with our partner Deep South Media are also working extremely well as we raise the profile of Dorset as a place to do business.

We also have a strong focus on helping businesses trade internationally with new workshops on specific overseas opportunities and our new International Trade Business Network, delivered with UKTI.

With our team made up from the chamber Board, Council, Patrons and Members, we really are on the up as we develop our services and welcome new members on a daily basis. We are on a mission to drive economic growth in Dorset.