A HUSBAND and wife who each run their own businesses say they could have put them anywhere in the world but chose Bournemouth because of its vibrant business scene.

Ian Locke and Shirley Hensher say they chose the town after extensive research into the possible locations for their companies, which were previously based in Swindon.

Shirley Hensher, whose coaching business the Change Agent aims to help business people transform their working lives, said: “We could have chosen to relocate our businesses anywhere in the world. We chose Bournemouth as we were drawn to its vibrant business scene when researching various different locations.

“We also noticed when holidaying in the area that it is lively not just in tourism season, but all year round.”

Mr Locke, whose business Thrive Personal Training helps people combine careers with health and wellbeing, said: “The first thing that strikes me about Bournemouth is the large businesses you see when driving through the centre, such as Vitality, Nationwide and LV=.

“Given our financial backgrounds, we felt that our skills would be ideally suited to help local financial professionals with their wellbeing and careers. We understand their busy and stressful lifestyles and how to get them to the next level.”

The couple both had successful corporate careers – Mr Locke as a corporate treasurer, latterly for Vodafone, and Ms Hensher in financial services, most recently as freelance project manager.

However, both decided to “jump off the hamster wheel” in recent years to set up their own businesses. They decided recently that both businesses could be taken online to extend their reach.

Before relocating, Mr Locke’s business was 95 per cent face-to-face. Now, he coaches through apps, video calls and a library of exercise videos on YouTube. But he said he was still keen to visit local businesses in person to explain the link between employee wellness and performance.

He said: “The beauty for clients wanting to train online is that they can do it anywhere and anytime. However, ‘consistency’ is key to getting results, which is why I have built in regular progress reports, where clients share updates on their nutrition and training programmes, along with photos to help keep them on track. I want people to move from ‘survive’ to ‘thrive’.”

Ms Hensher said: “I like to make my coaching action-oriented yet fun, encouraging my clients to do things differently and look at things from a fresh perspective; find their focus and lock in their commitment. Corporate professionals often find it easier to speak to someone other than their line manager to manage difficult relationships, help with the next step of their careers or learn new techniques for the office. My business clients enjoy sharing their challenges with someone from a corporate background, who understands where they are coming from. Quite often, my clients find that it is the smallest changes that can have the biggest impact on reaching their goals.”