A BUSINESS leader who moved to Bournemouth because it was the nearest thing to his native Cape Town believes it could do more to keep creative talent in the area.

Anton and Tandy Vann run Creative Coup, which designs packaging for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), working with brands such as Lil-Lets and the Premier Foods brands Oxo, Bisto, Mr Kipling and Branston.

It relocated to the coast three years ago but recently moved from the couple’s home to THIS Workspace in the Daily Echo building in Bournemouth.

Mr Vann was struck by how strong and supportive the creative and start-up communities were in the town – and says it could do more to retain the talent coming out of its universities.

He said efforts to attract people to Bournemouth often focus on the seaside lifestyle, but do not always emphasise the “great work and hard work” being done in its creative sector.

“You work just as hard but you just happen to be taking your lunch break by the beach,” he said.

He said there was great talent coming out of the town’s two universities. “It’s completely understandable that, when they come out with their qualification, they want to go where all the buzz is happening and think ‘I should really be in London’,” he said.

“I think we could do a lot to give them another option.”

The Vanns moved from South Africa in 2006 and set up in West London before relocating 10 years later.

“We had no connections in Dorset at all. We didn’t know a single soul. We started looking around on the map and thinking where could we move where we were close to London and our clients,” he said.

“Bournemouth is the UK equivalent of Cape Town. It’s not just the sandy beaches. Also people are a little bit different down here. If you went to Cornwall, it would be a bit far removed.”

He said the couple had anticipated keeping their existing clients. “We just thought we would take them with us and do more of the same,” he said.

“We didn’t expect to come down here and discover the digital hub and creative hub and we didn’t expect to be inspired and motivated by the sheer atmosphere of the place,” he added.

The company now employs six people and expects to recruit more.