BH Area Hospitality Association is celebrating a £70,000 windfall by unveiling its new bus encouraging people to consider a career in the hospitality industry.

The specially commissioned bus wrap was revealed by Yellow Buses and BH Area Hospitality Association (BAHA) at the recent Recognition Awards in October.

The double decker, funded as part of BCP Council’s Bounce Back scheme, will be seen across the conurbation for at least the next 12 months.

Association chair Tim Seward said: “We decided to have the bus done to help inspire young people to take up a career in the hospitality industry and work in Bournemouth.

“At the moment, the industry is experiencing a shortage of staff locally, but this isn’t just about the fixing the shortage of workers, we want to encourage young people to go into the industry as a viable career option.

“So, for young people who are thinking about starting a career as well as gaining an educational qualification, this is an option for you.”

Members of BAHA visited a number of hotel and guest houses, some of which have directly benefited from the bounce back grant, as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.

BAHA has used its funding, allocated to BCP Council from central government, to also enhance the social media account of hotels and guest houses across the area through professional photography and videos.

Hospitality staff and those aspiring to enter into the industry can also profit from online training packages on subjects such as first aid, food hygiene and GDPR.

Mr Seward said some of the funding had gone towards health and safety advice and helping people to brush up on Natasha's Law, the latest food labelling regulations. "We have also improved our website so that all the training packages are accessible to anyone online," he said.

“Our photographer Paul Collins, along with Rachel Pitman, who came on board as part of the bounce back grant, has gone around to some of the local hospitality businesses to provide professional photographs for them to use on their websites and on social media to help boost their image.

“We are helping businesses right across the area, from the RNLI Lifeboat in Poole to Christchurch Harbour and the Captain’s Club.”

The deputy leader of BCP Council, Cllr Phillip Broadhead, said: “The hospitality industry in the BCP Council area is worth around £100million per month. They have been hit hard by the pandemic, probably more so than any other industry so it is great to support them in this way.

“The funding that has been award to them from the bounce back scheme has been used in such an innovative way. There is now a whole package of different resources for both businesses, current employees and those looking to get into the industry, from training all the way through to recruitment.

“With the funding provided, we hope to upskill workers and help enhance the hospitality industry across the BCP Council area.”