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R3 Taskforce

In the summer of 2020 we created the R3 Taskforce to identify and act on the issues that businesses, employees and jobseekers have faced and continue to face in the midst of COVID-19 throughout the conurbation. The three central aims are to:

  • respond
  • recover
  • reimagine.

Previously known as the ‘BCP Economic Recovery Taskforce’, R3 brings together the voices of key stakeholders to ensure a coordinated and collaborative response to the local business community during the pandemic. 

Over 20 external organisations together with Councillors and representatives from key Council departments including Economic Development, Tourism, Legal, Environmental Health and Adult Social Care meet regularly to discuss what is happening on the ground to ensure that interventions happen where they are needed most with issues addressed in a timely manner. 

The three working groups that make up the R3 Taskforce are:

  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL)
  • Business
  • Welfare. 
R3 Stakeholder Members August 2021
 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Welfare
Bournemouth Coastal BID  Dorset Chamber  Citizen's Advice Bureau 
Bournemouth Town Centre BID MoreBus  Bournemouth and Poole College 
Poole BID  Groveley Precision Engineering  Bournemouth University 
Christchurch BID  NatWest Job Centre Plus 
Wonky Table  Silicon South Partners in Care 
Hallmark Hotels  Dorset LEP  Arts University Bournemouth 
Destination Management Board  Christchurch Chamber Community Action Network 
Bournemouth Chamber  Lighthouse Poole  View HR Ltd
Daily Echo  Get Set for Growth   
Sovereign Shopping Centre  Dorset Growth Hub  Dorset Race Equality Council 
County Fare Director Even Keel Financial  Trade Union 
Chair of Town Watch  Federation of Small Business  Serco 
Rawlins Davy  Dorset Business Mentoring Careers & Enterprice Co. 
Southcoast Events  Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  Dorset Mind 
    Skills for Care
    Education Development Trust

Grant funding for R3

In April 2021 as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant Stream 3 (ARG3), £225,000 was made available to the R3 taskforce to turbo-charge innovative economic recovery projects across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Each working group received £75,000 to develop and deliver their proposals with our guidance.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

The R3 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (R3 RHL) group brings us together with a host of trade industry bodies representing businesses and industry sectors from across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.

Working in partnership with ourselves, the stakeholders were initially involved in coordinating the area’s response to COVID-19. Subsequently, the group has moved on to focus on the economic recovery of the conurbation and the obstacles, both operational and strategic, which are preventing or slowing efficiency. 

Through its membership, R3 RHL has a unique overview of the challenges and opportunities which the industries are facing and works collaboratively with us to recognise these, address immediate issues where possible and incorporate them into a combined and collaborative strategy for the betterment of the conurbation. 

The ARG3 funding will be used to deliver two linked research programmes into reinvigorating the town centres of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The first programme uses £45,000 to engage local communities and stakeholders to co-create ideas for how the town centres might be developed to enable successful future urban planning and vibrancy. The second programme will use the remaining £30,000 to engage RHL stakeholders to plan an extensive programme of events for the region.


The working group for R3 Business comprises of stakeholder members, which report on the main issues affecting organisations within their sectors during the pandemic including technology, financial support, networking, mentoring, public services and recruitment.

In April 2021 the Busines stakeholder meeting put forward a number of actions to help business in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, which are intended to support the wider aims of promoting innovation, helping the economy bounce back and creating pride in place. A plan was then developed to create a deliverable and achievable project to fulfil these ambitions with the help of the ARG3 funding.

The project begins with a half day event on 6 September 2021 to review contemporary digital technologies to support businesses. This will be subsequently supported by targeted blog posts and a BCP Innovation video before a proposed Hackathon event on 8 November 2021. These events will be taking place to help companies understand how their business can stay relevant and keep one step ahead, in 18-months, and show how to get there. These insights will be captured to share more nationally/internationally and promote the innovative thinking that is shaping the future of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area. This project will be supported by promotional material including a directory of businesses with specialist skills.

The ambitions are to enable businesses to build a broadly considered plan of how to apply innovation into their business strategy and assist them in meeting people / businesses that can help them deliver those goals.


The R3 Welfare project is focussed on three key issues that affect the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole community: 

  • unemployment or employment in a role that is not meeting the needs of the individual
  • mental health and resilience
  • access to skills, support, and funded training. 

Following the significant impact on wellbeing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this project is focused on addressing:

  • loss of employment
  • jobseekers who are unable or struggle to secure employment
  • employees struggling to function productively in employment
  • those who are self-employed, where individual productivity and resilience has been affected due to the impact of the pandemic.

The aim for R3 Welfare is to provide understanding of and access to solutions to support wellbeing/welfare through financial, employability, capability and mental health support. This is to enable those within the conurbation to contribute to the local economy in the most productive way. 

The ARG3 funding of £75,000 will be used to address the issues impacting the community above. A people focused web page and App will be created to fill the gap in knowledge and understanding of support available by harnessing existing capability and knowledge more effectively. An effective community involvement campaign will run to promote, signpost and engage with all members of the conurbation to share and build the sense of community and pride. 

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our regular business newsletter to get the latest information on the initiatives and how these funds are being used to help respond, recover and reimagine. The newsletter also provides regular updates about business support for the region and how local businesses can engage with the recovery efforts.