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Mayor’s Blog – Bridmet Ltd., Christmas 2022 and More –



In a recent Blog I I said; ‘For many people Bridport is simply thought of as a holiday and retirement destination, but Bridport is much more than that.’ A recent visit to Bridmet Ltd, based on the Gore Cross Trading Estate, certainly proves that point.

In 2005 Gary Hedges took the brave decision to start his own sheet metal fabrication business here in Bridport. Today Bridmet Ltd employs over 100 people and is possibly the most high tech business in the area.

Over the ensuing years Bridmet has built up extensive experience serving many demanding precision industries including medical, aerospace, recycling, renewable energy, architectural, military and communications.

Unlike many manufacturing companies, Bridmet has a very strong design and engineering base driving the business. This is coupled with a comprehensive range of facilities allowing them to offer a turn key service. As a result Bridmet is able to offer a complete metal design and build service which includes, sheet metalwork, machined components, fabrication and finishing.

On the evidence of what I saw during my visit, it is fair to say that Bridmet employ some of the most talented and committed engineers and technicians within the engineering sector. By utilising third party training to promote good practices, and running an apprentice programme in conjunction with local colleges, they ensure that they have a strong pipeline of talent feeding into the business at grass roots level.

In order to remain a cutting edge business, Bridmet has heavily invested in software and control systems to monitor and schedule their activities. With a large proportion of their production CNC driven, they are always striving to improve the methods by which they interpret and translate customer designs. This ensures they are able to produce and supply high tolerance parts, correct to demanding drawing tolerances, on time.

Always striving towards ever high standards Bridmet is rightly proud of its Quality – BSI to ISO9001:2015 under certificate number FM 588509, Environment – BSI to IS14001:2015 under certificate number EMS 683665 and Health and Safety – BSI to ISO45001:2018 under certificate number OHS 691239 Accreditation.

Whilst walking around the factory with Gary I was really impressed by the whole operation. Dominating the centre of the factory is an Amada CSII storage system. It is an automated stockyard system which has capacity for 240 shelves of either raw material or cut parts. It is controlled by powerful software, managing fully production, automated material traceability and stock management. Absolutely amazing.

In addition to their outstanding cutting, punching and folding capability Bridmet also have machining, welding and powder-coating facilities on site. Having done a little bit of welding in a previous life I was really impressed by the precision being achieved particularly with stainless steel.

As if that is not enough, at their assembly site at Pymore, Bridmet are in the process of commissioning a dust free ‘clean’ working area within the factor. This will enable them to produce complete electromechanical assemblies that will be used by some of the most advanced businesses in the UK to produce components for the IT and semi-conductor industries.

Bridmet has taken positive steps to ensure they have the sufficient highly trained employees by training their own. By taking on 5 apprentices each year and providing ongoing training to their staff, they now have a fantastic workforce of around 100 extremely talented people.

I came away from Bridmet with a sense of awe and wonder at what they are achieving, combined with real pride that all this is going on in Bridport.


As we approach the end of November, Christmas and all the associated festivities and razzmatazz looms ever larger. For some, and it is not just children, the excitement of the build up to the big day is something they look forward to and fully embrace. For others it is the complete opposite and when they start to see the baubles and trees emerging to the strains of ‘I wish it could be Christmas Every Day’ all they want to do is hide away until it has all passed by once again.

Whichever camp you sit in, the run up to Christmas is an important time for Bridport’s high street shops. The key question for our wonderful array of bricks-and-mortar shops over the coming weeks is whether the number of shoppers will return to a “normal,” pre-Covid level or whether the increase in online sales during the pandemic will be permanent.

The impact on local shop Christmas spending in 2022, given the competition form on line retailers, the impact of the two recent budgets on incomes and the economy in recession could be significant. What has traditionally been a chance for our local retailers to boost their takings to a level which sees them through the leaner months of the year is at even greater risk than at any time in recent years. What that may means is that there is a real danger that some of our much loved shops may struggle to survive.

The current economic climate means that we are all having to be much more careful about how we spend our income. Whether you are of working age or a pensioner everyone is feeling the squeeze on their income. As a result, our so called disposable income, the pot from which we buy our Christmas gifts etc is the first to be hit.

It is therefore even more important this year that we think hard about our spending over the coming weeks. Here are some questions you may need to be giving serious thought to as you put your Christmas shopping and gift giving lists together this year:

  • Outside your immediate family and very close friends do you really need to give a gift?
  • Do you need to give a gift to everyone you know?
  • How much can you afford to spend on gifts? Set yourself a budget and stick to it.
  • Sometimes less can really be more. It can be uncomfortable to receive what you feel is too much – so always go by how you think the recipient will feel.
  • Don’t be tempted to give something without any thought behind it i.e. just for the sake of giving.
  • Re-gifting. Whilst there is nothing wrong with re-gifting presents you don’t want to use yourself – you HAVE to be sure that you give it to someone other than the person who originally gave it to you!
  • Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of making yourself feel good by out-doing others. This short term hight results in a low bank balance.
  • Try sticking to the 7 gifts for children rule, no more and no less.
  • And finally use the 5 gift rule. In the 5 Gift Rule, the first four gifts are the same – something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. But the 5th? The 5th is the real winner. It’s something they need or want but don’t really know it.

Whatever gift giving decisions you come to I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to THINK LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL. That is the one gift you give that I know will be greatly appreciated by our amazing local shopkeepers, artists and craftspeople.


Bridport will be full of Festive Cheer on Wednesday 7th December from 4 – 8.00pm. In addition to all of the wonderful shops and businesses who will be staying open late that evening there will be;

  • Christmas Cheer Carols sung by local Primary Schools
  • Stalls in the Town Hall, East, West, South and Downes Streets
  • Food and Drink stalls across the town centre and on Millenium Green
  • Live music in the town centre and Millenium Green
  • Buskers


I am particularly looking forward to leading the countdown and switching on of the lights on the big Christmas tree in Bucky Doo Square at 6.00pm.


The Christmas Cheer Bingo Night takes place this coming Friday, 25 November, at the Town Hall. Eyes down at 7.30pm, with special guest caller Paul ‘Legs Eleven’ Fuszard, and barman Will ‘The Wig’ Austin.

It’s always great fun and an important part of the Cheer fundraising so please do come along to support the event.

No advance tickets, so come early to avoid disappointment!



There is still time to get a team together and book a table via the TIC: 01308 424901 or or in person.


For a fun filled evening of Christmas themed quiz questions with carols sung by the local Ukrainian choir at the break the Bridport Youth and Community Centre is the place to be.

Drinks available at the bar and a fantastic selection of raffle prizes to be won.

A magnum of Furleigh Estate’s award winning sparkling wine to be won by the best dressed table.


On Tuesday evening I joined invited guests in Bridport Arts Centre’s Allsop Gallery for the opening of Future Present.

Future Present celebrates designer makers in the South-West working in a range of mediums, including wood, paper, textiles, print, photography, ceramics, and jewellery.

Each maker offers a unique interpretation of their craft, using both traditional and modern techniques, many focussing on the use of sustainable materials and ethical practice.

Make sure you go along to browse and explore the exhibition, admire the skills and craftsmanship on display and perhaps find that perfect Christmas present for someone special. All work is for sale, or can be commissioned from the artists and makers exhibiting. Commission from sales will support Bridport Arts Centre’s cultural activities.


What better way is there than to spend a decidedly damp November Sunday afternoon Listening to a concert given by the Bridport Chamber Orchestra.

The BCO is a string orchestra of about 25 players, based in Bridport, and they normally perform three concerts each year. The Autumn 2022 concert consisted of a programme of Scandinavian music. Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius were composers who’s music I was familiar with but it was the pieces by Lille Bro Soderlundh, Lars-Erik Larsson and Dag Wiren that were new to me. I say new to me the final movement of the Dag Wiren piece. Serenade for Strings Orchestra op11 turned out to be the rousing theme music from the BBC television programme Monitor. If you are a Spotify user you can listen to it HERE.

Throughout the concert the playing was exquisite and the acoustics in St Swithun’s Church added to what was a really enjoyable afternoons entertainment. I for one was very impressed by the quality of the playing and am looking forward to their Spring Concert scheduled for Sunday 5 March.

If you are a musician looking join an outstanding group of musicians look no further than the Bridport Chamber Orchestra. To find out more click HERE


Advanced notice of what I am sure is going to be a fascinating afternoon looking at the Amazon and its peoples.

In addition to the two talks there will be music by Miles Moss sung by soprano Katherine Fuge.

It is all looking like a really interesting way to spend a Monday afternoon. There is nothing quite like listening to someone with first hand knowledge and experience of a topic.

Entry is free.


Research from The New Economics Foundation suggests that for every £10 spent in a shop, the amount of money going back into the local economy can be as much as £50. They say that around 80% of each transaction from that initial £10 goes back into the local economy.

In the run up to Christmas your magic tenners are even more important to our local businesses than ever. Remember to THINK LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL this Christmas.

Here are three more much loved local businesses that will be hoping for your custom when out shopping for that special gift.

T Snook – West Street
Businesses working with or supplying: Burroughs Accountants, Nantes , Footeprints, Animal House, RKL Tools, Hardy Gowns, Black & White IT, Double Drive, Livingstone Textiles, Bridport Banners, Steve Tattershall (painter & decorator), Carpet World , PNW Services (window cleaner), Bridport Building Supplies, Top Sparks, Bridport Tyres, Gary Pitcher Locksmith, Punch & Judy Bakery, Creeds, Eagle Autos Decorator Centre and more.

The Pursuit of Hoppiness – West Street
Businesses working with or supplying: Selected Grapes, Footeprints, Framptons, Gelateria Beppino, Mercato Italiano, Soulshine, Jason Kidd plumbing, Stubbs and Son Electricians, A Cask, West Milton Cider, Copper Street Brewery and more.

The Fabric Larder – South Street
Businesses working with or supplying: Cafe Bean, Salvage Style, Waste Not Want Not, and more.

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