COSTA Coffee and a new shop are set to come to Dorset County Hospital – and the partnership will bring an estimated £1m to be pumped into vital services.

The retail space is being extended at the hospital in Dorchester, and will include a Costa Coffee and an amigo shop at what is currently an unused courtyard. The 10 year partnership, which starts in April, will see investment of £550,000 to create the facilities.

A spokesman for DCH said the café and shop is expected to generate £1m, which will be used by the trust to invest in services.

The money would be generated over the 10 year partnership from rent.

The partnership is with Healthcare Retail, Compass Group UK & Ireland.

Director of strategy and business development at DCH Nick Johnson said the new cafe and shop will extend the facilities offered at the hospital, and provide a valuable income stream.

He said: "The trust, like most other hospitals and NHS organisations, is facing increasing financial challenges in terms of income and expenditure that we need to use to continue to deliver safe and effective healthcare and this will be invaluable in making sure we can continue to deliver those services."

It is the first time such a franchise has been opened at DCH - but Mr Johnson said there may be more in future, although there is 'nothing in the pipeline at the moment'.

The franchise is expected to create a number of new jobs, although the amount has not yet been confirmed. Building will start 'very shortly' and last about eight weeks, with the cafe and shop expected to open in late May or early June.

The new Costa Coffee and amigo shop will run alongside The Friends of Dorset County Hospital shop, which will be moving to a new location near South Wing Entrance 1. 

The Friends want to add to the current service they provide by opening their new shop at the weekends, selling hot drinks, sandwiches, snacks, newspapers, magazines, toiletries, stationery and stamps. They are keen to recruit more volunteers for weekends in the shop and for their trolley service. Anyone who has a few hours to spare at the weekend and would like to help should contact Sharon Merritt on 01305 255896 or email 

Andrew Jones, managing director at Healthcare Retail, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “This partnership will see obvious enhancements to the hospital building and will offer improved retail services. We’re confident that this development will improve the experience for everyone visiting the hospital and we look forward to working with the team at Dorset over the years to come.”