Listening to Richard Carr’s compelling story of rising to the top in business only to lose it all in 2008 when the markets crashed, it’s clear why he chose to call his latest venture Fortitudo.

It takes courage and fortitude to start again and he admits it is a life lesson he has shared with his children.

“2008 was a difficult time for a lot of people – it was horrendous and I was treated very poorly by one of the banking institutions.

“I was wiped out due to the financial crash and I had to start all over again. It’s important to be a strong entrepreneur and that is what I am always telling my children,” he said.

His background is in leisure and hospitality and  Richard has been a Chairman and Chief Executive of a FTSE company in the hospitality sector.

Property development has always been part of his business portfolio and when he left Allied Leisure in 1994, it was the area he chose to concentrate his energy.

Fortitudo Property based in Poole, Dorset works at the aspirational end of the market, building homes for first time buyers through to the luxury market and major multi-million pound regeneration projects.

Best known for their work in the Bournemouth and Poole area, they have schemes in the Central South and as far west as Bath and east as Brighton.

And they join Business South as a Champion organisation at an interesting time for the Central South and on the eve of our sell-out showcase Regen South event on October 7 at the Hilton in Bournemouth.

While the high-end developments may grab all the headlines, Richard explained he is passionate about creating the best possible homes for people starting out on the property ladder too.

“I enjoy creating homes that people are proud of – it is in the DNA of Fortitudo to take pride in what we create.

“Our apartments on Poole Quay start at £185,000 but the finish exceeds that price tag. We use solid worktops in the kitchens and the bathrooms are fully tiled – I can’t be happy unless we are providing the best possible finishes,” he said.

Major regeneration schemes in Salterns Marina in Poole, the redevelopment of three key hotels in Sandbanks and Glen Fern Road in the centre of Bournemouth which includes 350 apartments available to rent and 250 apartments for sale, a 40,000 square foot nightclub, a 36,000 square foot ten-pin bowling facility, 15,000 square feet of bars and restaurants, a 20,000 square foot cinema, a 120 bedroom hotel and a 600 capacity multi-storey car park, are also on the table awaiting planning consent.

“People want more amenity and higher quality developments – we demand convenience and ease of access.

“I’ve been in this area for a very long time and with my particular skill set and being involved in the leisure and hospitality industry for so long, I love to be able to look at a scheme and see the potential,” he said.