THE Daily Echo and Dorset Echo are joining forces to step up their coverage of the county’s working world under a single business editor.

Darren Slade has been the Bournemouth-based business and technology editor at the Daily Echo for the past four years.

He will now preside over business coverage for both papers and websites, with input from news reporters based with the Dorset Echo at Weymouth.

Darren said: “I’ve really enjoyed the last four years finding and reporting stories from the business and entrepreneurial scene in our part of Dorset.

“That’s included covering the major issues of the day and the activities of famous business names such as JP Morgan, Sunseeker, Lush, McCarthy & Stone, Siemens, Beales, Organix and many others.

“But I’ve also enjoyed discovering more about the area’s expanding digital and creative community, and its thriving start-up scene.

“I’m well aware that South and West Dorset contain many hundreds more businesses with stories to tell. Like the rest of the county, these are areas where tourism is a vital part of the economy, employing thousands of people. And there are plenty of great young businesses, from small artisan food producers and retailers to engineering firms and digital start-ups.

“South Dorset is home to the internationally-known New Look, while its marine sector is in rude health, with Portland Port enticing exciting new businesses. Firms like Atlas Elektronik are at the cutting edge of naval and marine electronics and system.

“Some issues facing business are the same across the county – whether it’s uncertainty around Brexit, skills shortages or the challenges facing the high street.

“But there are many more local stories to be reported, whether by me or by the excellent Weymouth-based reporting team.”

Poole-born Darren was previously the Daily Echo’s local government correspondent and then chief reporter.

Editor and head of content at the Echo, Andy Martin, said: “Darren has been a brilliant business editor for us for the past four years. I’m delighted his talents will now be put to excellent use covering the whole of Dorset’’s business community.”

Follow Darren on Twitter @echodaz, via LinkedIn or email