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Hastings has a variety of events going on over the next few months to keep the town entertained and bring in more tourists to our seaside town.

Here is a list of what is happening in the town between June and September.

Hastings Town and Country Fair

Hastings town and country show

Now in its 8th year this popular family event takes place in pretty Alexandra Park on Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 June. All day entertainment will include the Dog & Duck Show, 1066 Reptile Display Team, birds of prey flying displays, terrier racing, children’s entertainer Mario Magic, the goat show including bottle feeding lambs and kids, children’s petting pens, historical re-enactment and much much more. Plus demonstrations of rural skills for you to enjoy.

Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival

Hastings Fringe

The 2nd annual Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival will be taking place from June 14 – June 18. With some of the best established and up and coming circuit comedians bringing previews and working progress shows to some of Hastings favourite venues in the Old Town.

St Leonards Festival

st leonards festival

Back with a brand new look, this event takes place on Friday 30th June (evening only) and Saturday 1st July 2017. There will be activities happening across the town including the Kings Road Market, Street Theatre and Performances, musicians and a beach zone. There will be plenty of family entertainment for everyone to enjoy at this unique and reinvented festival. Don’t miss out!

Hastings Pier Jam

Hastings Pier Jam 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017 you can have the opportunity to get your jam on at this lively event at Hastings Pier. The line up includes Gorgon City, Amine Edge & Dance and Redlight. Tickets are available to buy but they’re selling out quickly! The event will be held between 3pm and 11pm but the minimum age to get in is 18. Click here to buy your tickets.

Hastings Beer & Music Festival

Hastings Beer and Music Festival 2017

This is the best music event of the summer and is held in Alexandra Park in Hastings. This event runs between Thursday 6th July until Saturday 8th July 2017. So if you’re looking to have a bit of fun in the sun and enjoy great music, good company and a lovely atmosphere, make sure you get yourself along to this event. The best part is that it’s all for charity! There’s something for everyone, even the kids!

Hastings Pirate Day

Hastings Pirates Day 2017

If you’re up for dressing as a pirate, want to hear some good music and get involved in some awesome entertainment, then don’t miss Hastings Pirate Day on Sunday 16th July 2017. Get yourself to Hastings Old Town for a day of festivities. You can expect a golf competition (pirate themed, of course!), a pirate and craft market, a fancy dress competition and lots more.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week

hastings old town carnival

This exciting event takes place from Saturday 29th July until Sunday 6th August 2017. It will include the Pram Race, Sea Boot Race, Bike Race and the spectacular carnival itself. You can expect lots more events throughout that week including competitions for both men and women.

With fears still looming over the cyber-attacks that started on Friday it would appear that they are slowing with few reports of new attacks in Asia and Europe.

Many firms have employed experts over the weekend in attempt to prevent new infections however Microsoft have warned that these attacks should serve as a wake-up call.

A total of 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries were affected, with the attacks preventing access to a computer or its data. The WannaCry ransomware has demanded money to release the data and if no payment is made within seven days it threatens to delete the files.

It also demands £230 ($300) to restore access to the data however, the ransomware warning said that the price will double after three days but organisations are being advised to not pay any ransoms.

It has been said that the US delivery company FedEx has been affected along with 61 of the UK’s NHS organisations. Renault had to halt production in France had to be halted and Russia’s interior ministry also reported 1,000 of its computers infected, according to the BBC.

So What Really is WannaCry?

It is the programme used in the global cyber attacked, known now as WannaCry, ransomware or Wanna Decryptor. It was spread through phishing emails and on systems without up-to-date security patches.

The attack could infect more systems, according to experts from the National Cyber Security Centre. However, the National Crime Agency (NCA) along with investigators from around the globe are trying to find those responsible for the attacks.

Top Tips for Avoiding Infections

  1. Make sure that you keep your software up to date to ensure any bug fixes are made to your computer.
  2. Be wary of emails with attachments where you are unsure of the original source.
  3. Avoid dodgy websites and downloads so that your computer is at lower risk of infection.
  4. Back up any of your important files so that you always have a spare copy.

UK manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in April due to concerns about the strength of the global economy.

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 49.2 in April from 50.7 in March, which is the first time that activity in the manufacturing section has dropped since March 2013. Anything under the 50 mark indicates falling output.

Firms have said that a fall in new business from overseas and uncertainty due to the EU referendum are to blame. As the oil and gas industry is currently slowed, it is hitting production as this is a major company for UK businesses.

Matching February’s three-year low, the index for new orders fell to 50.4 in April, which is lower than 51.9 the previous month.

Official figures revealed last week that UK economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the first quarter of the year from 0.6% later in 2015.


Video company Smokescreen Visuals and children’s charity Chestnut Tree House are amongst the latest occupiers to take offices in Pacific House on Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park.

Other new tenants include computer specialists Southern IT networks, hospital transport firm Coperforma and business intelligence company Match2Lists – while further offices remain available to let.

Open Week: An Open Week is being held between Monday 16 and Friday 20 May, 9am – 5pm, when anyone is free to drop in and look around without an appointment.image003

Smokescreen Visuals is an award-winning video production company with clients including the NHS, Activision, Craft Guild of Chefs and The London Mint Office. The company was founded by Matt Derbyshire in 2004 after returning to his home town of Eastbourne following a London career making TV and cinema trailers.

The company has fit out its new offices (photos available) to a high standard including three hi-tech video editing suites. Its new base has enabled it to more than double its number of employees and it plans to continue expanding.

MD Matt Derbyshire explains: “We were on the outskirts of Eastbourne and had been looking for new premises for five years – but couldn’t find anything with the right feel until now. Pacific House is like nothing we’ve ever seen before in the area. A building of cutting-edge design and facilities, plenty of parking and good security – it’s what we’ve been waiting for all this time. It’s the ideal environment to enable us to keep on growing.”

Chestnut Tree House provides hospice care for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

It has taken two offices for its East Sussex team of nurses, fundraisers and volunteers to enable it to expand – with desks for 20 staff in the building. Its new base is intended to help it to reach more families, raise awareness of its work and attract new supporters.

Tracey Luker, Head of East Sussex Fundraising, said: “We’re caring for around 55 children and young people in East Sussex but there are many more who need our specialist help. Our move to Pacific House gives us more room to accommodate our growing service, better access to major transport routes and a pleasant working environment in a modern, well-equipped building.”

The charity is keen to recruit more volunteers, whether on the basis of a regular commitment or a few occasional hours. Anyone interested should contact 01903 871800 or enquiries@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.

Southern IT Networks provides small businesses with computer services and support and has taken a ground floor office within Pacific House. The company’s services span managed IT, cloud computing, connectivity, business continuity and telecoms solutions.

Coperforma specialises in hospital transport and has moved into a nearly 2,000 sq ft office within the building. The company is a primary provider of transport services to the NHS and arranges more than 1,500 patient journeys each working day.

Match2Lists is a business intelligence company which has taken a first floor office. The company provides software tools which enable firms to match, merge and de-duplicate data lists for marketing and customer management purposes.

About Pacific House: Developed by Sea Change Sussex, the building is a contemporary, three-floor business centre. With offices available from 627 sq ft upwards, it is suitable for small, medium and large companies.

There are small suites available on the ground floor, medium-sized offices on the first floor and two large offices on the second floor.

The building incorporates a light-filled atrium, break-out areas for informal meetings and a conference room. It is designed to be a low-energy building and has parking spaces for 130 cars.

In addition to Pacific House, the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park has development sites which can accommodate further business premises up to 80,000 sq ft. Companies can commission Sea Change to develop bespoke freehold or leasehold properties for them or buy serviced sites to create their own.

The Innovation Park is designed to provide an economic boost to the area by providing high-quality premises and sites on previously disused land. It is three miles from Eastbourne town centre and five minutes’ walk to the cafes, restaurants and boutiques of Sovereign Harbour’s marina and retail park.

Business seminar:  A free seminar – How to move your business to the next level – is being held in Pacific House on Wednesday 25th May, 9.30am to 12.30pm. Interested parties can register here.

Anyone interested in offices in Pacific House or sites on the Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park should contact one of Sea Change’s agents:

They can also visit www.sovereigninnovationpark.co.uk to see more information and download a brochure.


The Hastings Independent Press (HIP) is a free, not-for-profit, fortnightly newspaper run mainly by volunteers – and they’ve just published their 50th issue. Having run for two years on a shoestring, they’re now raising the bar – to the tune of £15,000. This would finance a professional office space and a distribution service, allowing the paper to build on its success.

About the Hastings Independent

For two years, HIP’s team of volunteers have worked tirelessly to provide quality news, back local causes, support community cohesion, promote local arts, and provide training and work experience to local people.

This kind of positive, community-focused organisation is vital to the town, which suffers low average incomes, high unemployment, and more than its fair share of substance abuse and mental health problems. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, Hastings is the most deprived town on the south coast, and the 13th most deprived local authority in England.

“It’s a community paper, for and of the community,” says reader Jane Grimshaw, who has also appeared in the paper for her work with Hastings Supports Refugees. “It’s lead and inspired by members of the community with an inclusive approach to reporting what is happening in our area.”

Providing training to the community

Very few of HIP’s volunteers have formal training in journalism, so the team run free weekly peer-to-peer sessions on Monday evenings at a local careers centre. Recent sessions have included news writing (run by the news ed, an ex sub-editor), law for journalists (run by the sports ed, a retired solicitor), photojournalism (run by the picture ed, a professional photographer) and media sales (run by the advertising manager). Volunteers also make use of free training resources, such as the online course in community journalism by Cardiff University.

“I came to HIP to learn new skills, become more confident in my writing and gain new experiences,” says volunteer Leanne Cannon, who is also studying English with the Open University. “Working with HIP I feel that I can reach those goals.”

With recent news that the University of Brighton will be withdrawing its Hastings campus in five years (along with its journalism course), HIP has become even more vital as a training resource.

Recent coverage

HIP is primarily paper-first, feeling that a free, paper-based news source is important to the community. But it has also recently refurbished its website, to broaden its reach and allow volunteers to link to their stories when applying for jobs. Here are a few recent articles:

Achievements to date:

  • Pagination has increased from an initial 16 pages to a current 24.
  • Regular volunteers have grown from an initial 4 to a team of 37, including 12 section editors, 4 sub editors, 4 photographers and over 20 writers.
  • We also have more than 100 occasional contributors.
  • Advertising covers most running costs, with preferential rates for small local businesses and community organisations.

What past volunteers are doing now

Several volunteers have used their experience with HIP to gain new employment. A few examples are: gallery assistant at Express Newspapers, social data journalist at Brandwatch, freelance writer for Novara and the Guardian, communications manager for the local borough council.

Crowdfunding campaign

Having confirmed the local appetite for an independent news source over the past two years – and the HIP team’s ability to provide it – they are celebrating their 50th issue by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £15,000.

This will allow the paper to build on its success to date, by financing for one year:

  1. A distribution co-ordinator to do newspaper deliveries.
  2. Improvements to the office, which was kindly donated but needs some work.
  3. Occasional shortfalls in running costs such as printing and design (usually financed by advertising).

hastings-independent-logoAny help with raising the profile of the crowdfunder, or the paper in general, would be much appreciated.

School students from local secondary schools gathered on Tuesday March 22nd at Bannatyne’s Hotel in Hastings to take part in an inspirational programme. It aims to help young people to fulfil their potential and improve their life chances.

Be the Change was developed by LoveLocalJobs.com and humanutopia to help raise 13 and 14-year-olds confidence. It aims to identify and remove barriers to success and focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability.

The students will also engage in several activities with peers and business mentors, which includes a work place visit in the coming months. At the launch event itself, students and business volunteers took part in activities that were led by humanutopia’s founders Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore. Both the founders are former teachers who know the challenges that young people are facing today.

“Our vision is for every young person to have raised hope and confidence, to have the chance to develop life skills and create positive cycles that will prepare them for life. We believe in putting people first, and the Be the Change programme is a perfect vehicle to work in partnership to help young people develop the qualities and qualifications they need for a better future. Working with corporate volunteers and the invaluable support and belief of local businesses and universities adds a further dimension and depth to the engagement and journey the young people will experience,” said the founders.

The programme involves a variety of schools including: ARK Helenswood Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, Robertsbridge Community College, Rye College, St Richard’s Catholic College and The St Leonard’s Academy.

Vanessa Gall, Student Support Manager at Rye College, said: “My students were fully engaged and participated with all the activities which, with some of the students, came as a wonderful surprise to me. The Be the Change team were amazing and connected with all the students on a very personal level. I definitely think this programme will increase self-esteem and raise aspirations.”

Gary Peters, founder of LoveLocalJobs.com, who came up with the idea Be the Change, said: “We believe that Be the Change has the power to dramatically improve lives.  David Cameron said that there are around 25,000 pupils about to start their GCSEs who are at risk of under-achieving or dropping out and that he wants businesses to mentor at risk teenagers. Well, this is exactly what we are doing right here in Hastings in collaboration with local employers, universities and local authorities.”

In months to come, there will be three Be the Change programmes rolling out across East and West Sussex. The Hastings programme is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and humanutopia. They also have support from Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Learning Network, University of Bright, Heart FM and other local businesses.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “The Sussex Learning Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Be the Change programme right across Sussex this year – it’s providing a fantastic opportunity for our educational partners to engage with young people in a really innovative and inspiring way, and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.”

Cllr Dawn Poole, Hasting Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “We are very pleased to support Be the Change. Providing opportunities and enabling young people to develop skills and qualifications they need for better futures is imperative. We look forward to the future success of the scheme and to see aspirations raised in the young people of Hastings.”

In the fourth quarter of 2015 the UK economy grew 0.6%, which is higher than the previous estimate of 0.5%.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy grew by 2.3% for the whole of 2015. This is higher than the 2.2% previously thought. Analysts forecast that the figure would remain unchanged.

The figures for the UK’s current account deficit were at a record high in the final quarter of last year. In the three months to December it was £32.7 billion, which is the equivalent of 7% of GDP.

Considering the whole of 2015, the deficit was £96.2 billion or 5.2% of GDP. Since records began in 1948, both figures were the highest since. As a result, the deficit means that the UK imported more goods and services than it exported.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee stated that uncertainty over the UK’s membership of the EU could put financial stability at risk. This includes the current account deficit.

The UK inflation rate stayed at 0.3% in February, the same as January.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the rising food prices, in particular vegetables, helped to keep the Consumer Prices Index unchanged.

Last year inflation reached zero and the annual inflation has continued to be below the Bank of England’s 2% target for the past two years. The Bank expected inflation to stay below 1% this year.

Under the separate Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure, inflation was 1.3% in February, which also showed no change from the previous month. The measure includes housing costs.

The ONS reported that government borrowing fell less than expected in February at £7.1 billion. Chancellor George Osborne is close to missing his target for cutting the budget deficit in the 2015-16 financial year. The total deficit now stands at £70.7 billion for the 11 months of the year. The chancellor’s full-year target is £72.2 billion.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that corporation tax will be reduced by 17% by April 2020 and hopes this will lure more companies to Britain.

The tax was already cut from 28% to 20% previously and Osborne believes the extra cuts will provide a boost to local firms. This should save British firms around £15 billion a year by 2020.

A reduction in corporation tax would make Britain the country with the lowest rate in the G20, which will encourage more people to start, run and grow businesses in the UK.

The deficit will also be eliminated over the next 4 years and the government will be running a surplus. There will be a further £3.5 billion of savings from departmental spending in 2019-2020 to help achieve this.

Osborne announced in the Budget that there will be a longer school day for 25% of secondary schools and every school will become an academy by 2022.

The new Lifetime ISA will allow people to save for retirement or to buy a first home as from April 2017, any adult under 40 will be able to open one. Each year up to £4,000 can be saved and savers will receive a 25% bonus from the government.

The current Personal Allowance rate stands at £10,600 before workers start paying tax, but this will change from £11,000 in 2016 to £11,500 in April 2017.



On Wednesday 16th March Chancellor George Osborne will deliver the Budget plans to members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

Although the Autumn Statement happened back in November 2015, it was another update on the Chancellor’s economic forecasts. The Budget this week will contain more detail and will happen at 12:30pm and last approximately an hour.

Pension changes were not covered in the Autumn Statement, so some expect changes to this in the Budget on Wednesday. Some have said Osborne may reduce the amount that people can save into their pension.

Although nobody knows what George Osborne will deliver in the Budget, many think that it could be possible for him to introduce a new flat rate on tax relief on contributions of between 25% and 33%.

The Chancellor has admitted that he may have to impose further austerity measures. This could mean more reductions in the budgets of non-protected government departments. He also warned that more savings will be needed due to the worsening of the economic backdrop.chancellor