Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

‘Purveyors of fine burgers, fries, craft beers and good times’ the opening on the homepage of their website says it all, as Half Man! Half Burger! brings a welcome new addition to the town with the first dedicated fully licensed Burger restaurant to hit St Leonards.

With their mission being to create perfect hamburgers, fries and sides.  Friends Rory and Matt launched Half Man! Half Burger!

HMHB was launched less than two years ago in Brighton with a pop up burger shack, shortly after this they showcased their burgers at the UK Summer festival circuit before deciding to open up their first permanent home at the Marina Court St Leonards, where they officially sold out on their first day of opening.

The two friends got stared partially with a Locate East Sussex Grant to help cover the start up costs including refurbishing the venue.  Locate East Sussex also introduced them to useful contacts at Hastings Borough Council to sort out licences and meet the relevant regulations.

The business was inspired by pilgrimages to authentic American burger joints.  Their burger patties are made from grass fed local cattle, whist their buns are freshly hand made by local bakery Judges.

With plenty on the menu to choose from including gluten free buns available and children’s meals too there is definitely something for everyone.

I for one cannot wait to get myself down to HMHB to try out some of their tasty delights.




On Wednesday 7th October the Chairman’s Business and Breakfast club will be taking place.  The event starts at 7.00am and is located in the Conference Suite at the multi award winning Azur at The Marina Pavilion St Leonards-on-Sea.

The event will have two guest speakers, Ian Noble “The Best Of Hastings” and Greg Draven “Wyntercon”

Over breakfast, the event aims to connect businesses and community groups. The price per person is £8.  Please bring with you a selection of business cards, roller banner and any literature promoting an event that you wish to promote to other attendees.

To book your place contact Lord Brett McLean on 07838 241222. Alternatively, contact Azur at The Marina Pavilion on 01424 447461.



It was an extremely successful night on Friday for McPhersons’ clients, both for the start-up businesses they have nurtured and for their more established clients

McPhersons are proactive with all their clients and in this case, advised their start-up business clients to enter these important local awards.

Ainsley Gill said: “From our own experience, winning an award like this leads to much welcome publicity. Potential new customers are reassured that your company is doing something right. McPhersons received many enquiries as a result of winning the 1066 customer service award and hope our winning clients will benefit too.”

Amongst the winners were The Crown in Hastings, overall winner for Best Eatery and highly commended for Best Start-up Business, Fulrum Learning  were highly commended for Best Start-up Business as well as Investor in Training. The True Crime Museum were overall winner for Best Start-up Business and highly commended Tourism & Leisure Business of the Year.

Of their more established clients, Hastings Printing Company were the overall winner of the Medium Business of the Year and The Swan House Bed & Breakfast were winner of the Tourism & Leisure Business of the Year.

To top it all off, Tim Pearce from Kurt J Lesker, another McPhersons client, was named the Business Person of the Year.

It’s easy to see the pattern emerging here; become a McPhersons Client and you will be well on your way to success!

The largest business to business exhibition and networking event returns to Hastings on Thursday 29th October with Lets do Business Hastings.

Returning to Sussex Coast College again this year, the show will welcome hundreds of business owners, directors and key-decision makers under one roof.

Let’s Do Business Hastings offers companies the perfect opportunity to promote their business, make new connections and generate new leads. All through good old-fashioned networking!

Exhibition stands are selling fast, with more than 50% booked up within just one week.

Wes Game, exhibition organiser said:

“We’ve had a great response to the Hastings exhibition again this year, which I think is testament to the thriving business community in the area.

“There is no substitute for face-to-face networking and the Let’s Do Business exhibitions give companies a great platform for this.”

The show will also feature speed networking in the morning and four free interesting and thought-provoking seminars throughout the day.

Stands start from just £215 (plus VAT) – book your space today online.

The Let’s Do Business Group is the leading social enterprise in the country for finance according to the NatWest Social Enterprise 100 Index.

In addition to topping the Index within the finance sector, the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG) feature third across the South East region and fourth overall out of more than 800 social enterprises.

Let’s do Business have helped start-ups and established businesses to grow and prosper throughout the South East of England for more than 20 years.natwest se100

Its finance arm, Let’s Do Business Finance (LDBF) offers an alternative source of commercial funding to companies that are unable to source the capital they need from high street lenders.

In the last financial year, LDBF lent more than £700,000 to SMEs in the South East, a marked increase compared to the £238,000 lent the previous year, representing almost an increase in growth of almost 70%.

This is in addition to the £1 million the Group has lent to start-up ventures in the past four months throughout the South of England.

Ian Smallwood Head of Services at LDBF said, “We are delighted to be number one within the finance sector in the NatWest SE Index. Not only have we grown considerably in the past couple of years, but we have been able to almost triple the number of businesses we can help.

“This is a great achievement for our team, but importantly these businesses are now able to grow and thrive, creating more jobs and further strengthen the economy in the South East.”

The team at LDBF offers loans of between £3,000 and £50,000 to companies looking to scale-up their operations, with start-up finance available up to £25,000.

The SE 100 Index tracks data from social enterprises across the UK, offering an insight into their performance.


Pacific House – the first office centre on Eastbourne’s emerging Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park – has now been completed.

To coincide with this, a web site for the Innovation Park has been launched at www.sovereigninnovationpark.co.uk.

Twenty two prospective tenants viewed the offices on the first open afternoon last Thursday, 16 July, with a number reserving offices and further viewings booked.

Pacific House

Pacific House is a three-floor business centre of striking contemporary architectural design. With offices available within it ranging from 627 sq ft up to the whole 25,235 sq ft building, it is suitable for small, medium and large companies.

There are 11 small suites on the ground floor (from 627 to 952 sq ft), six medium-sized offices on the first floor (1,258 – 1,897 sq ft) and two large offices on the second floor (4,402 & 4,412 sq ft). If appropriate, these could be combined or sub-divided to suit occupiers’ needs.

In addition to the office suites, Pacific House incorporates a light-filled atrium, break-out areas for informal meetings and a conference room. It is designed to be a low-energy building with parking spaces for 130 cars.

Developer Sea Change Sussex – the not-for-profit regeneration company for East Sussex – has already received a significant number of letting enquiries from companies in Eastbourne and further afield.

In addition to the 22 prospective occupiers who viewed the property last week, further viewings are being arranged over the coming days. Sovereign Harbour Residents Association members and Eastbourne Borough councillors are also being shown the building in late July.

Buckingham Group Contracting began construction work for Pacific House in September 2014 and completed the project on schedule.

In addition to Pacific House, Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park has sites suitable for 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 develop their own.

The Innovation Park project is designed to provide an economic boost to the area by providing high-quality premises and sites on previously disused land. It aims to help local firms expand and to attract companies to the area, creating jobs.

The Park is three miles from Eastbourne town centre and accessed from Pacific Drive, off Pevensey Bay Road. It is five minutes’ walk to the cafes, restaurants and boutiques of Sovereign Harbour’s prestigious marina, as well as a retail park including a large supermarket, cinema and gym.

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 the new web site at www.sovereigninnovationpark.co.uk to see more information and images of the scheme and download a brochure for Pacific House.



On Wednesday 5th August the Chairman’s Business & Community Breakfast Club will take place. The event, starts at 7:15am and is located at the multi award winning Azur at The Marina Pavilion in St Leonards-on-Sea.

The event will have joint guest speakers Renato Pirez who is the owner of an award winning business called Acting Moon Events and Sophie Hawkins an employment advisor for The Shaw Trust.

Over breakfast, the event aims to connect businesses and community groups. The price per person is £8.  Please bring with you a selection of business cards, roller banner and any literature promoting an event that you wish to promote to other attendees.

To book your place contact Lord Brett McLean on 07838 241222. Alternatively, contact Azur at The Marina Pavilion on 01424 447461.




A Virtual office  is an ideal way for any budding entrepreneur to get a prestigious office address and access to other office services whilst keeping business costs to a minimum and is also just as ideal for those who are moving to the area to have an immediate base whilst setting up. We asked Jenny Haley from the Innovation Centre in St. Leonards to give us a guide on what they are, how they work and what the benefits are.

Is a virtual office right for your business?

A virtual office provides you with a business address and telephone number, without the full time office premises to go with them.

For many people who run a business from home, this is an ideal way to cultivate a professional image and means you don’t have to give out your home address.

It can also be an ideal first step for entrepreneurs who plan to have their own premises later but want to get their business up and running first.

A virtual office or a PO Box?

A PO Box is a lower cost alternative to a virtual office. It provides an address for your post, which you collect from your local Royal Mail delivery office.

This typically costs as little as £8-£10 per month. But there are big limitations:  there is no associated phone number; it doesn’t give your customers the impression that you have a local office; the Royal Mail won’t accept mail from other carriers; and a PO Box is not acceptable under the Distance Selling Regulations if you want to sell online.

A virtual office service, on the other hand, will normally give you an address at an established business centre; will accept deliveries from other carriers; and you can choose either to collect your mail or have it posted onto you.

Many virtual office address providers also offer other invaluable benefits such as meeting room hire at your virtual address, networking events and ‘hot desk’ facilities.  So as well as having it as a professional postal address, you can use it as a base for meeting clients and business contacts.

Top tips when choosing a virtual office:

  • Decide what services you want first. You can then seek out the service that’s right for you instead of convincing yourself that what you happen to have found is what you want.
  • Are you looking just for a business address for mail and visitors, or are you looking for a telephone answering service as well?  Depending on where you are, you might find local providers who offer both these services, or you might have to source them separately.
  • Visit the premises to be certain they portray the right image. Are they presentable and reputable? Do they have the kind of feel that will appeal to your customers? Do they fit the style of your business—your business brand, if you like?
  • Speak to the staff working there. They will be the face of your business, so make sure they will make a good impression on your customers.  Even if you don’t expect regular visitors, remember that potential clients may investigate where you are based, either in person or by searching on the Internet.
  • Look at what associated services are available. Are there meeting facilities there for you to see clients or suppliers on-site? Are there hot desks available for you to work at on an ad-hoc basis if you’re in the vicinity or in between meeting clients on the premises?  Ask to see these and find out about the costs.
  • Find out if there are networking or training events held there.  Are there any useful bureau services on offer such as admin assistance, photocopying and an outgoing post service?
  • If you intend a virtual office to be your first step as you grow your business, see if you can find a business centre that also has a range of office units for rent that will suit your future needs.
  • Ask to speak to other virtual clients to see how happy they are with the services provided.
  • Make sure you understand the costs and contract. Clarify what is and isn’t included in the monthly fee and look at how this will affect your budget.
  • Read the terms and conditions in full. Check what notice you are being asked to give and how long the contract is for. A good contract should be written in plain English. Make sure you ask about anything you’re not certain about and, as ever, don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
  • Put the service to the test. When you find a virtual office service you think is right for you, ask for a free trial before you commit. Most providers will be happy to agree to a short test period.

Send yourself a letter and make some sample phone calls to check everything works as it should. Only use the address or phone number with your customers when you’re fully confident with the way things work. Even then, test the service a couple of times a year once it’s up and running.

After all, it’s not just a simple support service you’re buying. You are putting your business reputation on the line. What could be more important than that?

To find out more about virtual office services for companies in the Hastings & St Leonards  area, contact Jenny Haley on (01424) 858199 or visit the Innovation Centre website at www.innovationcentrehastings.com


Chancellor George Osbourne delivered his sixth budget on Wednesday 8th July.

The chancellor outlined £12bn of welfare cuts, introduced new inheritance tax rules and vowed to crack down on tax avoidence.

Check out the Budget Summery Booklet from Mcphersons that tells you everything you need to know about the summer budget.



Budget summary booklet July 2015

Local e-learning company Cherrystone have had their full range of products endorsed by the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL).

ITOL is the UK’s elite professional body for learning and development professionals, and promotes commitment to the highest standards in the learning and development profession. It pursues this mission internationally as well as in the UK, with a presence in over 30 countries.

ITOL director Harry Bundred said: “I have been very impressed by the quality of material produced by Cherrystone. I am confident that it will be of great value to trainers, managers and individual learners.”

Through the Cherrystone website, you can quickly access a wide range of ebooks, videos and audio recordings, on topics including personal development, leadership and management, and health and safety. The products are reasonably priced and the easy to use credits system means that you can target your spending on the areas which are most relevant to you and your business. Signing up is free and you will immediately receive a free e-book which is full of top tips for managing your business. All of Cherrystone’s video content is free to access until the end of June –a great reason to sign up today!