Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

havelock place hastingsCompanies can now get top quality new offices in East Sussex on ultra-flexible terms in a pioneering move to address the Brexit market.

As part of the economic development programme for the area, Sea Change Sussex has introduced a three-month notice period in its leases which, innovatively, can be served by occupiers at any time. This is designed to provide an exceptional degree of flexibility for companies facing unknown market conditions as the UK plans its EU withdrawal.

These new terms are available as part of three-year leases for Sea Change’s small and medium offices in:

  • Havelock Place, Hastings: the high-quality development in the Priory Quarter town centre business district, with eligible units from 541 to 1,659 sq ft
  • Pacific House, Eastbourne: the contemporary new business centre in Sovereign Harbour, with units available from 627 sq ft upwards
  • A forthcoming business centre on the Bexhill Enterprise Park, with units from 600 sq ft upwards pre-letting now.

John Shaw, CEO of Sea Change Sussex, says: “Companies are telling us they still want to invest and grow following the EU referendum, but they feel the economic road ahead will be less certain for some time. So we’ve introduced new leases which means they can have the quality of new premises they want along with an extremely high level of flexibility to react to market conditions as they unfold.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Sea Change’s offices and its new ultra-flexible leases should contact one of the company’s agents:

Or visit:


We would all like to have substantial income so that we can stop or cut down on the amount of time we spend at work or even retire altogether. But what if you are facing a pension shortfall or need to meet an unexpected expense. Equity release may be an option to consider, as it allows you to unlock some of the wealth accumulated in your property without having to downsize. However, before you consider taking this option, there are key aspects of it which you must consider.

There are two main types of equity release scheme:

Lifetime mortgage – which is a loan secured on your home, it is repaid by selling your home when you die or go into long-term care.

Home reversion – Where you sell all or part of your home to a scheme provider in return for regular income or a cash lump sum, or both, and continue to live in your home for as long as you wish. To qualify for equity release you have to be usually 55 or over and own your own home. If you do have an outstanding mortgage and want to take out equity release, you will need to settle your mortgage first, which will affect the amount you then have access to for other purposes. You will receive tax-free cash as a lump sum, a regular income, or both, to use as you wish and you can continue to live in your own home. Remember though that it is still your responsibility to maintain the home.

Your equity release questions answered:

Q: Is there a minimum amount I have to take?
A: There could be a minimum amount you have to take, it will depend on the scheme and provider. But you may not have to take it all at once. Drawdown loans can be taken in smaller amounts over time.

Q: What happens to my partner if I die?
A: The scheme should be in both your names then the arrangements will continue. If you are using equity release to increase your income, make sure you consider the situation should you or your partner die. If the property and scheme were in your sole name, the property would have to be sold and your partner would have to move out, unless they could repay the lifetime mortgage in full.

Q: Does equity release reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) due on my estate?
A: Equity release will reduce the value of your estate when you die, which may reduce a potential IHT liability. If you are considering using an equity release scheme as part of your planning for IHT, you should obtain professional financial advice.

Q: Is a sale-and-rent-back scheme the same as a home reversion?
A: No, because if you rent you may have to leave your home after the end of the fixed term in your tenancy agreement, which may only last a few years and you may have to pay a much higher rent than under a home reversion plan, and the rent could go up.

Q: What happens if we need long-term care?
A: Your equity release scheme will usually continue unchanged if care is provided in your own home or just one of you moves to a residential or nursing home. If you both move into a care home, the scheme will usually end and the property will be sold. Releasing equity from your home is a very big lifetime commitment, so ensure you have included your family in any decision you make. Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, it is crucial to obtain a personalised illustration from a professionally qualified adviser because equity release is not right for everyone and it may affect your entitlement to state benefits and will reduce the value of your estate.
INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Need more help? This feature aims to give some informal hints and McPhersons Financial Solutions are offering free advice so get in touch now to arrange your meeting.

Hastings Town Crier, Jon Bartholomew has returned home triumphant this weekend after having won the prestigious Loyal Company of Town Criers British Championship.

Jon, accompanied by his wife Victoria, was one of only 15 top Town Criers from around the UK to be invited to attend the Championship, held in Biddulph, Staffordshire on Saturday (23rd July).

The Criers were required to perform two separate themed cries during the day and were judged on five different disciplines :- confidence and bearing, diction and inflection, volume and clarity, content of cry, and engaging  the  public audience.  With a combined total of 50 marks per cry, in total Jon came away with a score of  90.2, having  lost only 0.2 marks for missing out one word scrutinised by the “accuracy” judge.

The event was rounded off for Hastings when the colourful couple in their period costumes were also awarded the prize cup for best dressed town crier and escort.

Jon said :- “The whole day has been a great success for Hastings, and indeed Sussex, and I’m absolutely chuffed to now hold the title British Champion, and I’m so proud to bring home the cup and title, as the other criers competing were some of the best in the UK. It’s also a great accolade for my wife and I to win best dressed couple too.”

Jon has been the official Town Crier of the Borough of Hastings since 1998 and although he has won a number of tournaments both nationally and internationally, this is the first time he has attended and won the British Championship. Jon now has his sights firmly fixed on attending and maybe being placed at the World Championships in Chester in 2017.

The first point to emphasise today is that it’s business as usual and trade mark and design owners should not panic – European Union Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) remain valid in the UK and there is no immediate loss of IP protection. Once we actually leave to EU, that position will presumably change, but that is probably two years hence. Meanwhile, the many UK companies and traders who have only filed EU Trade Marks should consider filing for a UK Trade Mark; these are inexpensive and quick to register, but don’t delay. We are happy help you with your requirements.

Design registration is slightly more complex, and best discussed. The European Patent Office (EPO) is not an EU institution, so there will be no change there, but presumably the EU Patent, when it comes into being, would be treated as another overseas application.

We do not know when the exit will actually happen but once the UK officially notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the clock starts ticking and the negotiations need to be completed within two years. The two-year period can be extended but only if all the other 27 EU countries agree.

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office will continue to work with the EU Intellectual Property Office; we will no longer be around the table when final decisions are taken, and this will impact on our IP law, but we can assume that co-operation will continue, as it does with other major IP countries. Whilst IP rights are limited to a particular territory, as a profession, our horizons have always been international.

Our professional body, ITMA, will be calling on the UK Government to ensure that UK practitioners remain entitled to represent clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office, but we will also be setting up an office within the EU to ensure that we are able to do this.

Do seek professional advice on how you take you intellectual properties forward; there are many pitfalls that can easily be avoided with a bit of know-how. Call us on 01424 205448 or 07968 845 426, or email lockharthastings@btconnect.com


On Saturday 14th May there will be a public rally/demo taking place against the proposed closure of the Hastings Campus and Hands Off Hastings would love a many of you as possible to join them.  Why? Because the closure of the Hastings Campus will have a direct and negative impact on the local community and economy, it will also impact on the creative culture that Hastings thrives on.

At present the town has over 600 students studying in Hastings.  Each one of those contributes to the town in one way or another.  Students work for local businesses, raise money for charities and offer their skills during work placements and volunteer placements.

From art students, computer students, post production students, business students, Biology students, games production students, Radio and TV students and so many more.

Rachael Kamara said ‘This is the kind of creativity we need to keep in the town, we need to encourage the university to invest not divest in our community and we need to fight for a better future for the younger generation.  We can do this by showing the board of governors and senior management what Hastings is all about and how much this community works together to make this an amazing place to live and study.  The opportunities provided by the Hastings Campus should not be taken away and we hope that you can join us in our campaign.  We want Saturdays rally to be about, the culture and passion of Hastings.  If you are a dancer, a pirate, a bogie, a drummer, or just an exhibitionist we would love you to come along in full colour and help us turn a rally into a party.’

Detail of the event can be found here.


Please help us spread the word.  If you can’t join us on Saturday, tell your friends or sign the petition below.




The annual May Day bikes came to Hastings and for enthusiasts it was a day to remember. The turnout was massive considering the weather wasn’t great but the crowds came out from all over to witness and celebrate motorcycle culture. Check out the pictures we took to see for yourself.


Hastings Pier has finally reopened up to the public following a £14.2 million restoration project, after the structure was gutted by a fire in October 2010.

Yesterday saw the pier open its gates and let the public have a look at what the newest addition to Hastings has to offer.

The pier will open initially with a full service bar and restaurant in the newly renovated pavilion building plus a traditional funfair.
The café and roof terrace in the new The Deck at Hastings Pier building will open over the next few days.

Check out our gallery of photo’s that we took on its opening day. (To view full size click on the images)




Sussex Coast College Hastings has developed the following engineering courses for apprentices and management in the manufacturing sector in response to industry requirements, starting in September 2016. Manufacturing companies locally have been asking for years for somewhere to provide this training and Sussex Coast College has delivered these courses to cater for this need.

Check out the course flyer here

(click to enlarge)

its time o hire an apprentice engineer a stronger workforce

Yesterday was the Queens 90th birthday as we reported in our article.  To celebrate this last night hundreds of beacons were lit across the South.

If you missed the lighting of the Hastings beacon being lit then check out our Gallery of a few of the pictures that Stuart Rayment from Lockhart & Hastings Ltd, intellectual properties consultants took on the East Hill where the beacon was lit by volunteers from Hastings Borough Bonfire society and Hastings-based Renegade Pyrotechnics.


Dividends have been a very tax-efficient way of making savings in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) and Income Tax contributions for a number of years, with many business owners and shareholders choosing a smaller salary, plus an additional remuneration package paid as dividends.

However, this has now all changed from April 2016 as the income tax position of dividend income will effectively increase for most taxpayers. This may have a direct impact on the overall savings in NIC and income tax that can be achieved after 5 April 2016.

Up to 5 April 2016, no additional income tax would be due if a company paid a dividend to its shareholders, as long as the person receiving the dividend was a standard rate tax payer.

Individuals receiving dividends then only paid additional personal tax if their dividend income fell partly or wholly within the higher rate (40 per cent) or additional rate (45 per cent) bands. The following rates applied for 2015-16:

  • All dividend income in the standard rate band was taxed at 10 per cent.  As the tax credit was deductible, recipients paid no additional tax
  • All dividend income at the higher rate was taxed at 32.5 per cent (of the gross dividend, including the tax credit) less the 10 per cent tax credit
  • All dividend income at the additional rate was taxed at 37.5 per cent (of the deemed gross individual, including the tax credit) less the 10 per cent tax credit

From 6 April 2016, the way dividends are being taxed changed. The 10 per cent tax credit was abolished and each individual has a flat rate dividend allowance of £5,000.

Any dividends received by an individual in excess of the £5,000 allowance will be taxed as follows:

  • 7.5 per cent if your dividend income in within the standard rate (20 per cent) band
  • 32.5 per cent if your dividend income is within the higher rate (40 per cent) band
  • 38.1 per cent if your dividend income is within the additional rate (45 percent) band

In all cases, any tax liabilities for 2016-17 will be collected on 31 January 2018. At the same time, HMRC will also add 50 per cent of the tax liability to the first self-assessment payment on account for 2017-18, also due 31 January 2018, with a further 50 per cent due at the end of July 2018.

The new changes will also have an impact on PAYE codes for owners and directors in 2016-17. Under the new rules, HMRC will amend tax codes to automatically ‘code out’ a sum approximately equal to the amount of dividend tax due for that tax year.