Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Following on from the successful Love Hastings, Love Yourself event held in Hastings (October 2016) to celebrate World Mental Health Day, Hastings Youth Council has submitted a petition to Amber Rudd Home Secretary and MP for Hastings and Rye.

The Youth Council is petitioning Government to appoint a mental health minister to overlook and monitor mental health and ensure that the Clinical Commissioning Group and other organisations respond to the growing mental health crisis in Britain.hastings-youth-council

They presented the petition with over 280 signatures to Amber Rudd MP on Friday 09 December at her local constituency office in St Leonards.

“Mental health is very important to the young people in Hastings and this is why it’s been a campaign of ours” said Huda Caglayan chair Hastings Youth Council.

“We need more investment and commitment to tackling mental health issues and it’s hoped our petition may lead to this” she added.

“The Youth Council is committed to highlighting mental health issues in young people locally and we fully support them in their endeavours” said Cllr Kim Forward, the council’s lead member for communities.

The Marshlink Community Rail Partnership (‘CRP’), part of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, held its AGM in Rye town hall last Friday (25th November).

Presentations were made by Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer, and guest speakers Andy Harrowell, Southern’s community investment and corporate social responsibility manager, Fiona Dodge and Alan Davies, from the Canterbury Oast Trust, and Amber Rudd MP.

Kevin Boorman, chair of the CRP, said :- “It was an extremely positive meeting, despite the problems the Marshlink has suffered over recent months because of industrial action.

“Alan and Fiona introduced the work of the Canterbury Oast Trust, which has 160 students with learning and physical disabilities. They do fantastic work, and have recently become one of our partners, and have provided the flower tubs on Ashford station.

“We were also pleased that our local MP, Amber Rudd, was able to join us. She acknowledged the difficulties the line has experienced over recent months, and renewed her commitment to do a\l she could to bring high speed rail across the marsh to Hastings and Bexhill.”

“I would like to pay particular tribute to Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer based at Rye. Kevin has worked tirelessly to improve station partnerships, and we have him to thank for a whole range of initiatives, from the flower tubs at Ashford through the Captain Pugwash exhibition at rye, the photographic exhibitions at Bexhill, and so much more.

“Kevin is well supported by volunteers, and I would like to pay tribute to their work too. The Marshlink is a great example of true partnership, or should I say partnerships, which really benefits the line, those who travel along it, and the communities it serves.”

Plastipack Ltd, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialist covering materials for swimming pools, has opened an exciting new test and research facility at its headquarters in St Leonards-on- Sea, East Sussex. The new capability was officially opened by Rt. Hon. Amber RuddMP, Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

The unique test facility, a world first, comprises five outdoor 8m x 4m x 1.2m swimming pools located side by side. This allows Plastipack to accurately measure and compare the performance of different types of cover materials, while monitoring real-time water temperature and environmental conditions.Plastpack Ltd

Amber Rudd was delighted to formally open Plastipack’s new test facility, saying; “It’s encouraging that an interesting and innovative business such as Plastipack is growing so strongly on the world stage from their established base in Hastings. It’s vital that they are able to continue to access the support within the UK and Europe that is so important for their growth prospects.”

Peter Adlington, managing director of Plastipack Ltd, explains how the test facility will benefit the company. “Our new outdoor laboratory will be invaluable in the development, analysis and comparison of high performance cover materials for pools. It increases our understanding of how products perform on real pools and will help Plastipack maintain market leadership through technical expertise. It adds credibility to product claims with publishable results and greater environmental monitoring which sets us and our products apart from other manufacturers. It also helps raise the importance and industry awareness of credible performance data,” he adds.

The test facility has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute and Department of Physics. The project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The test area represents an investment of £100k at Plastipack’s St Leonards site, which currently employs 34 core staff. The company has invested over £3 million in its manufacturing and distribution capability since it was formed in 1999. Plastipack currently exports to 34 countries throughout the world, with around 75% of its business in the EU.

Plastipack Ltd contact details: Tel +44 (0) 1424 851 659, www.plastipack.co.uk

The decision to close the University of Brighton Hastings Campus in the town centre has caused uproar with student’s, local businesses and residents of Hastings.

In a statement on Tuesday, vice chancellor professor Debra Humphris announced that the board of directors had concluded that the current campus model was unsustainable.  Due to this the Hastings campus will be closing in 2018.

The University have said that all current students will be able to complete their courses although the current intake would have to undertake their final year in Brighton.Hastings rallies together to save the University Campus

On Thursday a petition calling for the university to change its decision received more than 1,800 signatures in less than 24 hours.  There are now a significant 6,571 added to this total.  Campaigners and local businesses have said it will be a devastating loss to the town.

The University has developed massively since its opening 13 years ago and has received £12 million of public investment and has been part of a massive regeneration to the town, providing local people with access to higher education, encouraging new businesses to invest in the area and helping existing ones to grow.  the University has been the foundation for economic growth in the town and the reputation of Hastings has significantly improved and has started to attract investment.

The closure of the University is going to have a massive effect of the town and local businesses and as a town Politian’s, councilor’s, businesses and students need to rally together.

Local MP Amber Rudd issued the following statement:

“Without delay, the University needs to communicate the full details of what this ‘enhanced relationship’ with Sussex Coast College means for our town and its students.  If they listen to us they will realise that the University’s campus in Hastings needs to remain a central part of our town.

“A decision to close the Hastings Campus would be a backwards step for our town’s regeneration, especially since we have invested large sums of tax payers’ money into creating the campus in the first place.  The cultural and music scene, the social and economic conditions and local history combine to create optimism in a town that is enjoyed by current students and appeals to many potential students.  I want Hastings to remain a university town and I will continue to work with Sussex Coast College, Brighton University, Hastings Borough Council, local businesses and all those who will help us create more higher education opportunities in our much loved town.

Peter Chowney leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder has said:

“Brighton University’s decision to close the Hastings campus is a devastating blow to the town’s regeneration, especially considering the amount of public money that went into creating a University Centre here.  It’s a misguided decision, and I’d like to see them reconsider it and decide to stay.  But if they don’t, this must not be the end of a university in Hastings. We will be looking to Brighton University to co-operate with us and Sussex Coast College not just to retain some higher education in Hastings, but to create a genuine University of Hastings. Hastings has become a university town. It must remain a university town. I’m determined to work with Sussex Coast College, Brighton University, local businesses, our MP, other universities, and anyone else who wants to contribute, to help us achieve that.”

Rosie Paddington sent this message to Business in Hastings ”

I am an employer in Hastings and also have a daughter who is currently studying at the Hastings Campus of Brighton University. Hastings has always had particular problems in educating and incentivising local young people, many of whom come from poor families who cannot afford to go to university as funding is nowhere sufficient to support them to live away from the town. The university has provided support and opportunity for these young people to gain an education and from there to find jobs locally. We need to give local people higher aspirations and skills and I need such people to work for my business. Speaking personally, my daughter has benefited hugely from studying english and education in her home town and plans to go into teaching eventually and work in a local school. She prefers to study and live in the town she was born in. So the campus benefits these young people. Hastings also benefits hugely just from the additional spending it attracts as well as improving ou r reputation as a good place to live and study and work. It raises the profile of the town and it would be a huge loss if it were to close down.

Business in Hastings has over 1800 local businesses signed up to our site.  Want to show your support?  Sign the petition  or let us have an email and we’ll send it on.




The annual Hastings jobs fair returns on the 26th February 2016 and is being held at Sussex Coast College.

Local MP Amber Rudd has run the free entry jobs fair for the past five years and this year alongside jobs on offer they are also focusing on apprenticeships.

So far there are 25 companies and organizations attending so will be a great day for those that are looking for work or are interested in being an apprentice.

If you are looking to employ or offer an apprentice position within your company, then you may also be able to exhibit on the day. You can call the event organizers, Events Office on 01424 441833.

Alternatively you can have a look on the events site here.

Britain’s biggest energy firms escaped being hit by Labour’s price freeze and have been ordered to cut their bills. The new Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has written to the six energy firms asking them to ease the pressures that they have put on families.

Since Labour threatened to freeze prices if Ed Miliband became the prime minister, gas and electricity bills increased and since he was defeated in the general election, the prices have not lowered at all. The promise by Labour involved an 18-month freeze, which also allowed energy companies to argue that they could not reduce tariffs too much before the election. This was because they could have been forced to keep them at the new low level.

This also meant that the big six energy companies were able to keep prices artificially high, which in turn, dramatically boosted their profits. The new Conservative government has said that energy firms must take action to reduce their charges. This is a result from the companies who saw their wholesale costs drop by 30%, yet they only reduced bills by 1.3% last winter.

Amber Rudd has written to British Gas, npower, EDF, e.on, Scottish Power and SSE to tell them that they should stop keeping their prices artificially high. In one year, the energy firms’ average profits have increased by 32% to £120 per household, according to the regulator Ofgem. This means that the energy firms are seeing an all-time high on their part.

The consumer group Which? estimated that the average family has lost out on £145 a year because the providers have failed to pass on lower costs. The Competition & Markets Authority has decided to start an inquiry into whether the companies have rigged the market by delaying price cuts. The Authority holds particular concern over the 60% of households who are on standard contracts because they pay more than those on non-standard tariffs. Loyal customers are also missing out on up to £234 over one year because they did not switch providers.

The annual Hastings Jobs Fair, will be returning to the Sussex Coast College Hastings. on Friday 27th March, 10 till 3.  This will be the fourth year the event has been running for in the town.

Amber Rudd MP, who is the host of the event said:

“I am delighted to be hosting my fourth jobs fair in Hastings. Last year we had 30 local businesses with a total of 160 vacancies on offer.”

“There has been a 44% fall in unemployment since May 2010 when I was first elected as your MP, from 3,502 claimants to 1,959 in January 2015. There has also been a 48% fall in youth unemployment. Whilst these figures are excellent news, we cannot be complacent.  I recognise that it can be difficult to find a job if you don’t know what opportunities are available, if you feel you need to improve your skills or if you haven’t been in work for some time. This is why I am continuing to hold my jobs fairs for the people of Hastings that are still finding work hard to find.”

Last year 26 job seekers were recruited at the fair and 143 followed up on apprenticeship training schemes.

Comments from the exhibiting companies were extremely positive about the whole event.

Lloyds TSB ‘Fantastic event and great for networking.’

Sainsburys ‘A great opportunity to engage with people face to face. We successfully recruited from the day.’

Avanta, ‘Made great new connections and secured business in excess of our expectations.’

We expect this to be the best year yet and would like you to be a part of it if: you have vacancies to fill, apprenticeship or training schemes please contact us on: 01424 441833 or visit the web site: http://www.hastingsjobsfair.co.uk for more details.


Energy management specialist Marshall-Tufflex’s recently launched E-PRO Approved initiative has been welcomed by Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd.marshall-tufflex-logo

E-PRO is the first approval scheme of its kind for electrical contractors installing energy management solutions. Those accepted on to the programme are trained and fully supported by Marshall-Tufflex.

Ms Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, said of the scheme: “I welcome Marshall-Tufflex’s new investment in energy management education and skills and wish them every success.”

To apply to become E-PRO Approved installers must be registered with NICEIC, ECA, SELECT or NAPIT. If their application is successful they will attend a training course and, once approved, have access to on-going technical and product training, inclusion in an online ‘Find an Installer’ directory, full technical support and the ability to generate branded quotations on-line plus sales and marketing support.

For more information visit www.eproapproved.co.uk


The multi award winning Azur at the Marina Pavilion will be hosting the Checkatrade.com Expo on Friday 27th February from 10am to be officially opened by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the department of Energy & Climate Change Amber Rudd MP.

The event will take on the form of a business exhibition where national and local companies are able to show off their latest products and services to Checkatrade-expothe business community and the general public and will also promote a number of free to attend workshops and live demonstrations throughout the day.

The event has also attracted a number of VIP guests including town Mayors and Deputy Mayors from around the County of East Sussex, The Chairman of east Sussex County Council and Her Majesty’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex.

Attendee’s will also have the privilege of listening to the Founder and CEO of the multi million pound Checkagroup of companies which include Checkatrade.com and Checkaprofessional.com Mr Kevin Byrne on how he became a serial entrepreneur and how his company generates over £2.5 Billion pounds per annum for its 16,500 members in the UK.

Further details are available from the organiser Lord Brett McLean. call 01424 447461 for details

Southeastern today attended the Hastings Rail Summit, called by Amber Rudd MP, to share details of improvements it has made to rail services in the area. souteastern-1

Senior executives from the company, including managing director David Statham, presented summit attendees with details of recent performance, an update on initiatives that are under way as part of the company’s £70 million improvement programme, and news of future plans for rail services on the Hastings line.

Among the initiatives that are already benefiting passengers on the Hastings route are:

  • Deep cleaning of stations along the route
  • Working closely with Network Rail to improve reliability and punctuality of services through investment in infrastructure and new technologies for monitoring track conditions
  • A fast service between Hastings and London Charing Cross departing at 08.04 and 16.20 and completing the journey in 90 minutes
  • Upgraded Customer Information Screens installed at Frant, Wadhurst, Stonegate, Etchingham, Robertsbridge, Battle, Crowhurst, and St Leonards Warrior Square
  • Participation in the Parliament for Schools scheme, offering local school pupils £1 off-peak return tickets to visit Parliament when invited by their MP

The company has also frozen super off peak fares for 2015, meaning that many off peak journeys on its network can be taken at last year’s prices. For travel from Hastings to London the super off peak fare is £17.80. This fare is valid for travel after 10am and is available to book online at www.southeasternrailway.co.uk.

David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “We were pleased to attend the Hastings Rail Summit and provide an outline of the improvements that we’ve been investing in to benefit passengers. In addition to refreshing station environments and enhancing the reliability of services on the route, we’ve also invested in better information screens to improve the way we communicate during disruption. We know these issues are vitally important to our passengers and we’ll continue to invest in these areas over the coming months.”