Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

The Innovation Centre has over 70 businesses and Business in Hastings will be doing a focus on the businesses that are in there and what they do. We start this new regular feature off with Hodgsons Ltd who are based in the centre.

Company: Hodgsons Ltd


Jo heads up Hodgsons Ltd

Company Bio: Jo Hodgson-Vuranel is an experienced family solicitor offering advice on all aspects of relationship breakdown including divorceseparationcivil partnershipchildren, co-habitee/property disputes and so on.

She is also able to offer advice regarding living together agreements or pre-nuptial agreements.

Jo offers a no obligation initial consultation for a fixed fee of £25 (no VAT). This meeting takes place within informal surroundings at her home office in Hastings. The initial consultation may last for up to an hour and is plenty sufficient to answer any questions that you may have.

If you are not local to Hastings then subject to ID requirements, Hodgsons Ltd will still be able to advise you and offer a consultation via Skype or Facetime.

About Jo: “I was born in Hastings in 1971 and have lived here all of my life apart from 6 years spent in London during my University days.

I became interested in the law at college and after obtaining an “A” grade at A-Level decided that maybe I was quite good at it! I then went on to take a degree in Law and Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics and passed with a 2.1

After this I went to the London College of Law where I obtained my Legal Practice Course and then returned to Hastings to complete my trainee solicitor training with a local firm.

I have worked at various firms, locally and in Eastbourne and Bromley.

Why did you set up your own business?

I decided to set up my own specialist family law firm In November 2012 as I felt that it was time to offer a service unlike other law firms in the area.

I wanted to offer a very personal one to one service for my clients, dealing with their case from the initial consultation all the way through to the conclusion.

With the cut backs to legal aid I also wanted to be able to offer as many fixed fee packages as I could to enable clients to still afford legal representation with a clear confirmation of costs at the start of the case.

I have helped clients to achieve their desired outcome in a number of cases since Hodgsons became established and I hope to continue doing so for the future.

I am a single mother to a very lively little boy and having been through the divorce process myself can empathise with clients on both a personal and professional level.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get in touch with Jo via the contact details below.

Contact: office@hodgsons-law.co.uk  01424 858347

Local Independent Radio station Hastings Rock starts broadcasting again at midnight on Saturday 3rd May.  The station going live – together with Jack in the Green and the Bikers – announces the start of the summer


On air for the month of May only, it goes out to Hastings, Bexhill and the surrounding areas on 87.7 FM and worldwide on the internet, Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year the station raises valuable funds for St Michaels Hospice.

As each member of the committee behind the broadcasts will confirm, it’s a lot of hard but enjoyable work. For the past eight years Andy Gunton has chaired the committee and when he recently made the tough decision to step down another long standing member, and DJ, Tony Bell took over as the new Chairman.

Take a look at the Hastings Rock website www.hastingsrock.co.uk to find out more and some of the great sponsorship opportunities and don’t forget to tune in on Saturday night.

Check out the promotional flyer for the radio station.

Alpine Components have been supplying test and measurement equipment to companies of all sizes and industries around the world since 1991. This equipment (which includes Borescopes, Infrared cameras and leak detectors) is used in engineering and facilities and maintenance departments in more than 60 countries.


Alpine Components expands

Alpine Components is fast approaching 25 years in business and having spent the majority of that time in the same small office that they outgrew a long time ago are delighted to announce that they have moved in to the Innovation Centre in Churchfields and joined almost 70 other local businesses that share the complex.

Alpine Components have essentially doubled the amount of space they have at the popular centre, which will allow them to grow their business and potentially recruit an extra sales person. I

In addition, the facilities available to them now (such as convenient parking, dedicated meeting room and mail franking) enable them to provide a more professional service for our customers.

The “big move” was only made possible by the tremendous support that Alpine Components received from all of the staff at the centre. They are very grateful to Jim Christy and his team for ensuring a smooth transition and making them feel so welcome.

If you would like to know more about Alpine Components you can visit their website to obtain their new contact details or to learn more about what they do: http://www.alpine-components.co.uk/

Andrew Wooding Jones, the former Director of Ashburnham Place Christian Centre has become the new Regional Director for Shopper Anonymous Sussex. Shopper Anonymous generates in-depth customer feedback through its mystery shopping and market research tools. The feedback is then supported with motivational customer service and sales training.


Jonathan Winchester (left) UK Managing Director of Shopper Anonymous with Andrew Wooding Jones.

“When I was at Ashburnham, we used Shopper Anonymous a number of times to check our conference enquiries and the booking system.  Having experienced Shopper Anonymous’ expertise at first hand, I am delighted to have the opportunity to become a part of the team.  I am also delighted to be back in Sussex where I have worked for many years and look forward to meeting up with former business colleagues and making new contacts” comments Andrew.

Jonathan Winchester, the UK Managing Director comments “Andrew’s background includes management positions in hotels, retail and the not for profit sector as well as involvement in training undergraduate management students. Returning to Sussex completing a CEO assignment in Birmingham, Andrew is really excited about this opportunity to take Shopper Anonymous Sussex forward.  Having previously been the Director of Ashburnham Place Conference Centre, Andrew is well connected in Sussex and known to many business people. I am sure he will be a real asset”.

Andrew takes the reigns for Graham Seymour, who in 2009 was the first Shopper Anonymous Regional Director and franchisee.  Graham will still be involved in the business supporting the franchise network which now covers 14 Regional Directors and has plans to expand into Europe.

Do you have a business idea that you would like to develop and would you like to win up to £5,000 to help you get your business up and running?

Starting in May (date TBC) Amber Rudd MP will be running the third Entrepreneur Competition in Hastings, offering £5000 to assist with a new business venture.


Enter the competition to win £5000 for your business

There are two categories of the competition: the Women’s Award, open to all women over 18 and not in full-time education, and the Over 50’s Award. Each of the two winners will receive up to £5000 to help fund their business idea.

There will also be five days of training will help entrants obtain the skills and knowledge required to start a business as well as completing a business plan.

Each candidate who takes part in the competition will also be able to gain the nationally recognised Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 3 Qualification in Starting your Enterprise.

Previous winners of the award are Rebecca Nolan of Barker’s on Sea, a dog grooming parlour in St Leonards on Sea, and Gemma Stephenson, of Life in Plaster who were both awarded £5000.

Rebecca and her sister Leonie, have re-invented themselves and turned their energies and love of dogs into setting up their business. As well as a dog grooming parlour, Barker’s on Sea is also a dog emporium and a community coffee shop for dog owners to meet and socialise.

Life In Plaster is run by Gemma Stephenson who was one of two successful entries in Amber’s entrepreneur competition in 2013. The prize money has gone towards expanding the businesses, focussing on body art and body sculpting, from her home to the high street.

If you have a business idea and are looking for the opportunity to gain experience and support visit the bizbuilders website or send Amber an email on amber.rudd.mp@parliament.uk for more information.

Bag Yourself a Billboard Competition Offers UK Start-ups Major Advertising Opportunity in London’s Tech City

The Bag Yourself a Billboard Competition provides the opportunity for a UK start-up company or small business to win a billboard space in the heart of London’s tech city, to promote their company for two weeks in June 2014. The ad will be designed by a London based creative agency.


Enter the competition to win a tech city London billboard and catapult your business to a huge audience

The Challenge is intended to help uncover original talent and aims to establish one small business as the “UK’s hottest new brand”.

The winner will also benefit from one million ‘ad impressions’. Sage predicts that both the bespoke billboard and online ads will help the winning entrant reach two million potential new customers.

Prospective entrants need to submit a 60 second elevator pitch explaining why their business deserves to win. Each pitch will then be voted on by site visitors and Sage will choose the best “top rated” pitch.

The contest is open to any UK business that is less than five years old with fewer than 50 employees.

Entrants must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry.

Video entries must be uploaded by 1 May 2014.

Click to view further information

Sussex Coast College Hastings are hosting three Hastings job fairs, with an aim to pair employers up with enthusiastic and talented students, looking to kick start their careers in Hastings and Rother.


Looking for work? There are three jobs fairs coming up at Sussex Coast College Hastings

We hope to bring everyone together in a series of events which will be full of energy, opportunity and enthusiasm, to help local employers find employees, and employees to find employers! These events will be short, sector specific and free.

The three events are taking place between 12th – 15th May, and are focusing on areas including Service Industries, Business, Health, Sport and Public Services, as well as an event tied to the Skill Build Regional Finals, which will look at the construction and engineering industries.

Businesses or students interested in attending can visit www.sussexcoast.ac.uk/employment-fair for more information, or call the Work Based Learning Team on 01424 458560.

Are you great with words and have a passion for football? Then you might be very interested in applying for this unique opportunity.

We’ve been asked by local media agency i-Jam Media to let you all know that their client www.hitc.com (Here is the City) is offering three paid internships during the world cup. This is an excellent opportunity to get your writing skills across to million of visitors to the site and work for a globally recognised news site from home!

Here’s the overview:


HITC are looking for World Cup interns. Interested? Then apply today

HITC have a maximum of 3 paid internships up for grabs for the duration of the World Cup, and are running a competition for individuals interested in working with one of football’s fastest-growing websites.

They are looking for talented individuals who can demonstrate a sound general knowledge of football, have excellent writing and analytical abilities, and a strong social media footprint.

HITC’s successful football franchise launched just two years ago,  and now has between 10-15m visits a month with writers in Australia, France, Mexico,  Mongolia, Sweden, the UK and the United States.

Interested candidates should simply send in an email to vic.daniels@hereisthecity.com with the subject line: HITC World Cup Intern Competition.

Further details will then be provided.

Deadline for entries – Friday, 23rd May, 2014

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Tec 66 ambassador Farah Cockerill visited the Arablab  exhibition in Dubai in March 2014 which has become the business and cultural hub of the Middle East. Farah  set up meetings with several businesses from Arabic companies to strengthen business links between East Sussex and the Middle East and to create business opportunities for the Tec 66 Vacuum & Photonics industry.


Tec 66 was well represented at Arablab.

A number of Arabic companies have now expressed interest in the Tec 66 Vacuum Cluster and requested more product information. A number of the companies stated that they would be interested in attending the Tec 66 Conference on October 27th 2014 which would also include visits to local Vacuum & Photonics companies.

This will strengthen links between two very different parts of the world and develop a much better understanding of both cultures and this kind of international exposure can only be a good thing for the region as whole as the vacuum and photonics cluster continues to expand in the Hastings and East Sussex.

This growing high technology manufacturing sector is putting the region on the map and could potentially attract manufacturers, investment and orders from all over the world.

Are you always busy yet you find that nothing really gets done or progresses then we may have found the perfect infographic for you if you need some pointers and direction then this will be a handy resource for you. Check out the How To Be Productive infographic:

How To Be Productive

by annavital.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.