Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Recent forecasts suggest that the East Sussex economy could expand by about £2,900 million gross value added (GVA) between 2013 and 2025. GVA is the value of goods and services produced in the area.

Over this period, between 18,270 and 25,490 jobs could be created which includes full and part-time as well as self-employed.  Sectors that are anticipated to grow at the fastest rate in terms of employment between 2013 and 2020 include construction and financial and business services. Manufacturing and government services are fastest to contract.

Sectors such as construction, accommodation and food services, information and communication and financial and business services are expected to grow at the fastest rates in GVA between 2013 and 2020. The East Sussex economy is expected to grow at the same rate as the South East with the only sector predicted to decline being mining and quarrying.

The construction sector however is forecast to recover and is expected to grow at a quicker rate in East Sussex compared with regionally.

In 2013, when many of these statistics were complied, there were 2,645 more business starts across the county than there were closures, which were just below at 2,100. This is the first time this has happened since the recession. Although this is a step in the right direction, it is far more delayed compared to the regional and national trends as business starts began to rise and exceeded closures in 2011.

The only exception was Hastings as this area managed to follow the national trend. The town presents successful survival rates with 45.3% of new businesses surviving for 5 years.

The information for this report came from East Sussex in Figures and this is from their latest economic update.

We have that Friday feeling buzzing round the office today and the fact that we get an extra day in bed as its bank holiday has us all smiling. So why not sit back and take 5 minutes to have a read through this weeks Fun Fact Friday.

Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry was the first person ever from Hastings to play in the world cup.  Garath started his career at Brighton & Hove Albion before going to Aston Villa which he went on to captain.  Barry signed for Manchester City football club until his contract expired and he joined Everton.  This is where you will find the footballer now.

Neil (Razzor) Ruddock

Razzor and his wife Leah live in Hastings. The footballer made his debut at Millwall FC in 1986. He had a long career with Spurs, Southampton, Liverpool, West Ham, Crystal Palace and QPR. In January 2015 a 46-year-old Ruddock came out of retirement to sign for United Counties League side  Wellingborough Whitworth.

Mike Yardy

Mike was a former pupil at William Parker and has played a part in Sussex Cricket for almost two decades, having come up through the ranks of the County Age Group squads. He was a part of the Sussex squad that won the historic County Championship in 2003, the first time the County had been victorious in their 164-year history. Mike cemented his place in the side during the 2004 season ‘Yards’ has played 167 first-class matches for Sussex, scoring over 9,000 runs in the process, whilst his 166 List A games for the County have yielded over 3,000 runs and more than 100 wickets.

Lee Richardson

Lee was a British International Motorcycle Speedway driver who was born in Hastings. He represented Great Britain at senior and under-21 level and featured in several world cup tournaments. He was also a fully fledged Grand Prix rider from 2003 until 2006. Sadly Lee passed away in 2012 following a crash in Poland.

Tulsen Tollett

Tulsen is a former rugby league player or the 1990s and 200s. He was born in Hastings but moved to Australia as a young child. He played rugby in Australia for Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels. After moving back to England he was selected for the Great Britain squad to tour Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.

Kevin Ball

Kevin is another footballer born in Hastings. His career first took off at Portsmouth before he went onto play at Sunderland. He played 389 games at Sunderland scoring 27 goals. In 1992 he played in the FA Cup final.

George Digweed

George Digweed MBE was born in Hastings. He is a 23 times World Champion Clay Shooter and is one of England’s most accomplished sporting champions. John is also the brother of the DJ Jon Digweed.

Shayne Burgess

British Darts player Shayne Burgess also comes from Hastings. Shayne first played super-league at the age of 14.  Nicknamed the ‘Bulldog’ he played in a nail-biting world championship quarter final in 2000.

Mark Davis

Professional snooker player Mark Davis was born in St.leonards Davis became professional in 1991. The highlights of his career so far are winning the Benson & Hedges championship in 2002 and the six-red snooker world championships 3 times.

Dean Hammond

Leicester City player Dean Hammond was born in Hastings. He previously played for Brighton & Hove Albion and Colchester United. In 2009 Hammond signed a three year contract with Southampton he then rejoined Brighton before being signed for Leicester City.

Nikki Bull

Another Hastings born footballer Nikki Bull started his career as a school boy at Aston Villa.  Nikki had spells with QPR and Hayes. Bull then moved onto Aldershot where he was named Keeper of the Year. He signed for Brentford in 2009 for a year before moving onto Whycombe Wanderers. Nikki currently plays for Margate.

Paul Smith

Smith began his career with Hastings Town before being snapped up by Nottingham Forest. Paul failed to make the first team of Nottingham Forest so moved to Lincoln City. Unfortunately due to back injury’s he had to retire but made a comeback in 2004 for Llkeston Town before moving on to Sheffield and finally Galpwell.


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is scrapping the paper counterpart that accompanies all UK plastic photocard licenses.  This may cause problems for visitors hiring a car in France and Britain this summer.

The DVLA says that from June 8 the paper counterpart of the photo card license will have no legal value. Drivers will be expected to get an online code – valid for just 72 hours – before hiring a vehicle and give the hire company the code plus their plastic card licence.carshownews

If the driver does not have a code or it is out of date the hire company can call the DVLA’s helpline – a premium rate number that is only open from 8.00-19.00 Monday-Friday and 8.30-14.00 on Saturday – for information and charge this to the customer.

The counterpart removal is part of a major “red tape” abolition policy by Government motoring agencies with many facets moving online, saving an estimated £8 million. MyLicence – a joint venture between the DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) – has been launched allowing drivers to check their details online.

Hi-Vac Engineering is an established manufacturer of scientific equipment in the East Sussex area, with full ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and clients both around the UK and in Europe. The company is continuing to increase its international presence, and have recently added clients in China, Hong Kong and the Middle East to their customer base.


This expansion has led to investment in two brand new machines; an XYZ 1510 large 4-axis Vertical Machining Centre, which has 1.5 meters of travel and a 32 station auto tool changer and is complete with the 2015 version of the Siemens 828Dshopmill controls. To meet increased demand for manufacturing UHV seals, an additional M701 Cold Welder is now on site. This continued investment will ensure that the exceptional level of quality expected by customers is maintained.

At the start of the year, the company welcomed three new staff members to the team; experienced CNC machinist Dave Clement, Paul McGarvie, who is responsible for the logistics side of the business, and Dr Marcus Hughes, who is working closely with synchrotron customers and will be taking a leading role in forthcoming development projects.

Following the success enjoyed by Hivac Engineering at last year’s Vacuum Expo Exhibition and Conference at the Ricoh Area in Coventry, Managing Director Paul Lennard is pleased to confirm that a team from the company will be in attendance at this year’s event on both the 14th and 15th October at stand W01.

Tracey Kane from Hastings based FundingBusiness lets us know what the options are for SME’s when it come to funding. Read on to see what the options are.

It is such a satisfying achievement to run your own business, but in order to succeed and promote growth within your organisation you may need to seek additional funding.

Managing the finances associated with your business is both hugely important and can be incredibly difficult to manage and many SMEs have felt the pinch after suffering rejection from their high street lender due to the economic downturn, however it shouldn’t hold you back as you might be unaware that there are alternative finance solutions and support available in the financial market.money-up

It is a healthy exercise to regularly review the funding facilities of the business and the opportunities currently available. To promote growth and expansion businesses should also look at tailoring their funding requirements to their needs which may be the acquisition of bespoke machinery or restructuring the business.

Almost all small businesses require an injection of cash at some time in their trading life, sometimes at very short notice or as part of a long term plan. The key is to find a facility that works for your business and ultimately making an informed choice to promote success.

Potential Finance Options

  • Asset Finance
  • Business Angel Investment
  • Cash Flow Finance
  • Commercial Mortgages & Buy to Lets
  • Equity Finance
  • Invoice Discounting/Factoring – Raising Money from trade sales
  • Leasehold Loans
  • Secured & Unsecured Business Loans
  • PDQ Loans – Raising Money against sales to the general public

There are many factors a business need to take into account when considering its options, including its size and turnover.

The key is to identify lenders who can provide the necessary funds that your business requires and enter into agreements which fully serve the needs of the business.

On average it can take almost a day to make a single application for a business loan.  SME’s can take back control of their finances and save valuable time by talking to Commercial Finance Experts. You might find finance options available to you that you were not aware of.

If you are looking for more insight into the finance options for SME’s then checkout FundingBusiness on our B2B directory here.


Bank holiday weekend is nearly upon us, hopefully bringing the sunshine and a bit of warm weather with it.

The May Day bank holiday always brings a lot of people to Hastings whether is to come and see all the bikes along the seafront or to celebrate the Jack in the Green festivities.

We have put together this guide to let you know what’s happening in Hastings so you have plenty to choose from.

Jack in the Green

Jack in the Green will be back on Monday 4th May starting from the Fisherman’s museum leading his procession through the town accompanied by Morris Men, Bogies and a May Queen. The procession will continue up to the West Hill this year opposite the castle instead of inside the castle grounds. This is where Jack will be slain and the Spirit of Spring will be released.

This event will be starting at 10am and the slaying of Jack will be taking place at 3pm with activities and plenty of Morris Dancers throughout the day.

Hastings May Day Run 2

May Day Run

If you are a lover of bikes Hastings is the place to be on Bank Holiday Monday.  Thousands of bikers visit Hastings every year travelling places such as Locksbottom, Farnborough and Kent parking up their bikes along the seafront for everyone to see.

This event has been taking place for over 34 years now and continues to grow every year.

This week’s Fun Fact Friday  has a look at 5 films that were filmed in Hastings and Bexhill.

Is Anybody There?

Michael Caine played the part of an elderly ex-magician in the early stages of Dementia  who befriends a young boy.  Filming took place on the West Hill and Seafront. 

Children of Men

There are a few well known famous faces in this film, Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine.   The 2006 dystopian film portrays a shattered Bexhill as a government-quarantined refugee camp for immigrants.

Grey Owl

Grey Owl brought Lord Richard Attenborough and Pierce Brosnan to Hastings for filming of  The biopic of Grey Owl.  Grey Owl was born Archibald Stansfeld Belaney in Hastings in 1888. He grew up enthralled by stories of Native Americans and moved to Canada aged 17 in search of a new life.

Some Voices

Long before he got his role as OO7’s James Bond, Daniel Craig came to the town for extensive filming throughout the town centre playing Ray a young man with schizophrenia.


Bottle Alley, the Pier, the Azur, East Hill and seafront were the locations for the vampire movie Byzantiom starring Gemma Anterton and Johnny Lee Millar.

Also See: Fun Fact Friday: Stars who lived in Hastings

A rising independent brand called ‘St Leonards’ features leather bags that are made with great care, delicacy and personalized features. All products are handcrafted at the home studio of K Avery-Stallion or by using out-sourcing to a London workshop.

st leonards bags

K Avery-Stallion in the workshop with some of her St Leonards creations and definitely a fashion label to keep an eye on.

Founded in 2010, the owner sold her Figaro convertible to raise £6000 to buy the first prototypes and from this, the business began to flourish. The products are currently exported to a Japanese department store called Watanabe British Made who sell new British brands. The leather bags are featured in two of their stores, Tokyo and Osaka.

The business also receives a lot of customer referrals from the online marketing of the directory Make it British. Not only that, but K Avery-Stallion has made some bespoke pieces for the design icon Margaret Howell. Interns from local colleges are also involved for the understanding of the design and leather manufacturing process.

“Having worked in fashion and overseen Far East and Indian manufacturing, I had plenty of contacts,” said K Avery-Stallion. “But for me, being close to the making process not only supports the UK economy, it revitalises dying skills and is more sustainable too.”

St Leonards recently launched a set of three 1-day leather workshops that gives both men and women a chance to try something new, leaving with a stylish handcrafted product. The workshops are limited to 4 people to each session, meaning anyone who wants to be involved will also get an engaging tutor experience as well as a welcoming learning vibe.

“My dream is to get big enough orders to be able to fund a dedicated seaside workshop, employ staff from the local community and set up apprenticeships too,” said the founder.

On Friday 1st May, local British designers of women’s clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories are selling old stock and samples. St Leonards is participating in the event with other designers such as Pearl & Queenie, Olivia Morris Shoes, Warp & Weft and more. The event will be held on 40a Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

You can find out more about St Leonards here.

The Azur at The Marina Pavilion will be hosting the Chairman’s Business and Community Breakfast Club.

This event will be taking place on Wednesday 6th May at 7.15 am with joint speakers, Her Majesty’s Lieutenancy of East Sussex and Professor Tessa Martina.

The CBCBC is about connecting businesses and community groups over breakfast.

Tickets for this event cost £8.00.

To book your place contact Lord Brett McLean on 07838241222 or Azur at The Marina Pavilion on 01424 447461.


Tesco has revealed a pre-tax loss of £6.4 billion for the year to the end of February, one of the largest in UK corporate history.

In the previous year, the supermarket giant made an annual pre-tax profit of £2.26 billion but the losses seem to be a big challenge for Tesco, giving them the worst results in its history.

About £4.7 billion of the losses that were made were the result of the fall in property value of the UK stores, with 43 of those said to close earlier this month. The decrease in value of Tesco’s property portfolio was because of the declining footfall in many of the out of town superstores.loss

This year has proven difficult for Tesco who are still being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) because it overstated its half-year profit prediction in August by £263 million.

Compared with £3.3 billion the year before, annual group trading profit was down by 60% at £1.4 billion. This counts any sales through the supermarket’s tills.

Excluding fuel, UK like-for-like sales declined by 3.6% in the year and the company said the disappointing performance of its European stores is due to other competition. Stores in Ireland faced the biggest sales fall of 6.3% in the year.

Sales also fell in South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Tesco said trading profit in Asia was £565 million but once currency fluctuations were stripped out, this resulted in a 15.3% lower result than a year earlier because of the falling sales in other countries.

The only positive reaction to this was from investors who celebrated Tesco’s share price, which rose by more than 1% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange to 237.8p, however it will probably be a rollercoaster day for the company as the news sinks in.

Also See: Which? Takes action on supermarket promotions

Also See: Supermarket Sweep: The rise of the discounters