Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Hastings Borough Council in its aims to support local businesses and increase jobs in the town has invested in the build of a new factory unit at Castleham Industrial Estate, Hastings.

Built by Westridge Construction Ltd the new unit due for completion at the end of this year will provide much needed extra space for a local business already operating from other units in the area, BD Foods.

Hastings Borough Council’s leader, Cllr Peter Chowney recently attended the ‘topping out’ ceremony; the age old tradition of bestowing luck and thanks to builders when a structure reaches its topmost point. He commented: “This unit is a great addition to the offer at Castleham and we are very pleased that BD Foods will be the new tenants. They currently occupy eight units at Castleham and this one will enable them to expand their food production, creating 50 new jobs in the process.”

BD Foods plan to start working from the unit in the New Year.

Le Cirque du Platzak is an international collective of 12 talented musicians and young circus artists who formed in Tilburg in the Netherlands. They will perform ‘Kermiz’ on Saturday 27 August as part of the Stade Saturdays programme of FREE events.

Le Cirque du Platzak consists of twelve very eccentric characters. These include a man with a fascination for lawnmowers and heads of lettuce, a temperamental Italian aerialist fighting with a Spanish toreador, a trumpeter on a slack rope, and a German acrobat with a penchant for staplers!

Cllr Peter Chowney, leader Hastings Borough Council explained:

“Kermiz is a circus performance in which the peculiarities of each individual character are revealed and the power of the group becomes clearly visible as the show progresses. This eclectic show combines the atmosphere of the old circus with nouveau cirque.

“Le Cirque du Platzak mix rough and rousing folk music with traditional and innovative circus techniques.

“This promises to be a great show and is typical of the wonderful varied events that we have secured for the Stade Saturdays programme this year. There are two performances, one at 1pm and another at 6pm. Come along, it’s free – you won’t be disappointed!”

Since its creation in 2011, Le Cirque du Platzak has played over 120 times, reaching 60,000+ visitors in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Hungary.

Workshops in basic circus skills will take place at The Stade Open Space, Hastings from 11am Saturday 27 August. This will be followed by two performances of Kermiz at 1pm and 6pm.


Hastings was the venue for the European debut of the ‘Medieval Mosaic’ at St Mary in the Castle, on the town’s seafront last Friday (12th August).

The mosaic is a complete recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, created out of 3 million tiny pieces of steel, each of around 7 sq. mm. The mosaic also includes an 8 metre ‘finale section’, which recreates what is believed to be depicted in the two missing panels of the original Bayeux Tapestry, narrating the three months of history from the end of the Battle of Hastings to the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066.

The mosaic was created by father and daughter team Michael and Rachael Linton, in New Zealand, and this is the first time the mosaic has ever been out of New Zealand.

Michael said :- “The mosaic has taken over 33 years to build, and I am so pleased to have been invited by Hastings Borough Council to bring it to England to play its part in the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. And where better for the mosaic to have its European debut than in the crypt of St Mary in the Castle, within the footprint of Hastings Castle, which is of course shown on the mosaic.

“We had a great launch event last Friday, and have had lots of visitors since then :- and we are hoping for lots more! Entry is free, but we would appreciate donations, and we’re here from 10am until 5 pm every day now until the end of October.”

Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council, added :- “The mosaic is quite extraordinary, and well worth a visit. The amount of work that has gone into it is quite incredible, and it fits into the crypt of St Mary in the Castle so well :- it looks like it was designed for it, yet was made half a world away.

“I am delighted that Michael, Gillian and Rachael Linton have chosen Hastings for the European – indeed northern hemisphere! – launch for this work, and am sure that it will attract many, many visitors over the coming months.

“It provides yet another reason for visitors to come here, and is the Guinness world record holder for the world’s largest steel mosaic :- Famously Hastings indeed!

A community arts project has been completed at Warrior Square, St Leonards in memory of Jeremy Birch, the former leader of Hastings Borough Council (2001 – 2008 and 2010 – 2015) until his untimely death in May 2015.

The local community together with Hastings Youth Council under the guidance of Graffiti Plus have completed the artwork in Jeremy’s memory on the promenade steps at Warrior Square.Group on steps IMG_3044 SM

The inscription reads: ‘People let your voice be heard, every culture, every language, every word, fore this land this life this earth belongs to you. One Hastings Many Voices’

“Jeremy played a huge role in Hastings over the twenty years he was involved in local politics. He was not only active in Hastings but across East Sussex, and, in fact, across much of the south east where he was involved in many different groups and partnerships over this time” said Cllr Peter Chowney leader Hastings Borough Council.

He added: “The cultural diversity of St Leonards was very important to him and he coined the phrase ‘One Hastings Many Voices’. This new community art project in his memory is wholly fitting; he would have loved it. Our thanks must go to everyone that was involved in its creation.

“Jeremy was a very strong figure within the council who always supported our projects and campaigns. He constantly inspired us to do our best and believe that everyone deserve to have their voice heard” said Huda Caglayan, chair Hastings Youth Council.

A magical three-day theatre show will take place up on Ladies’ Parlour this September, inspired by Hastings and performed by Hastingers. Could you be one of them?

The project, which is part of the ROOT1066 International Festival, is being led by WildWorks – a theatre company who have developed a national and international reputation for their unique style and the way they involve local participants. It is inspired by the Domesday Book of 1086, a manuscript record of the ‘Great Survey’ of England and Wales. But whereas the first Great Survey focused on the country’s physical wealth in terms of land, livestock and other possessions, this one will focus on the town’s greatest riches: its people and communities.

“This promises to be a fascinating event and a real opportunity to celebrate everything we know and love about our town and community,” said Cllr Peter Chowney, the leader of Hastings Borough Council. “WildWorks are known for attracting new people to the performing arts, both as participants and as audiences, and it’s a privilege to welcome them to Hastings.”

No previous performance experience is necessary – WildWorks will simply be asking you to share your experiences and be yourselves. It will be a gentle research and rehearsal process, to create a rolling performance installation, rather than a traditional theatre show.

“We want to celebrate everyone who has chosen to live here,” says Bill Mitchell, the director of WildWorks. “We want to work with as diverse a cross section of the community as possible, to make an artistic archive of people who care for Hastings now.”

Performances will take place from 9 to 11 September at 1-7pm on Ladies’ Parlour (next to Hastings Castle) with a rotating cast of around 50 people.

Participants need to be available for weekend rehearsals (at least one day per weekend) on:

  • Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August
  • Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August
  • Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September

There will also be evening rehearsals on:

  • Wednesday 24 August
  • Friday 26 August
  • Wednesday 31 August
  • Friday 2 September

To register your interest, contact Stella Landau on slandau@hastings.gov.uk or call 01424 451363.

ROOT 1066 International Festival has been funded by Hastings Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Coastal Communities Fund. For the latest news visit www.1066contemporary.com, follow @ROOT1066 on Twitter, or like facebook.com/ROOT1066.


The leader of Hastings Borough Council, Cllr Peter Chowney, has called on BT to improve broadband in Hastings Old Town.

Significant difficulties had been experienced in finding a suitable site for a particular cabinet in this conservation area. However, this has been resolved. With the help of planning officers, and a lot of work from a number of people, the cabinet can now be installed, but BT has indicated this could take another 18 months.

In a letter to Mr Bill Murphy, Managing Director, Next Generation Access, BT, Cllr Chowney said :- “There are a number of businesses who would benefit from this broadband extension and, conversely, are suffering now with very slow internet speeds.

“They were therefore very disappointed to learn, as we were, that providing this cabinet, which is part of your own investment programme, is not in your commercial programme for this financial year. Indeed, we have been told that this cabinet might not be live until December 2017 which is, frankly, unacceptable.

“We are in the middle of a major programme to regenerate Hastings, which has enjoyed very considerable success. Nevertheless, we remain the 20th most deprived borough in the country, and the most deprived town in the south-east, and it is vital that we do all we can to improve our prospects. A number of small businesses, including a boutique hotel, are dependent on this cabinet being provided to enable them to access broadband.

“I would ask you to do all you can to expedite the installation of this vital cabinet, allowing this part of the Old Town to enjoy the broadband, and the benefits it brings :- and which have been enjoyed by most of the country for some time now.”

Cllr Chowney added :- “It is very frustrating for local businesses to be told that they may have to wait another 18 months to enjoy the kind of service most of the rest of the country have taken for granted for ages. I do hope Mr Murphy is able to bring pressure to bear and get our Old Town businesses their broadband connection as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of 2016, not 2017.”