Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Currently 3 million people in the UK juggle paid work with unpaid caring responsibilities – 1 in 9 people in any workforce. This issue is also likely to become even more important in the next few years; the Government’s Refresh of the National Carers Strategy: Recognised, Valued and Supported acknowledges that by 2017, we will reach the tipping point when the numbers of older people needing care will outstrip the numbers of working age family members. Research by Carers UK and Ipsos (MORI) indicates that as many as 1 in 6 carers give up, or cut back work, to care. This is generating an unwelcome financial impact on businesses faced with losing skilled employees in whom they have already made a considerable investment.

Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore.

Joining Employers for Carers can help your organisation identify the needs of carers in the workplace, to outline the business case for their support and to provide practical and sustainable ways in which you can support them and their managers.

East Sussex County Council, in partnership with Southdown, are able to offer SME’s in East Sussex free membership to Employers for Carers, a membership forum of employers – large and small – chaired by British Gas and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK who are rising to the challenge of supporting carers in their workforce.

Benefits of membership

The actual membership offer to employers provides:

  • Resource pack including: an employer’s guide which provides information on relevant legislation, practical tips and the business benefits of supporting carers at work; a carer’s guide for employees; a guide to the right to request flexible working; a manager’s handbook with practical information and support for line managers.
  • Dedicated website with password access for EfC members to a range of online practical resources including: EfC electronic guides as above; benchmarking tool; sample policies; good practice examples and case studies; information on key workplace issues including FAQs; toolkits and tips; information on the business case.
  • Latest information about legal and employment policy through e-bulletins and briefings
  • Networking and learning from the practical experience of other employers at EfC member events.
  • Resources for employees including free access to all EfC electronic guides and information on the website; complimentary online membership of Carers UK for employees who wish to take this up; and tailored lunch and learn sessions with an opportunity for individual advice sessions.
  • Access to expert consultancy and training
  • Latest news on innovations and technologies to support working carers

Ten examples of practical ways in which we support our members:

  1. Awareness raising activities (through published information or events) to encourage employees to identify themselves as carers and come forward for support.
  2. Awareness raising activities with line managers to promote understanding of caring.
  3. Training and supporting line managers to implement carer friendly policies.
  4. Engaging with carers in the workforce including developing and supporting staff carer networks (including online networks).
  5. Signposting employees to sources of workplace and external support.
  6. Providing specific information for employees on caring matters including health and disability issues, care and support services, housing, benefits and pensions.
  7. Building consideration of carers into staff recruitment and retention practices.
  8. Reviewing and ‘carer proofing’ current policies and practice.
  9. Establishing clearly identifiable sources of support and champions within the workplace.
  10. Monitoring and measuring outcomes and business benefits.

For more information on the free offer to SME’s in East Sussex please contact Paul Turk from Southdown on 07805 811186, or e-mail paul.turk@southdown.org


BD Foods, a Hastings-based food manufacturing business is expanding into purpose-build new premises and creating 40 new jobs with help from funding provided by East Sussex County Council.

BD Foods produces an extensive range of sauces, dressings, dips and soups which are sold to restaurants, hotel chains and airlines. Its impressive client list includes British Airways, Conrad Hotels, Eurostar, Nandos, Café Rouge and Marriott, to name a few.

BD Foods has accessed grant and loan funding of £360k through Locate East Sussex, the county’s business support service. This has been supplemented with an investment of £750k from Hastings Borough Council, all of which will be invested into a new building for BD Foods.

Since 2001, BD Foods has grown from a start-up company with just three members of staff, to its current size where it employs over 100 local people. The company is expanding rapidly and now has a turnover of £7 million a year as a result of 15 years of strong and sustained growth.

In 2015, BD Foods was finding that future growth was potentially at risk. Capacity constraints at its site on the Castleham Road Industrial Estate in St Leonards-on-Sea were limiting production and restricting further expansion.

The company needed to expand. Plans for a new factory were drawn up and BD Foods approached Hastings Borough Council and Locate East Sussex for support. The new factory, due to be completed late 2016, will see an additional 40 new permanent jobs being created and will provide an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of space next to BD Foods’ main production facility. Exactly what BD Foods needs to grow.

John Davis, Managing Director of BD Foods, said: “Hastings is a great place to run a business and we are both successful and happy here.

“Hastings Borough Council has been productive, flexible and supportive with our expansion plans. The town itself has a great labour resource so we never have problems with recruitment. Many people are moving to the area as it is better value to buy and rent property, which means the calibre of employees is constantly increasing. The town is growing very quickly and importantly, there is the space to expand and it is a lot cheaper than Brighton.”

“Transport is a huge part of our business, as we travel to airports at least once a day. The A21 has seen a huge investment and is improving, along with the planned high speed railway which will make trips to and from London much easier for us and our clients,” John continued.

John Davis concluded, “Without Locate East Sussex, we wouldn’t have been able to fit out the new units. The team at Locate East Sussex understand problems, money and business. They really want to help and I am grateful for their input.”

Adam Berger, Location Service Manager at Locate East Sussex, said: “We are pleased to have helped BD Foods expand. It is really encouraging to see a great, local Hastings business thrive and develop strong growth plans for the future.”

To find out more about how Locate East Sussex can support your business, visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk


The You’re Hired Campaign is now halfway through its target, since the launch event on Monday, March 9, a total of 269 employers have vowed to hire an apprentice offering on-the-job training and qualifications

The aim of the five-month  campaign is to get 500 businesses across the five districts and boroughs of East Sussex to hire an apprentice.

East Sussex County Council has teamed up with district and borough council, business groups, colleges and training centres, the National Apprenticeship Service and Apprenticeships in Sussex for the initiative.


The launch events were held simultaneously in Lewes, Hastings and Eastbourne, hosted by a prominent member of the local business community and gave employers the opportunity to find out about apprenticeships.

Businesses interested in hiring an apprentice or finding out more about the benefits, can visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/hired or call the National Apprenticeship Service on 0800 015 0600 or visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk.


East Sussex County Council are spending £450k to improve Bexhill’s seafront.bexhill seafront

Work begins today to make Bexhill Marina more pedestrian friendly and to increase footfall to businesses in Bexhill.  The plan is to widen the pavements, add a new road crossing and improve the bus stop facilities.  East Sussex County Council are also going to introduce a 20mph speed limit.

The new speed limit and changes to parking regulations will be introduced after this work is completed, while further work to improve Sackville Road roundabout is scheduled to begin in the autumn.

The council are hoping that by improving Bexhill’s seafront for pedestrians it will encourage more people to walk between the seafront and the town centre boosting the towns economy.