Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

havelock place hastingsCompanies can now get top quality new offices in East Sussex on ultra-flexible terms in a pioneering move to address the Brexit market.

As part of the economic development programme for the area, Sea Change Sussex has introduced a three-month notice period in its leases which, innovatively, can be served by occupiers at any time. This is designed to provide an exceptional degree of flexibility for companies facing unknown market conditions as the UK plans its EU withdrawal.

These new terms are available as part of three-year leases for Sea Change’s small and medium offices in:

  • Havelock Place, Hastings: the high-quality development in the Priory Quarter town centre business district, with eligible units from 541 to 1,659 sq ft
  • Pacific House, Eastbourne: the contemporary new business centre in Sovereign Harbour, with units available from 627 sq ft upwards
  • A forthcoming business centre on the Bexhill Enterprise Park, with units from 600 sq ft upwards pre-letting now.

John Shaw, CEO of Sea Change Sussex, says: “Companies are telling us they still want to invest and grow following the EU referendum, but they feel the economic road ahead will be less certain for some time. So we’ve introduced new leases which means they can have the quality of new premises they want along with an extremely high level of flexibility to react to market conditions as they unfold.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Sea Change’s offices and its new ultra-flexible leases should contact one of the company’s agents:

Or visit:


The first point to emphasise today is that it’s business as usual and trade mark and design owners should not panic – European Union Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) remain valid in the UK and there is no immediate loss of IP protection. Once we actually leave to EU, that position will presumably change, but that is probably two years hence. Meanwhile, the many UK companies and traders who have only filed EU Trade Marks should consider filing for a UK Trade Mark; these are inexpensive and quick to register, but don’t delay. We are happy help you with your requirements.

Design registration is slightly more complex, and best discussed. The European Patent Office (EPO) is not an EU institution, so there will be no change there, but presumably the EU Patent, when it comes into being, would be treated as another overseas application.

We do not know when the exit will actually happen but once the UK officially notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the clock starts ticking and the negotiations need to be completed within two years. The two-year period can be extended but only if all the other 27 EU countries agree.

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office will continue to work with the EU Intellectual Property Office; we will no longer be around the table when final decisions are taken, and this will impact on our IP law, but we can assume that co-operation will continue, as it does with other major IP countries. Whilst IP rights are limited to a particular territory, as a profession, our horizons have always been international.

Our professional body, ITMA, will be calling on the UK Government to ensure that UK practitioners remain entitled to represent clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office, but we will also be setting up an office within the EU to ensure that we are able to do this.

Do seek professional advice on how you take you intellectual properties forward; there are many pitfalls that can easily be avoided with a bit of know-how. Call us on 01424 205448 or 07968 845 426, or email lockharthastings@btconnect.com


David Cameron has announced that Britain will vote on Thursday 23 June on whether to remain in the EU.

The prime minister said in his statement in Downing Street that he recommends remaining in a reformed EU. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, backed him in this but other ministers are likely to campaign to leave.

The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has not yet said where he stands on the situation but leave campaigners are hoping he will join them.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has opted to sign up to the leave campaign.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published a report about the importance of the European Union (EU) to UK trade and investment along with supporting graphs and figures.

The European Union (EU) was first formed in 1993 and over this period of time, it has become larger than any individual economy in the world. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpasses even the USA’s, this happened in 2003, which was the first time since 1998. Growth in the non-EU economies has outpaced growth of EU economies, which means that the EU’s share of global GDP has fallen to 24% in 2013, from 30% in 1993. However, this was largely driven by such strong growth in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies.

In 2014, the EU accounted for a total of 44.6% of UK exports of goods and services as well as 53.2% of UK imports of goods and services even though there have been changes in the composition of the global economy. The UK has traditionally had strong trade links with the EU and the rising economic growth in other developing economies outside of the EU has therefore, resulted in non-EU economies growing and becoming more important to UK trade.

Between the years of 1999 and 2014, exports from the UK to EU and non-EU countries have grown, on average, by 3.6% and 6.5% respectively. The EU has fallen down with UK exports from 54.8% in 1999 to 44.6% in 2014 and this is because of the stronger export growth to non-EU countries. The good news is that the growth in value of UK imports of goods and services from EU and non-EU countries is still growing; the average growth is between 4.7% and 5.5% respectively in each year since 1999.

The UK’s overall trade balance with the EU is gradually deteriorating because of the faster growth in the value of UK imports compared to exports with the EU. The trade deficit has widened and reached £61.6 billion in 2014 compared with £11.2 billion in 1999. This is a big difference and over time, the question begs whether this could rise again.

Goods that were imported by the UK from the EU have risen by 4.9% per year on average and this can be compared to exports, which have risen by 2.5% per year and therefore, this caused the UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU to rise to £77.0 billion. This shows how goods and services largely dominate UK trade with the EU and in 2014 the ONS found that trade in goods represented close to two-thirds of all UK exports to the EU, as well as over three-quarters of total UK imports from the EU.

The UK’s trade in services balance with the EU is quite favourable as it has continued to run a surplus in each year since 2005, which reached £15.4 billion in 2014. Services exports have played a big role in the growth of UK exports of goods and services to non-EU countries, as they have grown at a faster rate than imports. Over the past three years, the UK has run an overall trade surplus with non-EU countries and it has reached £27.8 billion in 2014.

Find the full report here.

The chief executive for Airbus has said that it does not plan on pulling manufacturing out of the UK if the country leaves the European Union (EU). With the vote steadily getting closer, Fabrice Bregier said that the aircraft manufacturer is dedicated to its 16,000 employees that are based in the UK. In addition to this, he said that British factories would not be relocated.

Airbus is the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer and employs 6,000 people at its site at Broughton in north Wales. It assembles the wings for all the Airbus aircraft. In Filton, which is near Bristol, several thousand more people are employed and design wings and test landing gear.

Despite what Bregier has said, last month the UK chief executive Paul Kahn stated that if the UK voted to leave the EU, the company would have to reconsider future investment in the UK. Once the referendum is over, a judgment would be made about what the consequences would be for the competitiveness of the business, Bregier said on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, ministers tabled an amendment to the EU referendum bill and decided that the plebiscite on 5th May would be ruled out. This would have been the same day as the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assembly elections as well as local elections.

As a result of this decision, it is more likely that the referendum will take place either next autumn or during 2017. This all depends on the prime minister’s ability to negotiate concessions from his European counterparts.

Many want the referendum to be over and dealt with and businesses have repeated concerns about the level of uncertainty caused by the timing of the referendum. It could potentially harm the economy as investment decisions are delayed as a result. Kahn stated last month that the UK must compete for international investment.

Also see: Airbus warns on UK referendum vote

The European aerospace and defense giant Airbus has stated that they would reconsider UK investment if Britain left the EU.

Britain must compete for international investment, stated Paul Kahn, the president of the 16,000-employee Airbus UK.

David Cameron has promised a referendum regarding the UK’s EU membership by late 2017 and the debate has been rising up the politic and business agenda. However, the UK should not fear an exit from the EU, stated the chairman of the construction equipment firm JCB on Monday.

According to Mr Kahn, companies like Airbus should be at the forefront of the debate considering that the referendum is perhaps less than 18 months away.

Airbus is the world’s second-largest plane maker and employs 6,000 people at its site in Broughton in North Wales. They assemble the wings for all Airbus aircraft. The world’s largest plane maker is Boeing.

At Filton, near Bristol, several thousand more people are employed to design wings and test landing gear. The president of the company also said that if Britain did leave the EU, the business would not suddenly close.

Airbus is also one of Europe’s biggest industrial enterprises spanning civil aviation, defense and space. Operations are also in Germany, France and Spain. The company could face more red tape in areas such as work visas and trade barriers if Britain did leave the EU, Kahn said.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has stated that the UK should hold its EU referendum soon.

Businesses may delay making investments while there is uncertainty over the future of Britain in the EU, analysts fear. David Cameron has promised to vote on whether the UK stays in the EU by 2017. He also said that it was in everybody’s interest to resolve the uncertainty.

Investment in technology may be on the down low as companies may not be investing as much as they otherwise would do because of the wide pool of available workers.

Mr Carney said that older people willing to work and workers seeking more hours added 500,000 to the labour force over the past two years. Adding to this, migrant labour expanded the workforce but its impact was only a tenth of the size, according to the governor. He also told the BBC’s Today programme that he would reduce the argument that foreign workers were to blame for lower productivity and as the number of jobseekers falls, attention will flip to productivity.

During the global economic crisis, the UK’s level of productivity per worker fell and from this, productivity levels have taken longer to recover than expected. Inflation was 0% in March for a second month in a row, which is well below the Bank’s 2% target.

The UK might fall into deflation next month, said Carney, but inflation is expected to pick up towards the end of the year.