Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Hastings Borough Council has teamed up with Apprenticeships in Sussex to highlight the many routes to employment for local young people with an event at The Source Park on Thursday 9 March.National appreticeship week

The event offers an informal afternoon of information, games, challenges, special guests and work opportunities, all highlighting options available to 16-24 year olds in Hastings.


From 1pm to 3pm, there will be an interactive event for unemployed 16-24 year olds who are exploring routes to employment, looking for work inspiration and access to apprenticeships. Training providers, colleges and support agencies will be on-hand to provide advice and guidance on opportunities.

“With over 1,500 different jobs across 170 industries, apprenticeships and traineeships offer a great route into employment.  Whether you have just finished school and are looking for that first step towards finding your career or are ready to step towards a higher or degree-level apprenticeship, this event will help you find your feet” said Cllr Dawn Poole the council’s lead member for regeneration.

She added: “Come along and meet employers and take part in employability workshops and challenges. Current apprentices will be telling their stories and letting you in to a few secrets about how they are able to work, learn and play and how some overcame hurdles to secure a dream job”.

From 4pm to 7pm parents, carers, young people and teachers are invited to come along and find out how apprenticeships have been changing offering a wide range of local job opportunities including engineering, marketing, nursing, gas maintenance, events management and farming.

An event will also be held in Eastbourne on 7 March, with pop-up events in Lewes 6 March, Crowborough 8 March, Uckfield 10 March and Hailsham 11 March.

Find out more and book your place at www.apprenticeships-in-sussex.com/naw2017.php

The Engineering & Manufactoring Curriculum Development Workshop will be taking place on Monday 27th February at a new time, (4.30-6.30pm) at the Ore Valley Campus of Sussex Coast College, Turing Was, Hastings.

The draft agenda is outlined below with the same aim: ensuring that the curriculum offered within the Engineering & Manufacturing department at Sussex Coast College provides and caters to the needs of our local employers.

Outline Agenda

4:30      Welcome and introductions

4:40      Brief overview of the current offer (16-18 study programmes, apprenticeships (including Higher), short courses, Higher Education)

5:00      What can we do to change this offer to better meeting employers needs locally (group exercise)

5:45      What more we need from employers – work experience and visits to premises, visiting lecturers and support to recruit staff (group exercise)

6:20      Review outcomes / actions  of the session and thanks to participants.

To confirm or (or reconfirm during to a change of time) that you are able to attend the revised time to Lindsay Marriot via Marriott@sussexcoast.ac.uk or 01424 458434.




2016 was one of the best years ever for tourism in Hastings, as it marked the 950th anniversary of the battle that has made it the most famous town in the world.

Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for marketing at Hastings Borough Council, explained :- “Tourism is vital for Hastings :- it supports over 5 000 jobs in the town, and generates over £266m for the local economy.

“I am very grateful to our marketing team at the council who work so hard to promote the area. They have recently been congratulated by independent experts Blue Sail as providing ‘some of the best tourism PR in the country’, as well as for their captivating copywriting.

“2016 was particularly busy thanks to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the ROOT1066 festival of contemporary arts. Our PR helped make sure these events captured the imagination of local, national and international audiences and will benefit Hastings for years to come.

“We regularly host visits to Hastings from journalists and travel bloggers, as we find this is more cost effective and has more of an impact than traditional advertising. Many journalists comment that they really enjoy their time in Hastings and add that the variety to be found further afield in 1066 Country makes Hastings very attractive for visitors.IMG_1951

“Extensive UK coverage of Hastings as a tourism destination in the quality and tabloid press included The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Sunday Mirror, and The Times. We were covered in many overseas publications too, especially in Belgium and The Netherlands where we are extremely popular. And we’ve just struck a deal with EasyJet to publicise the town in their on-board magazine, bringing Hastings to a potential audience of four million passengers.

“Our events posters can be found throughout the year on Southeastern station platforms, thanks to our close working relationship with the train operating company.

“We are represented at travel shows in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and in January we attended a travel show in the Netherlands which had over 100 000 visitors. Being able to provide our brochures in Dutch was an important selling point for visitors to our stand.

“We send out monthly e-newsletters to our database of over 38 000 people, and have nearly 12 000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. And our website visit1066country.com had an average of 45 000 unique visitors per month in 2016.

“No wonder tourism is booming here in Hastings!

“We’re very grateful to all of the tourism businesses and event organisers who make Hastings such a great place to visit. And we are always happy to talk to businesses wanting us to help promote what they have to offer to visitors, they should contact us at visit1066country@hastings.gov.uk

Coastal Currents Arts Festival was initiated 16 years ago by Hastings Borough Council and run directly for many years. For the last 9 years the council has commissioned independent producers to deliver the festival and from 2017 the event will become fully independent.

Following an open tender process, Hastings Borough Council has assigned all the rights of Coastal Currents to Hastings based Sweet and Dandy Ltd, including the brand and intellectual property rights. This will enable longer term planning and development which is difficult under the current biannual commissioning model.  Sweet and Dandy have been central to developing the festival over the past five years and are full of ideas for the future.Point Of Decay

Tina Morris, Director of Sweet and Dandy, says “I am delighted to be able to look after the future of Coastal Currents after five years developing the festival on behalf of Hastings Borough Council. I am passionate about the arts in Sussex and especially proud of the creativity and community of Hastings and St Leonards in helping make this festival special.  The work of our partners Creative Coast and Home Live Arts, the public’s support, generosity of venue owners, involvement of businesses and contribution of the whole creative community cannot be underestimated in the continued success of this home grown festival, so I look forward to involving as many of you as possible again in 2017.”

Cllr Dawn Poole, Lead Member for Regeneration and Culture commented, “This is a great opportunity for Coastal Currents and Sweet and Dandy. Hastings Council has committed to supporting the festival in the immediate future and looks forward to seeing the festival move from strength to strength in the coming years.”

This year’s festival will run from 2 September – 1 October with the popular Open Studios weekends on 2/3 and 9/10 September.  See www.coastalcurrents.org.uk for the latest updates.



The Checkatrade.com Expo returns to the  Azur at the Marina Pavilion in St. Leonards on sea on Friday 17th March starting at 10am.

This year’s event will be attended by the Chairman of East Sussex County Council, The Mayor of Eastbourne and the founder and CEO of the Checkatrade.com group of companies Kevin Byrne.

Checkatrade.com is the official partner to East Sussex Trading Standards Authority  and are proud to have a presence in the County.

The Checkatrade.com group of companies are responsible for contributing  £2.8 Billion pounds per annum to the UK economy.

The event is a B2B, B2C, B2G and B2E  event and will boast other high profile visitors throughout the day.

All day networking combined with the latest products and services on offer makes the Checkatrade.com Expo the ideal event to attend if you are in the trade.

We’ve also been told that there are a few exhibition stands remaining and a high media presence confirmed so if you want to be part of the bigger, better and bolder  Checkatrade.com Expo then contact Lord Brett McLean for further details.

Music Month, an initiative set up by organisations across 1066 country that have come together to support and develop the vibrant music sector in Hastings and Rother, starts this week with over 150 events taking place.

Running from Valentine’s Day (14 February) to St Patrick’s Day (17 March) it will encompass some of the area’s best music events from larger venues, to the many pubs and bars that are the heart of the local grassroots music scene.

Hastings and Rother have been declared a Music City and the formal launch of this idea will take place on Monday 27 February at The Palace, Hastings as part of the UnConvention; a one day music conference featuring panellist conversations with BBC Introducing the South and workshops about the future of the music industry.

A major element of Music Month features the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition (HIPCC). Now in its 13th year, HIPCC brings world class musicians to Hastings to compete for the coveted winning title but this year there is more. Local pianists have the chance to get involved and play on a grand piano in probably the most obscure of venues; the world’s largest underground skate park, The Source. Pianists can book a slot to play at The Source on 14 February while local skaters and BMXers enjoy the thrill of their ride.

Hastings Fat Tuesday runs from Friday 24 February to the main event on Tuesday 28 February, Fat Tuesday; a night of fancy dress, fabulous feathers, beads, masks and music. Twelve venues host The Fat Tuesday Tour where 24 bands play 20 minute sets in 3 venues and headlining this year is UK Britpop trio, Dodgy best known for their chart hits ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ and ‘Good Enough’.music_month (5)

The area has a proven record for attracting top names and Bexhill welcomes Simon Green aka Bonobo to the De La Warr Pavilion on 4 March to launch his new album, Migration. This electronic masterpiece is Bonobo’s sixth album.

De La Warr Pavilion director of external relations, Sally Ann Lycett commented: 

“The De La Warr Pavilion, heralded by its audiences as one of the best music venues on the south coast, is proud to be part of Music  Month – an exciting initiative linking music professionals and music lovers across 1066 Country. With a capacity of 1500 (standing) and up to 1000 (seated) we are part of the rich and varied mix of music venues in Hastings and Rother – including festivals in Battle and Rye- and are perfectly placed to be the go-to venue outside London for top music artists such as Bonobo who actively seek venues of character and intimacy to reach their audiences. Coming up later in the year – Tom Chaplin, Maximo Park and Alexis Taylor.”

Full Music Month event listing can be found at:  visit1066country.com/musicmonth


Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet committee has agreed to grant a lease of the Firs former football ground to Education Futures Trust. Approval was given at the meeting of Cabinet on Monday, 6 February 2017. 

Situated in Elphinstone Road the Firs football ground has not been used since 2004 and the majority of the structures have been demolished with access only to the parking areas and multi-use games area (MUGA)

Since 2004 the former club house has been leased to Education Futures Trust for educational purposes. Education Futures Trust provide high quality and innovative support and learning tailored to the needs of children, families and vulnerable adults in Hastings and the surrounding area.

“I’ve long been an admirer of the work of the Education Futures Trust, and all they’ve achieved through their innovative education support schemes in Hastings and Rye” said council leader and lead member for finance, Cllr Peter Chowney.

He added: “They approached the council with a proposal to take on the old Firs football ground, and use it to expand their activities there. Their proposal is to create a space for outdoor learning and educational support, combined with an area for community access for local residents. I’m very pleased that we were able to help them, and that the proposal was approved unanimously at the Council’s cabinet meeting.  I’m looking forward to seeing their plans develop and to bringing this neglected area back in to use”.

HMRC tax investigations are on the increase.

£34 billion – the estimated tax gap between what HMRC should collect and what it does collect.

£26 Billion – the additional amount of annual tax income that HMRC are targeting to achieve through compliance activity.

£80 Million – spent to develop strategic risk database that automatically generates tax enquiries.

HMRC are proactively targeting individuals and businesses using sophisticated software that has been specifically developed to search trends, indicators and behaviours and analyse in minutes. Data that doesn’t cross match can automatically initiate an enquiry. This software combined with wider powers and increased targets means that your chances of being investigated are rising. 

What does this mean to you? 

Tax investigations are time consuming, stressful and costly. Investigations can last for many months. During this time you could find yourself incurring accountancy fees as well as having to deal with costly business disruption and probing questions. Even if you’re found to owe nothing you will still have to pay your professional representation fees.

What can you do to remove the risk? 

For a modest annual fee you can safeguard yourself from the cost of the professional fees associated with a tax investigation.

How does a fee protection service work? 

In the unfortunate event that you are selected for investigation you can relax safe in the knowledge that there will be no professional fees to pay.

The service covers up to the equivalent of £100,000 towards accountant/tax advisors’ professional fees resulting from an HMRC Enquiry.

At McPhersons, we encourage all clients to take up our fee protection service. For a modest, interest free, monthly fee, they benefit from professional representation on all

matters relating to the investigation, ensuring that the enquiry runs as smoothly as possible and providing them with peace of mind. We also deal with the insurers on their behalf. Benefits include:

  • McPhersons have the expertise and experience in dealing with HMRC
  • Peace of mind that the experts are dealing with HMRC on your behalf
  • Dealing with HMRC on your own could make matters worse
  • Early intervention can lead to early resolution
  • Additional tax due can be avoided or mitigated

Anyone can be selected for investigation, a business, director and individual tax payer. Contact us on 01424 730000 or info@mcphersons.co.uk for more information.

People came together in Hastings on Sunday (5 February) at Priory Meadow shopping centre to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

The event was opened with the dance of the lion followed by the dance of the dragon performed by students from Buckswood School and the Hastings Chinese Association provided entertainment throughout the day including singing, dancing and a martial arts demonstration.

“Hastings now has a well-documented reputation for the many varied and exciting events it puts on every year, many of which reflect the increasing cultural diversity of the town.  The Chinese celebration of New Year is now firmly on this calendar” said Cllr Peter Chowney, who opened the programme of festivities.

“The Hastings Chinese Association work very hard to organise this event with fantastic traditional performances and displays which all demonstrate the rich culture our town has to offer. It was a pleasure to join the Chinese community and share their special celebrations in this way. We have such a vibrant multicultural population – one Hastings, many voices and we are very

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