Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481
Posted by: In: Funding 07 Jul 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

The Government has announced that it has earmarked £84 Million Growth Deal for the South East as part of its ‘Growth Deal’ to help facilitate growth across the region. This is from the first half of £12bn that will allocated for local growth initiatives across the UK.

How the Growth Deal for the South East ‘s money will be spent will be decided by local authorities and business and will include job creation alongside infrastructure improvements, the continued rollout of superfast broadband and home-building.motorway-at-night

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has emphasised that this investment is to help counties and individual towns and cities to become powerhouses and is letting those who are there decide how the money is best spent.

This is great news for businesses in the area as the government is letting local decision makers allocate the funds rather than from central government.

We’ll keep you posted on the Growth Deal for the South East and if there is any funding initiative coming soon for local businesses within Hastings and 1066 country as a whole.

British Film Institute Programming Development Fund – 2014 Round now open to applications


The BFI Programme Development Fund is now open to applicants

The Programming Development Fund will support programming initiatives of cultural significance, high profile and wide reach, encouraging curatorial ambition, achieving economies of scale and bringing films to audiences across the UK in a fresh and original way.

The objectives of the Programming Development Fund are to:

  • Support and promote high-quality, distinctive, diverse film exhibition projects of scale and ambition.
  • Increase opportunities for more diverse audiences across the UK to engage with a wider range of specialised and independent British film, including those in areas with limited provision.
  • Enable film programmers to be more adventurous and experimental in their programming choices and to promote innovation and risk-taking in terms of content and/or delivery model.
  • Encourage greater sharing of programme content and initiatives across the UK.
  • Develop new ways to build stronger relationships between film venues and audiences.
  • Create links to other BFI strategic initiatives relating to education and learning, investment in skills and unlocking film heritage.

Up to £1.4 million per year will be available through the Programming Development Fund over the four years to 2017.

There are three strands of funding available in this fund:

  • Strand 1 is designed to support the development costs of a project which requires feasibility, testing or piloting in advance of a full project proposal. Awards will be within the range £5,000 to £20,000.
  • Strand 2 is designed to support projects which have been fully developed and are ready for implementation. Awards will be within the range of £15,000 to £150,000.
  • Strand 3 is designed to support very large-scale projects only. The BFI expects to make a very limited number of awards under this strand each year. Awards will be in the range £150,000 to £500,000.

Properly constituted organisations are eligible to apply. These include: limited liability companies; community interest companies; charities or trusts; local authorities or statutory bodies.

The Fund is looking to support activity which is delivered mainly as large screen communal audience experience(s) rather than as small screen (digital device) private content consumption. However, projects which contain some activity on other platforms such as online or mobile apps are welcome, especially if they make a demonstrable contribution to audience development and show innovative approaches to achieving the Fund objectives.

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to: research and curatorial fees; staff; office costs; marketing; transportation; hospitality; and audit, monitoring and evaluation.

There is a rolling deadline for Strand 1 and 2, therefore applications can be made at any time. There are two formal deadlines for Strand 3 applications: 2 June 2014 (1pm) and 1 December 2014 (1pm).

Go to the official site here which has all the application forms and further details about the fund.

Posted by: In: Funding, Manufacturing 15 Jan 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

Funding will be available from the Technology Strategy Board who are investing up to £1.25m in feasibility studies to bring emerging imaging technologies closer to commercial use.


Get ready to enter if you developing imaging technologies.

This competition will support projects that could enable richer, more wide-ranging information to be gained from imaging, creating new applications and value propositions, with the potential to disrupt existing markets.

Projects must be collaborative and business-led, and the competition is open to all UK-based companies and research organisations. The TSB funds feasibility studies in pre-industrial research, in which a business partner will attract up to 65% public funding of their project costs (75% for SMEs). The projects could last up to 12 months, with total costs of up to £150k per project.

Key dates:

Competition opens:            3rd February 2014

Registration deadline:      noon 26 March 2014

Application deadline:       noon 2 April 2014

Details of the call can be accessed on the Technology Strategy Board website.

Article post originally appeared on connect.innovateuk.org/

Well that’s that, the festivities are over and its time to get back to work and what a start to the new year we have with a good old fashioned winter storm lashing the Hastings and Rother coast. We wouldn’t say that this is the shape of things to come, in fact quite the opposite. Here’s why 2014 will be a great time for businesses in the area and in general.

High growth expected

Business grants

Business grants are now available for businesses in the area.

We reported on this a couple of months ago however, we think that it worth mentioning again. Both the Bank of England (BoE) and  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicting growth from 2.4 to 2.8% with reports also predicting upwards of 3% showing that things are finally on the up. This is great news for business all over the area and with more investment coming in to the country we hope that your business benefits from the boost in confidence.

Business Grants and funding return

If you’ve struggles and survived the worst financial crisis in a generation then this will be good news to hear. there are a number of funding initiatives such as the Success Fund for Creative businesses and the RBS Inspiring Enterprise Grants offering cash injections to business in the area along with funding available for local projects from the Safer in Sussex Community Fund . This is alongside industry specific funding and EU initiatives that have happened in the last year and will be happening again. We will of course keep you up to date to regarding funding at Business in Hastings. The best way to get the news first is to join our regular newsletter here.

The area is developing

The next phase of the Priory Quarter development open for business by around the autumn of 2014 with 47,000 sq ft of fantastic new office space for business that are growing and for new businesses that are moving here. If you are interested to know more then you can see the brochure here.  You can see the existing locations that are available here.

The long awaited redevelopment of Hastings Pier has already started, however in 2014 you should be able to really start to see the new pier taking shape. The pier once opened in 2015 will be a major beacon for visitors to the town who’s presence will have a benefit for the town and area  The resurrection of the pier will be seen by those in the area and more importantly across the country and internationally as a major sign that the town is back on the map (but we all knew that anyway).

creative media centre hastings

Hastings is growing and developing at a fast pace.

The bottleneck that is the coast road will still be congested in 2014, however, the new Bexhill bypass will be one more year closer to completion which once ready in 2017 will greatly increase traffic flow and take the pressure off the coast road up to Bexhill. Once completed it will be good for businesses of all kinds in the area. There are plans for a new office development in Sidley (north Bexhill) and on Queensway to coincide with this too adding yet more office and industrial units to the area.

Unemployment is falling

This is great news but does come with a small catch (or benefit if happen to be a saver).  First the really good news ,unemployment is falling faster than expected which is great news for those who are finding work. The other side of it is that interest rate rises are linked to falls in unemployment meaning that any loans or mortgages may incur higher interest payments, for those that are savers who have had to endure record low interest rates this will be great news. Either way, be aware as the target for this trigger any rise has already been brought forward as the economy recovers.

Tec 66 returns


Tec 66 returns in 2014

The first Tec 66 event held at the Sussex Exchange back in September 2013 was a great success and was a great way to make visitors aware of the hi-tec hub which Hastings & Rother is for the high photonic and vacuum technology industries . The event had visitors from all over the UK and from further afield and we will have more news on this great exhibition and conference soon.

Sport events should boost local sales and raise the areas feelgood factor.

2014 is going to be quite a big year for sport event based sales. Pubs, clubs and retailers should have an even bigger influx of business over the year. the big events that will have a huge local and national following include:

  • 2014 Six Nations Rugby (1st February – 15th Febraury)
  • The 2014 winter Olympics (7th February- 23rd February)
  • The 2014 Fifa World Cup (12th June-13th July)
  • Wimbledon (23rd June – 6th July)

So expect packed pubs, bars, clubs and everyone being generally happy (until we’re out on penalties that is)

The Summer

Whilst there are events all year round in Hastings & Rother, the region really comes in to its own in the summer. From Jack in the Green the may day bikers, Old town week, Hastings week, food festivals, the Bexhill classic car show and art exhibitions will be brining in huge amounts of tourists and with that vital money for the local tourist industry which drives visitors to the town and area as a whole.

So all in all there are quite a few things to look forward to this year so we wish you the best of luck for your business this year and long in to the future. Whether you are already running a business here or are looking to start one or relocate, Hastings and Rother is a great place to be, not just for business but for living in as well. (If you’re from outside the area you might want to find out a bit more about life here and why thousands are moving here each year. here’s the link.)

Are you looking forward to 2014? Is your business confidence higher this year than last year?







Following on from a highly successful 2013 for RBS Inspiring Enterprise are excited to announce the dates for new funding rounds for 2014.

£1m of grants will be made available to support organisations which help young people and women to start up and succeed in business. £500,000 of funding is set aside for youth enterprise and a further £500,000 available for women in enterprise.


Got an business idea, need a grant? This could be for you!

There will be two funding rounds across the year for both target groups, with £250,000 of funding available in each round.

• The first 2014 youth funding round opens on Monday 20 January. Visit their website to see the full list of dates for Inspiring Youth Enterprise funding.

• The first 2014 women funding round opens on Monday 7 April. Visit their website to see the full list of dates for Inspiring Women in Enterprise funding.

The grants are available to help build the capacity of organisations that encourage and support young people and women to explore their enterprise potential.

They anticipate that applications will cover a variety of structured programmes in areas such as; business basics, skills and knowledge development, mentoring, peer support and a range of other ideas that will help build and develop the skills to allow more young people and women to start up and succeed in business.

Since the programme launched in 2012, RBS have made £2m of financial support available to 74 not-for-profit organisations across the UK. The projects run by these funded organisations are on track to inspire and enable tens of thousands of people to consider starting up a business.

Visit the RBS Inspiring Enterprise Website for full details of the programme here.

The South-East Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme (SUCCESS fund) provides grants for new or expanding creative businesses that are creating jobs in Hastings.


Success Fund for creative businesses in Hastings

Other areas includeed in the scheme are Thanet and Tendring local authority areas.

Funding comes from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), and is there to help creative businesses grow and flourish and in turn create new jobs.

The application process for grants from the Success Fund takes approx. 2-3 months and there is a five step procedure which you can see here

So if you are in the creative sector and are looking for funding to expand or to build up your business then this will be a potentially perfect opportunity for you.

See more at: http://www.success-creative-fund.biz/

An opportunity has arisen for the Hastings and Bexhill area to potentially have assisted status. Assisted status means that business in the area may be eligible for extra funding which can aid capital purchases or to take on additional staff or help with training. Basically its good for the area so its worth trying to get.

assisted status

Help Hastings & Bexhill get assisted status.

This will need the support of the local business community (including Business In Hastings visitors).

All that is required is a letter of support needs to be sent to Government Minister Michael Fallon backing our bid for Assisted Area Status for Hastings & Bexhill area.

The area meets most of the criteria for assisted status but the bid will be strengthened considerably by businesses writing in with support letters.

Below is a draft letter to Michael Fallon for you to adapt on your company letterhead and we at Business In Hastings would be really grateful for your help to achieve this important recognition, to attract funding and investment for the town longer term.

Here is the PDF version of the letter: Assisted area letter to Michael Fallon. You can use this, however you may need to highlight the text and copy to a word or open office document

If you would like a Microsoft  Word version (.doc or .docx) then please send an email to Jim Christy here.

Any extra funding and help to improve the local economy for both businesses and for the everyone who lives in the area is a good thing and the request will more likely be considered if the local business community is behind it.

We’ll keep everyone updated via the site and our newsletters. If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet then you can do so here.

Its well worth doing and only take a few seconds to sign up and gets you a summary of all the important business and developement news that’s happening in Hastings & Rother.


You can now simply sign up at Amber Rudd MP’s website, the letter is already ready and all you need to do is add your name and email address and it will be sent immediately. Here’s the link.



The Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner has allocated funding to provide financial help to community projects in Sussex that help to achieve the objectives under the four priorities within the Police & Crime Plan.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner who has launched the funding initiative said;


£200,000 in funding is now available to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour

“I am delighted to launch my Safer in Sussex Community Fund, which is a new initiative that will provide financial support to innovative local projects that aim to make our communities safer. I want to help communities work together to come up with ways of tackling crime and disorder and I am keen to support projects that demonstrate strong partnership working. I will be working with local partners and agencies to ensure this support complements existing activity.

Applications from all local groups and organisations will be welcomed who can demonstrate how they are tackling the issues in their area that support the priorities set out in the Police & Crime Plan. These include commissioning initiatives that tackle crime, reduce re-offending and address community priorities such as alcohol, drugs, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and road safety.

Bids will be considered on a quarterly basis with the first round of funding allocated after 31st March 2014.

More information on the scheme and how to apply is available on my website: http://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/safer-in-sussex-community-fund/.

Posted by: In: Business Finance, Funding, News, SME 05 Aug 2013 Comments: 0 Tags: , , ,

Got a great business project that could make Europe greener but don’t know how to get it off the ground? The information for the Eco-Innovation funding available to SME’s is taken directly off the EU Commission site. Read on for everything you need to know with links and downloads.

The European Commission grants up to 50% co-funding to finance green ideas: the total budget available for the 2013 Call is almost 31.6 Million Euros.

Calls are open to all legal persons…


Eco-Innovation funding is available until the 5th September 2013

This call is open to all legal persons that are based in eligible countries but the priority will be given to Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Clusters of applicants and projects which demonstrate a European added value and have a high potential for market replication are strongly encouraged.


Although priority will be given to SMEs* and private beneficiaries, the calls for proposals are open to all legal persons located in one of the following countries:

  • 27 EU member states
  • Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein
  • Albania, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Israel, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey
  • Other non-EU countries provided they have the appropriate agreement in force (currently none).

Also see Article 4 of the CIP legal base.

* SMEs are defined as enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, or an annual balance sheet not exceeding €43 million.

What will be funded?

Calls support Eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. However, more specific priorities are being set up considering their important environmental impact and policy priorities of the European Union:

  • Materials Recycling
  • Sustainable Building Products
  • Food and Drink Sector
  • Water
  • Greening businesses

Submission of your proposal is only possible on-line.

Results of previous calls are also available. Check them out to find out more about the projects that received funding under these calls for proposals:

Call for proposals – “Network of Eco-innovation Financiers”

Please be informed of another call for proposals in the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) 2007–2013, a call on a “Network of Eco-innovation Financiers“. Finance available totals 2 million euros. The maximum EU-funding rate is 95% of the eligible costs of the action. The deadline for applications is Monday, 23 September 2013 at 17:00 Brussels Local Time (CET).

Boosting access of eco-innovative companies to finance motivates this call.

Specifically, the call seeks to expand available private and public sources of funding over the long term, in a sustainable manner. In particular, it pursues the objective that eco-innovative companies take full advantage of European demand-led innovation financing opportunities. Finally, it targets improving deal flow and increasing its quality, for the benefit of entrepreneurs and investors.

Proposals should include as many of the following activities as possible:

  • establishing an EU-wide network and community of public and private financiers and investors that support eco-innovation;
  • organizing networking conferences;
  • setting up a web matchmaking platform;
  • informing eco-innovative companies of financing opportunities;
  • coaching eco-innovative companies to make them investor ready.

For more information on the Call and how to submit a proposal, please see:http://ec.europa.eu/environment/funding/ecoinnovation_13.htm.
For possible queries, please get in contact with: ENV-ECOAP@ec.europa.eu.

The Call CIP-EIP-ECO-INNOVATION-2013 will close on 05 September 2013 at 17:00:00, Brussels local time. Proposals received after this deadline will not be evaluated.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is raising awareness of its Enterprise Finance Guarentee for SME’s. If your business has sufficient cashflow but has been refused a business loan due to a lack of security to put up against the loan then this will make for interesting reading. Here’s the low-down on the facts regarding the EFG.

Enterprise Finance Guarantee

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) is a Government loan guarantee scheme to enable lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which can demonstrate that they have sufficient cash-flow to meet lenders loan affordability requirements, but are lacking adequate security to obtain a commercial bank loan.

Since EFG was launched in January 2009, more than 20,000 SMEs have been offered loans, generating more than £2bn worth of additional lending. There is currently £500m of funding available.

All of the main high street banks plus a number of other lending institutions offer EFG loans, which are provided with the support of a Government guarantee. They provide businesses with funding that they might not otherwise have had access to, and can be used in a variety of ways – from employing and retaining staff to investing in new equipment or work space. It can also be used to help fund day-to-day running costs.

Businesses from almost every sector can apply, and past recipients of EFG funding range from digital design agencies to construction firms and furniture manufacturers.

EFG is principally used to support loans of between £1,000 and £1 million, and repayment terms between three months and 10 years. EFG also supports overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, which have shorter repayment terms of two years and three years respectively.

 How it works and who can apply

All EFG loans are provided by the participating lenders using their own funds. The Government provides the lender with a 75% guarantee for each loan, but the borrower remains liable for repayment of 100% of the loan.

EFG loans are available to a wide variety of businesses. However, the following criteria applies:

  • The business must have an annual turnover of less than £41m, but there is no limit on the number of employees.
  • The business activity being financed must take place in the UK, although the SME itself might be foreign owned or registered abroad.
  • The borrower contributes to the cost of the scheme by paying a 2% per annum premium which is in addition to the fees and charges applied by the lender.
 How to apply

A business will always apply for a commercial loan before EFG is considered. If a business meets the lenders’ loan affordability requirements, and would have been offered a traditional bank business loan if they had adequate security, then EFG is worth considering. Businesses should ask about EFG during their loan application. The full list of EFG lenders can be found here.

EFG loans have already helped over 20,000 businesses gain access to essential funding – you could be next!

When does it need to be paid back?

EFG loans have repayment terms between 3 months and 10 years. Lenders follow their standard commercial lending practice, meaning the majority of EFG loans will be repaid on a monthly basis. Lenders have the flexibility to offer capital repayment holidays and bullet repayments (where the business pays back the loan in a lump sum at the end of the term) if they so desire.

Other finance options

If your business is not eligible for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, or your loan application was unsuccessful, there are a range of other finance options available for small to medium sized businesses. More details can be found at www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/financing-a-business