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A small Hastings electronics firm have won an order that will be worth £1.2 million in exports to help monitor power generators across India, with help from Government export body UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Hastel Ltd, who  employ six people at the Innovation Centre in St Leonards on Sea and use local sub-contractors to manufacture


Hastel Ltd Hastings wins major order to India

 probes to monitor the fuel in tanks and generators,  have won an initial order to supply 10,000 of the monitors for use across India, following a trip to assess the market with UKTI.

Managing Director John Hilbrig, said:

“Our firm was initially producing speed reduction systems for road signs near schools, but as the recession hit and local authorities tightened their belts we knew we needed to look at manufacturing new products and approaching new markets.

 heavily relied on as power cuts are common, it is absolutely vital that the fuel doesn’t run out so this equipment alerts them when they need to get more.” “The SmartGuard fuel monitor developed out of this. The product keeps a check on fuel levels warning the owner when the levels dip, for example if fuel is stolen, and alerting the owner when the levels are low and they need to restock. In countries like India where generator power is

John hopes this is just the start for the firm as there are a huge number of  generators in use across India which could lead to orders worth significantly more over the next five years.

He added:

“It’s such a huge country it’s hard to get to grips with the scale you are dealing with until you actually visit.  We are now looking at other emerging markets and are on the verge of signing a contract to supply these items to East Africa too.”

John has worked with UKTI’s locally based international trade adviser Richard Smith.  

Richard added:

“John and his team have looked to where there are opportunities and this is what has led them to big orders which will lead to big profits.  They are now working with us to look at other emerging markets where their products, or versions of this, can be useful.

 UKTI offers free non-biased face-to-face advice and support to firms across the South East. To book an appointment and get help to export contact UKTI South East on 08452 789 600“It’s a well-known fact that exporting is the key to growth and this firm provides a great example of how this can be successful. I’m looking forward to working with John to help them identify and make the right contacts in new markets.”

We have a guest opinion piece today from Hastings based  Recipe For Change regarding the introduction of free school meals.

All infant school children will be given a free school lunch as from September this year which will be part of the Children and Families Bill very shortly. So that means schools are legally bound to provide school meals to all children aged from 4 to 7 which is great news. Providing a hot and healthy school lunch to our children helps improve concentration and attainment.


Free School meals? Read what Recipe for Change have to say on it.

But is spending £750 million on school meals value for money? We at Recipe for Change think it is because we have spent 10 years making lunchtime better for schools. We know from our work that getting lunchtime right reduces bullying, ensures children are ready for afternoon lessons and critically, makes their all-important social time enjoyable and relaxing.  We are in business because all these benefits help schools secure a good or outstanding Ofsted rating.

However, there are some who think this policy is ill conceived and isn’t value for money when you compare it with interventions like Jamie Oliver’s feed me better campaign that helped improve the quality of school meals. Yes Jamie’s campaign was five times cheaper than offering free school meals but there is more to this debate than just feeding our children. As one school said, that is already benefiting from universal free school meals, there are “hidden benefits that help to foster a sense of cohesion within their school. “ This sounds a bit woolly but it refers to the critical important of socialisation which does help our children’s development and has an evidence base.

Research conducted by Ed Baines, Senior Lecturer in Psychology for the Institute of Education says “School lunchtimes provide one of the main opportunities for free social interaction with friends and peers and – worryingly – for some it might be the only time. Despite the huge attention given to incidences of bullying, our surveys of pupil views also show that for the vast majority of children, for the large majority of the time, school lunchtimes are important times for developing relationships and social skills”. http://bit.ly/1ia5QHw

We have set up a blog to support the policy and debate some key issues around the implementation such as capacity in the dining hall and the kitchen and the potential impact on whether or not the academic day needs to be extended. There is another blogger who is fiercely opposing the policy and we are currently debating these issues in our blog comments.

You can find their blog by using this link http://bit.ly/1fhr0RF

Posted by: In: News 30 Jan 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

Well, we just cant keep this to ourselves so here it is. Business in Hastings attracted a huge number of visitors over the last month and we’d like to say thank you for using our site.


Thanks for your continued support

According to Google Analytics the site had 5,734 unique visitors and has generated nearly 10,000 page views which we’re sure you’ll agree is incredibly high for a business website for the town.

What may surprise is that Hastings visitors rank 2nd with nearly 13% of the the total traffic which just beat Brighton (3rd) with a similar yet slightly lower figure.

London visitors made up over 28% of the total traffic over the last 28 days which is great news.

Other notable locations where we are getting a lot of visitors from are Royal Tunbridge Wells (4th) , East Grinstead (5th) and Canterbury (6th)

Business in Hastings is working and all of us here would like to thank you for your continued support and if you have any news you want to share then please get in touch with us here.

Centre For Cities has just released it annual index and report on cities and towns across the UK. Hastings has been awarded with the accolade of the greenest large town according to a report which has just been released and is great news considering that the town is a major manufacturing hub for the south east.

Sunset Over Hastings

Hastings is a green and inventive town and is attracting more people to the town that it loses according to the the Centre for Cities report.

Hastings is also an inventive town and was ranked 8th regarding number of patents per 100,000 population (7.8 to be precise) which is definitely something to be proud of.  The next nearest town is Worthing which was placed 9th. Cambridge, being the home of research laboratories and some of the countries best universities naturally came up trumps with first place.

It was also reported that Hastings has the lowest Carbon dioxide per 100,000 as well which makes us the greenest large town.

Hastings did rank quite badly though for Job Seekers Claimants and was ranks 55th out of 64 and the ratio of private to public sector employment is low (19,000 private v’s 12,400 public) so there is still room for improvement.

Overall the reports states that the London is still the centre of commerce and growth in the country and it made up 80% of the countries growth .

Whilst London is where lots of people around the country move to work in their twenties the report also states that more people from London move to Hastings then the other way round with migration from London to Hastings of between 1,000- 4,999 between 2009-2012.

You can view the whole report here. Its really worth a look.

A new website aimed at promoting and raising awareness of the UK creative industry has been launched earlier this month to provide a portal for the creative industries across the UK and to provide a platform to promote and showcase the UK’ industry that is growing rapidly.


The UK Creative Industry Website

The new website (www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk), developed by industry and Government are seeking to co-ordinate a unified approach towards finance, education and skills, exports and inward investment, intellectual property and digital infrastructure.

The site has been designed to provide a centralised digital hub linking the industry, UKTI and the FCO as they focus on promoting the sector and driving growth and investment in 200 countries worldwide.

If you are in the creative industries its well worth taking a minute or two to have a look around as there is also details and statistics regarding the UK industry as a whole and its also a good place to go for details on any funding initiatives that are happening in the UK creative industry.


Employment in the the UK creative industries grew by 8.6% between 2011 and 2012, compared to the UK average of 0.7%, according to official statistics.


Creative Industry in the UK is growing massively.

The Creative Industries, which range from advertising, design and crafts to TV, film, music and games, accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012, 5.6 per cent of the total number of jobs in the UK.

Employment in the Creative Industries increased by 8.6 per cent between 2011 and 2012 a much higher rate than for the UK Economy as a whole (0.7%).

The figures, which present a significant increase on previous data, were released by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller commented:

“These incredible statistics are confirmation that the Creative Industries consistently punch well above their weight, outperforming all the other main industry sectors, and are a powerhouse within the UK economy.

“We are committed to ensuring that the energy, innovation, skills and talent existing in this dynamic sector continues to translate into economic success, and  provide a remarkable platform from which, we can showcase Britain to the world.”

Download the DCMS stats here.

This story originally appeared here.

The aim of the event is to inform local businesses of the opportunities that may exist during the construction and operation of the project and will be taking place on Wednesday 26th February 2014 from 10.00am at the Amex Stadium, Brighton.


Rampion offshore wind farm meet the buyer event

Delegates attending the event will receive a form at the end of the day, which they can complete to assign their businesses to the relevant procurement packages so that E.ON’s Tier 1 suppliers are made aware of local suppliers of products and services.

The event is free to attend with a conference style programme in the morning expected to include the following presentations:

* Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Project Update – Chris Tomlinson, Rampion Development Manager, E.ON

* Rampion Supply Chain Steering Group – Background and objectives – Jonathan Williams, CEO, Marine South East

* Rampion Offshore Wind Farm construction including timescales, scope and details of the processes for local companies to become involved – Vaughan Weighill, Rampion Project Manager, E.ON

* The ‘Contract Quilt’; an explanation of all the Tier 1 contract packages that make up the construction of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm – Ian Baker, Onshore Electrical Package Manager and Naren Mistry Offshore Engineering Manager, E.ON

The event will break for a networking lunch where delegates will be able to meet other local businesses and key contacts and procurement staff from E.ON’s Rampion Project Team.

The afternoon will comprise four breakout sessions which will look in more detail at the core packages, to allow local companies a greater understanding of where they could fit into the supply chain, specifically:

* Turbines – including a presentation from a wind turbine supplier
* Offshore balance of plan (foundations, cables etc)
* Onshore infrastructure (substation, trenches, cabling etc)
* Operations and maintenance (vessels, monitoring, maintenance etc)

These breakout sessions will look at the core packages in more detail, offering further information on the sub-packages that are required to deliver the core packages and where local companies might fit into the supply chain. The breakout sessions will be more interactive with plenty of time for Q&A

At the end of the day delegates will receive a form from E.ON, which should be completed by delegates to highlight the products and services their businesses can supply and the key packages they could contribute to. These will subsequently be passed on to relevant Tier 1 Contractors, once appointed, to seek to maximize local involvement in the project.

The event is suitable for all businesses located in East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire who think they might be able to supply products and services to support the construction and/or operations and maintenance of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

The event is especially suitable for civil engineering companies, general engineering companies and marine businesses.

To register your free place at this event please go to:


This article originally appeared here.

Posted by: In: Accountancy, Jobs, Local, News 20 Jan 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

The Mcphersons team had yet another reason to bring in the cakes this week as David Winchester, Associate Director, reached his 40 year milestone with the business. David, who started as an accounts trainee in January 1974, has seen the business go from strength to strength over the years but which changes are the most significant for him?

McPhersons, Chartered AccountantsEast Sussex

David Winchester Celebrates 40 years at Mcphersons Chartered Accountants.

“Back in 1974, when I started working for Mcphersons (then White Withers Accountants)  as an accounts trainee, there were no computers and all and all accounts work was painstakingly completed using pen and paper. Now, each desk has a minimum of two monitors, the entire business works ‘on the cloud’, we can work from anywhere in the world to the same standard, we have a Mcphersons app, a strong social media presence and communicate with our clients electronically. The only thing that remains the same is that we are still people – and people do business with people they trust. I can name a few clients that have also reached their 40 year anniversary with mcphersons and this is something to shout about!”

Mcphersons are proud of their low staff churn. They achieve this by listening to what their team wants and moving with the times.

Staff benefits include flexitime and dress down Fridays, incentives that are usually only available from large corporates and offering these kind of incentives doesn’t cost a thing but greatly increase productivity and staff morale.

The leader of Hastings Borough Council, Jeremy Burch has today put forward the key points and benefits as to why Hastings, Bexhill & Rye and the surrounding areas should be granted Assisted Area Status. Rother council leader Carl Maynard has also sent a letter out today requesting support.

We as a region have only until Friday 7th February 2014 to inform the government that we are all in favour of it. Assisted Area Status will give the town and region as a whole priority access to Government, EU grants and development funds, however, to get this it needs support and backing from local businesses and residents of the area.

Sunset Over Hastings - 100104 - 002

Assisted Area Status. Sign up today!

Read the key point below and if you are in favour then put the details of how to let the government know that your in favour for it is below the key points.

Key points:

  • The proposed area includes all but two wards Hastings, which is the 19th most deprived area in England. It also includes the most deprived neighbourhoods in Rother, including Sidley ward. Therefore Assisted Area Status has the potential to benefit target areas most in need of employment-generating investment.
  • The proposed area contains major sites with achievable development potential, including North-east Bexhill (off the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road currently under construction), off Queensway, Hastings and Bexhill’s existing industrial areas, and off Rye Harbour Road (Make sure you include Rye Harbour Road in your response to the consultation).
  • There are also a number of smaller potential development sites for business development.
  • There are genuine prospect of a total potential of over 5,000 jobs being created, with a high proportion in manufacturing, building on the strong existing base of manufacturing SME’s. This will help correct an imbalance in the local economy which has an over-reliance on public sector
  • employment.
  • There is a strong track record of recent employment-generating development by Sea Change Sussex and others, in Hastings Town Centre and off Queensway. New businesses locating in Hastings include Saga insurance services.
  • The area had Assisted area Status up to 2000, which contributed to investments by several businesses who are all still major employers. It is credited with creating today’s strong high-vacuum engineering cluster.


    Make your voice heard today.

  • Assited Area Status reinforces strong partnerships between the private sector, Borough, District and County Councils, Sea Change Sussex (the private-public partnership regeneration company) and the South East LEP. It supports the 6-point plan for regeneration agreed by the Hastings & Rother Economic Task Force which provides strategic leadership for regeneration and economic development.

As you can see it will be worth signing up for as anything that provides jobs and growth for the area is a good thing for everyone. Full details of the consultation can be found here.

You can inform the Assisted Areas Team that you are for it by letting the know via the following ways.

Email to: AssistedAreasConsultation@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Write to:

Assisted Areas Team
Local Growth Directorate
4th Floor, Spur 2
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street

There is also a form on the site, however the quickest way to lodge your views is via email and we highly recommend that you do it this way if your able to.

Local MP Amber Rudd today launched a new initiative to allow visitors to the town free parking in Hastings for the first 30 minutes of their stay with the intention of being more relaxed about parking in the town to help the town centre and local shops attract more visitors and customers. Here’s the message from her about the initiative. If you are in favour of it their is a petition to sign on Amber Rudd’s website for the free parking in Hastings campaign here.