Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Three companies supported by Locate East Sussex scooped awards at this year’s Best of East Sussex Business Awards to celebrate the cream of the county’s businesses.

The Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex (ACES) event was held at the De La Warr Pavilion on Thursday evening (October 13) attracting business people across the county for a glittering evening hosted by Radio 4 presenter Timandra Harkness including a three course meal and live music.

Winners of the Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year were Rory Myers and Matt Woodhouse who own Half Man! Half Burger! on St Leonards seafront.

Accepting the award, the duo thanked Locate East Sussex for helping them secure a £10,000 grant towards setting up and they were also lent money by Let’s Do Business Group for start-up costs when high street banks turned them away.

Since then the profit target for Half Man! Half Burger! has been exceeded by more than 400% and the owners are opening their second restaurant in Eastbourne without increasing their borrowings.

Surrey NanoSystems, which won The Innovation Award, also paid tribute to Locate East Sussex for the business support service’s help in relocating from Surrey to Newhaven where the facilities are more cost effective and staff enjoy a better work-life balance. The team has since invented Vantablack, the darkest substance known to man and is in great demand locally.

Overall Business of the Year was named The Source, the new underground skate park on Hastings seafront which was created from the derelict White Rock Baths.

Locate East Sussex helped secure funding of £320,000 for The Source from the Regional Growth Fund, administered locally by East Sussex County Council, as well as a loan of £28,000.

The Source hosted the Battle of Hastings this year, the most acclaimed BMX event in the world, and the company’s exports have grown 800% since 2013 and its TripAdvisor scores are 5*.

Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “It is fantastic to see businesses that we have helped, either through access to funding or relocation advice, becoming so success. These awards are very well deserved and a testament to the determination and vision of all the business owners.”

For more details about Locate East Sussex visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk, email enquiries@locateeastsussex.org.uk, or phone on 01424 205085.


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


Business support service Locate East Sussex is backing a competition to celebrate the unique creative offering along the East Sussex coast.

The 2016 Coastal Culture Trail Film Competition has been launched to promote the East Sussex coast’s unique contemporary art journey and its wide appeal throughout the country. The winning film maker will receive £1,000 to cover costs and will also get a year’s membership of Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

The Coastal Culture Trail is the brainchild of the three venues which are located along a beautiful 20-mile stretch of coastline in East Sussex and is supported by Locate East Sussex, which promotes the county as a great place to live and work.

Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Coastal Culture Trail to support this fantastic competition. In East Sussex, we are very proud of the Jerwood Gallery, Towner Art Gallery and De La Warr Pavilion which attract audiences of all ages from across East Sussex, the south east and well beyond with their broad range of events and exhibitions.”

Jessica Courtney Bennett, of Coastal Culture Trail, said: “We are delighted to be working with Locate East Sussex to showcase the universal appeal of East Sussex through our new competition. We want all budding directors to get involved and have a go at getting our vision onto the big screen.”

Designed to challenge perceptions and increase awareness of the arts and culture offering in the area, the trail also aims to highlight other points of interest, like the natural beauty of the South Downs, historic attractions, and local food and drink, encouraging visitors to discover their own Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings.

The search is now on for a film maker to create a short one-minute promotional film for the Coastal Culture Trail. Individuals or small groups can enter.

The deadline for initial story board submissions is Sunday, July 31.

For more details, visit www.coastalculturetrail.com/film or on twitter using the hashtag #MyTrail

The project has been funded as part of the Driving Devonshire Forward (DDF) initiative by the Coastal Communities Fund. DDF is managed by Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Homes Limited.

Locate East Sussex has played a pivotal role in securing the first business for a proposed new development in St Leonards.

The business support service gave relocation advice to furniture makers Michael Tyler Furniture Ltd as the company’s current site on The Ridge, Hastings, had been earmarked for residential development. Locate East Sussex introduced its managing director Steve Smedley to commercial developer Sea Change Sussex to discuss opportunities at North Queensway Innovation Park.

Now Sea Change Sussex is bringing forward proposals for a new facility for Michael Tyler Furniture Ltd, which employs 45 staff in the production of its high-quality upholstered furniture, as the first development on the North Queensway Innovation Park.

Adam Berger, Location Service Manager at Locate East Sussex, said: “I’m delighted that the advice we gave Michael Tyler Furniture Ltd and our introduction to Sea Change Sussex has proved so useful.

“We are experts at giving impartial advice on business location and our close working relationship with local authorities, commercial agents and developers means we are best placed to provide information about key development sites.”

Steve Smedley added: “I am grateful for the assistance that we received from Adam Berger of Locate East Sussex in introducing us to this opportunity. I look forward to our future collaboration with Locate East Sussex as we continue to grow Michael Tyler Furniture in the future”

The scheme being put forward by Sea Change Sussex is for an approximately 30,000 sq ft single-storey building including workshops, a showroom, offices, a staff common room, canteen and car park.

The building would be on a plot immediately to the right of the entrance from Queensway.

Sea Change is showing the proposals to nearby residents for their comments before submitting a planning application for the scheme in the near future.

The North Queensway Innovation Park is approximately 12 acres and is on Queensway in St Leonards.

It is capable of accommodating up to 120,000 sq ft of business premises and is part of Sea Change’s programme to develop high-quality business sites and premises in order to secure and grow local job opportunities, as envisaged in the borough’s Local Plan.

Sea Change has already cleared plots on the Innovation Park and created a junction from Queensway and entrance into the site. The company has been involved in discussions with several potential occupiers, with Michael Tyler’s the first occupier scheme to be designed.

If the scheme goes ahead, Sea Change would at the same time install drainage and develop part of the site road network to provide access and services to the facility. The works would also include the planting of trees, wildflowers and grasses to reinforce the natural screening between the new building and the High Beech Chalet Park to the north-west.

If the scheme receives planning consent this year, construction is likely to take place in 2016.

The University of Brighton and Locate East Sussex are delighted to invite you to their Business Growth by Design seminar on the role of design in innovation at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Leading speakers will offer an audience of local businesses the latest insight into the ways in which good design, collaboration and innovative thinking can result in increased businesses success.

Business Growth by Design runs from 4.00pm to 6.00pm and is followed by an opportunity to network and discuss collaboration with complimentary drinks. Tickets cost £10 and must be booked in advance.

Please click here for more information or to book tickets.