Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

School students from local secondary schools gathered on Tuesday March 22nd at Bannatyne’s Hotel in Hastings to take part in an inspirational programme. It aims to help young people to fulfil their potential and improve their life chances.

Be the Change was developed by LoveLocalJobs.com and humanutopia to help raise 13 and 14-year-olds confidence. It aims to identify and remove barriers to success and focuses on happiness, confidence, hope, relationships and employability.

The students will also engage in several activities with peers and business mentors, which includes a work place visit in the coming months. At the launch event itself, students and business volunteers took part in activities that were led by humanutopia’s founders Carlo Missirian and Graham Moore. Both the founders are former teachers who know the challenges that young people are facing today.

“Our vision is for every young person to have raised hope and confidence, to have the chance to develop life skills and create positive cycles that will prepare them for life. We believe in putting people first, and the Be the Change programme is a perfect vehicle to work in partnership to help young people develop the qualities and qualifications they need for a better future. Working with corporate volunteers and the invaluable support and belief of local businesses and universities adds a further dimension and depth to the engagement and journey the young people will experience,” said the founders.

The programme involves a variety of schools including: ARK Helenswood Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, Robertsbridge Community College, Rye College, St Richard’s Catholic College and The St Leonard’s Academy.

Vanessa Gall, Student Support Manager at Rye College, said: “My students were fully engaged and participated with all the activities which, with some of the students, came as a wonderful surprise to me. The Be the Change team were amazing and connected with all the students on a very personal level. I definitely think this programme will increase self-esteem and raise aspirations.”

Gary Peters, founder of LoveLocalJobs.com, who came up with the idea Be the Change, said: “We believe that Be the Change has the power to dramatically improve lives.  David Cameron said that there are around 25,000 pupils about to start their GCSEs who are at risk of under-achieving or dropping out and that he wants businesses to mentor at risk teenagers. Well, this is exactly what we are doing right here in Hastings in collaboration with local employers, universities and local authorities.”

In months to come, there will be three Be the Change programmes rolling out across East and West Sussex. The Hastings programme is a collaboration between LoveLocalJobs.com and humanutopia. They also have support from Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Learning Network, University of Bright, Heart FM and other local businesses.

Sarah Williams, Director of Sussex Learning Network, said: “The Sussex Learning Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Be the Change programme right across Sussex this year – it’s providing a fantastic opportunity for our educational partners to engage with young people in a really innovative and inspiring way, and we hope to be able to continue to support the programme for years to come.”

Cllr Dawn Poole, Hasting Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “We are very pleased to support Be the Change. Providing opportunities and enabling young people to develop skills and qualifications they need for better futures is imperative. We look forward to the future success of the scheme and to see aspirations raised in the young people of Hastings.”

In the fourth quarter of 2015 the UK economy grew 0.6%, which is higher than the previous estimate of 0.5%.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the economy grew by 2.3% for the whole of 2015. This is higher than the 2.2% previously thought. Analysts forecast that the figure would remain unchanged.

The figures for the UK’s current account deficit were at a record high in the final quarter of last year. In the three months to December it was £32.7 billion, which is the equivalent of 7% of GDP.

Considering the whole of 2015, the deficit was £96.2 billion or 5.2% of GDP. Since records began in 1948, both figures were the highest since. As a result, the deficit means that the UK imported more goods and services than it exported.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee stated that uncertainty over the UK’s membership of the EU could put financial stability at risk. This includes the current account deficit.

Check out this article from Real Business with their list of the most popular British products worldwide by annual export value.export car

Read the full article here

In October 2015 Helen Dawes and her daughter Rhianna decided to get busy and create their website The Very Distinguished Pug Company.

The idea for this happened after Helen decided to make a smart outfit for her pug Alfie for a pug meet up that they were going to.  Being a fan of the popular TV program Downtown Abbey this was the look that Helen went for.

When friends of Helens saw the photo’s, they asked her to make one for theirs and from there Helen decided to make up a Facebook and Instagram page to post photo’s of her friends dogs wearing the harness.  This has created a number of followers from all over the world and what gave Helen and Rhianna the idea to start up the Very Distinguished Pug Company.  Rhianna  who has a degree in media and journalism created the website and also looks after all the social media, marketing and PR.

Since the website has been made Helen has made harnesses, bow ties, bandanna’s collars and leads for pug owners in the USA, Europe and Australia.

Helen had to give up work due to a chronic pain condition and auto immune disorder that causes chronic fatigue. She used to work with children and young people with special needs and challenging behaviour. She was also in the previously in the Army and is a keen motorcyclist, and a marshal  at the Isle of Man TT, Moto Gp and British Superbikes, she likes to keep herself busy and hopes to expand by creating more designs and different items.

Check out these handmade outfits by Helen.


Tickets for the Finale Concert headlined by Madness at the Pier opening gala went on sale yesterday morning and have already sold out.Suggs 1

The Hastings Pier Opening Gala celebrations will feature two sessions for members of the public.

Gala Entertainment from 3pm-6pm and will include entertainment, food stalls and music. Followed by Madness, headlining the Opening Gala celebrations performing  some of their well known hits.

Tickets for this event are available for a ‘Pay What You Want’ donation to Hastings Pier Charity, but with the capacity on the pier for the event being limited to 2,500 people tickets will be allocated on  first come, first served basis so book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.



Check out the pictures that we managed to take today whilst at Hastings Pier.

Bringing a new modern vibe to the town.


We were very lucky at Business in Hastings this morning, with the sun shining and it being  slightly warmer, we got the chance to go and have a look on the pier and watch Madness front man Suggs lay down the final plank.Suggs

The last of the finishing touches are finally being made hopefully ready for its grand opening in April, no date has been confirmed of when this will be but all fingers are crossed for the end of April.

With a celebration Gala planned for May 21 which will be open for all the public, followed by an open-air  concert.  The Gala will take place between 3pm-6pm, and will include entertainment, food stalls and music.

This will be followed by the Finale Concert where you can see Madness perform some of their well known hits.  This will start at 7pm and tickets for this will be priced at £25 each and will be going on sale to the general public on Thursday 24th March

The opening in April will see a vintage funfair for children, the Pavilion restaurant which has been rebuilt the same as the original design and the café/bar which will see Hastings with the only Pier in the uk with upper and lower deck with a rooftop bar.  This really is a site not to be missed.  We managed to sit up there earlier and the views of Hastings are absolutely breathtaking.

There are also plans for an outdoor cinema, farmers market, live music and the Zippo Circus will be coming to the pier for three weeks from the 6th August.

The original pier opened in 1872 but it was closed in 2006 amid fears it was not safe.  It was in October 2010 where it was purposely set on fire and destroyed.

Most of the funds for the £14m scheme came from the Heritage Lottery Fund and more than 3,000 people also brought community shares in the company that will own and operate it.

The pier’s reopening comes in a special year for the town as 2016 marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.



What springs to mind when you think of year end? Tax of course and how to minimise the amount HMRC will take from your business! However, it is not just about the previous year, it is an ideal time to start planning for the next year. Here are some simple steps to assist you.

Get your books in order

Whether you manage your own books or use an accountant or bookkeeper, this is the first step in the preparation. There are three main reasons to keep good records; to meet tax requirements, to keep your accountancy fees down and to manage and control your business effectively. Some key transactions you need to record are:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • VAT input and output (if VAT registered)
  • PAYE/Payroll records
  • Establishment costs (if you have a business establishment)
  • Bank and cash accounts (many transactions are now paperless e.g. bank transfers)
  • Administration costs such as telephone, stationery, advertising, motor, computer
  • Capital expenditure on equipement, Fixed Assets & Depreciation
  • Stock/Work in progress
  • Petty Cash

How good bookkeeping will help you manage and control your business?

Accurate bookkeeping will help you identify:

  • Your cashflow position in order to help you plan ahead and meet your obligations
  • Whether your expenses are in proportion to your income
  • Which products/clients are most/least profitable
  • Whether your business is growing or shrinking

What different methods are there to keep books?

At McPhersons, we spend time with our clients to set up a robust system. This free service makes our work more efficient and gives our clients peace of mind.

  • Manual bookeeping – This is the way many small businesses start.  It is cheap and generally easy to maintain.  With a little help, you can save time and keep excellent manual records.
  • Spreadsheets –   We can show you how to set up and manage your records using a spreedsheet.  This way, data can be extracted and we can set up some key reports to allow you to keep a close eye on your business.
  • Accountancy software such as Sage, Xero or Quickbooks – Your accountant can advise which program is best for you.
  • Outsource it – An accountant or freelance bookeeper can do it for you.  Make sure you choose carefully and are getting a good value, prompt, efficient service.

What can you do to cut down on the work your accountant  does in preparation for the year end?  It is obvious that the less time it takes your accountant to decipher your books, the less your accountancy fees will be.  General housekeeping tips are:

  • Rather than hand your accountant a carrier bag full of receipts, keep your receipts and purchases in date order.
  • Reconcile the bank balance to the bank statements – If you can ensure your recorded bank balance ties up with what is actually in the back after adjustments, this saves significant time.
  • If you hold stock, have a professional stock-taker record the value of stock at year end. This may be food, drink, packaging etc and can be quite significant if you operate a licensed premises.
  • Make sure your accountant has everything including paying in books, cheque books, bank statements, credit card statements, PAYE/Payroll records, VAT records and copy returns if VAT registered, stock records.

Determine your Position

You are finally ready to determine the position of your business. Your accountant will prepare the following documents for you that will assist you in making decisions:

  • Profit and Loss Account – in simple terms, this lists all your income and expenses and tells you at year end whether your business is making a profit or a loss. This is a useful tool to analyse your expenses compared to last year. Are your wages higher? Have your utility bills increased? Both things that have an impact on your bottom line. Is your gross margin less than last year? If so, you need to evaluate your cost of sales and review your suppliers.
  • Balance Sheet – this shows what your business is worth at year end. It shows your business’s assets, liabilities and equity/capital of your business.
  •  Cash Flow Statement – this complements the balance sheet and Profit and Loss. It is only necessary for companies that meet the criteria of a medium sized company. As an analytical tool, it determines the short term viability of the company, particularly its ability to pay bills.

So, how will you use these documents to help improve your business next year?

  • Compare your results against your business plan. If you had a business plan and set goals, compare these to what was actually achieved and determine what worked and what didn’t.  This will assist with your planning for the following year.
  • Consider ways to not only increase your revenue but also to increase your profitability. This could be reviewing your suppliers and buying better or investing in marketing.
  • Evaluate your tax strategies – for example, could you have maximised your capital allowance claim? Would you benefit from changing the structure of your business? Your accountant/tax advisor can help you identify all the areas where you can minimise your tax liabilities.

We hope you have found this article interesting. Tax can be a complex issue and we are here to help. Simply email Ainsley Gill info@mcphersons.co.uk or call our Head Office on 01424 730000 for a free consultation at McPhersons’ Hastings, Bexhill or London offices.

The decision to close the University of Brighton Hastings Campus in the town centre has caused uproar with student’s, local businesses and residents of Hastings.

In a statement on Tuesday, vice chancellor professor Debra Humphris announced that the board of directors had concluded that the current campus model was unsustainable.  Due to this the Hastings campus will be closing in 2018.

The University have said that all current students will be able to complete their courses although the current intake would have to undertake their final year in Brighton.Hastings rallies together to save the University Campus

On Thursday a petition calling for the university to change its decision received more than 1,800 signatures in less than 24 hours.  There are now a significant 6,571 added to this total.  Campaigners and local businesses have said it will be a devastating loss to the town.

The University has developed massively since its opening 13 years ago and has received £12 million of public investment and has been part of a massive regeneration to the town, providing local people with access to higher education, encouraging new businesses to invest in the area and helping existing ones to grow.  the University has been the foundation for economic growth in the town and the reputation of Hastings has significantly improved and has started to attract investment.

The closure of the University is going to have a massive effect of the town and local businesses and as a town Politian’s, councilor’s, businesses and students need to rally together.

Local MP Amber Rudd issued the following statement:

“Without delay, the University needs to communicate the full details of what this ‘enhanced relationship’ with Sussex Coast College means for our town and its students.  If they listen to us they will realise that the University’s campus in Hastings needs to remain a central part of our town.

“A decision to close the Hastings Campus would be a backwards step for our town’s regeneration, especially since we have invested large sums of tax payers’ money into creating the campus in the first place.  The cultural and music scene, the social and economic conditions and local history combine to create optimism in a town that is enjoyed by current students and appeals to many potential students.  I want Hastings to remain a university town and I will continue to work with Sussex Coast College, Brighton University, Hastings Borough Council, local businesses and all those who will help us create more higher education opportunities in our much loved town.

Peter Chowney leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder has said:

“Brighton University’s decision to close the Hastings campus is a devastating blow to the town’s regeneration, especially considering the amount of public money that went into creating a University Centre here.  It’s a misguided decision, and I’d like to see them reconsider it and decide to stay.  But if they don’t, this must not be the end of a university in Hastings. We will be looking to Brighton University to co-operate with us and Sussex Coast College not just to retain some higher education in Hastings, but to create a genuine University of Hastings. Hastings has become a university town. It must remain a university town. I’m determined to work with Sussex Coast College, Brighton University, local businesses, our MP, other universities, and anyone else who wants to contribute, to help us achieve that.”

Rosie Paddington sent this message to Business in Hastings ”

I am an employer in Hastings and also have a daughter who is currently studying at the Hastings Campus of Brighton University. Hastings has always had particular problems in educating and incentivising local young people, many of whom come from poor families who cannot afford to go to university as funding is nowhere sufficient to support them to live away from the town. The university has provided support and opportunity for these young people to gain an education and from there to find jobs locally. We need to give local people higher aspirations and skills and I need such people to work for my business. Speaking personally, my daughter has benefited hugely from studying english and education in her home town and plans to go into teaching eventually and work in a local school. She prefers to study and live in the town she was born in. So the campus benefits these young people. Hastings also benefits hugely just from the additional spending it attracts as well as improving ou r reputation as a good place to live and study and work. It raises the profile of the town and it would be a huge loss if it were to close down.

Business in Hastings has over 1800 local businesses signed up to our site.  Want to show your support?  Sign the petition  or let us have an email and we’ll send it on.




Chancellor George Osborne announced that corporation tax will be reduced by 17% by April 2020 and hopes this will lure more companies to Britain.

The tax was already cut from 28% to 20% previously and Osborne believes the extra cuts will provide a boost to local firms. This should save British firms around £15 billion a year by 2020.

A reduction in corporation tax would make Britain the country with the lowest rate in the G20, which will encourage more people to start, run and grow businesses in the UK.

The deficit will also be eliminated over the next 4 years and the government will be running a surplus. There will be a further £3.5 billion of savings from departmental spending in 2019-2020 to help achieve this.

Osborne announced in the Budget that there will be a longer school day for 25% of secondary schools and every school will become an academy by 2022.

The new Lifetime ISA will allow people to save for retirement or to buy a first home as from April 2017, any adult under 40 will be able to open one. Each year up to £4,000 can be saved and savers will receive a 25% bonus from the government.

The current Personal Allowance rate stands at £10,600 before workers start paying tax, but this will change from £11,000 in 2016 to £11,500 in April 2017.