BEXHILL MotoFest brought a much needed boost to the local economy when over 3,000 motorcycles cavalcaded into town for the return of motorsport to its birthplace.
Along other events in the area including the annual Mayday Run into Hastings which this year attracted over 41,000 bikes BEXHILL MotoFest showed that motorcycle tourism is a real asset to the area and can be a driver for regeneration. The influx of bikers into BEXHILL didn’t only fill the cafes and shops of the main Devonshire Road but also gave an opportunity for companies such as Hastings Print to benefit through sponsorship of the Moto Gymkhana arena.
Motorcycle tourism is a one of the few growth areas in leisure lifestyle travel and 1066 Country has fantastic business opportunities to benefit from the boom. The area is already well known globally for its niche motorcycle engineering base with companies like Jake Robins Vintage of Ponswood building bikes for the likes of Hollywood Chat show host Jay Leno, Bexhill based Oset being the innovators of the first all electric trials bikes to win National Championships and Hastings based moped importers Tomos all benefitting from the mini boom .
Bike 1066, the founders of BEXHILL MotoFest are a local company that was established by former TV producer Howard Martin to build motorcycle tourism in the area. Howard says; “The real benefit of motorcycle tourism to the area is that the woefully neglected local transport links can be turned to a business advantage with bikers actually appreciating the narrow twisty roads and lack of motorways. Poole in Dorset, that is of similar size and demographic to Hastings and Bexhill, estimates that motorcycle visitors are worth £7m to the local economy annually.”
Businesses in Hastings should build on this local asset and embrace the Round Pound as a potential driver for leisure lifestyle regeneration.