South East

Hastings is a coastal town located in East Sussex in the South East of England. Hastings, like some other traditional seaside towns is experiencing something of a revival. Tourism is growing, with a strong cultural strand driven by projects such as the new Pier and Jerwood Gallery, and its efforts to broaden the economic base seem to be working.

Hastings is known worldwide for its rich history associated with the Battle of Hastings ,and its mediaeval Old Town, home of the largest beach launched fleet in Europe. Titled ‘Root 1066’, Hastings recently celebrated the 950th Anniversary of the battle of Hastings with an arts festival exploring its impact on the history of England, its language, law and culture.   However, Hastings’ economy is weak compared to the rest of the South East and wages are correspondingly low. 98% of businesses are micro/small. 40% of those employed work for the public and health sector. There is recognition that the economy needs to be diversified

The Coastal Communities Team will focus its efforts on the economic regeneration of four geographical wards of the town facing the sea - Old Hastings, Castle, Central St Leonards and West St Leonards. These wards each have their own historical identity offering unique economic and social opportunities.

Our Vision:

Hastings will be a thriving, vibrant, unique coastal community, with a prosperous economy, better connected, skilled and healthy residents, and a place where people are proud to live and work and visitors want to visit again.

This will be achieved through:

  • Improving the visitor economy to support wider growth;

  • Improving the evening economy and promenading;

  • Developing and supporting all year round quality cultural activities and supporting local organisations to deliver these activities;

  • Encouraging and supporting enterprise start-up/growth (including social enterprises and creative businesses) to create jobs and economic activity

  • Supporting large and small scale private and public investment opportunities;

  • Changing visitors and non-visitors perceptions of Hastings and encouraging an increased sense of pride amongst the local community;

  • Improved transport links to the town – particularly by rail

  • Creating stable neighbourhoods and populations

  • Leading and delivering change from a local level


We have secured Coastal Communities 4 funding, enabling us to continue our economic revival and regenerate the White Rock area of the seafront and town, offering new opportunities for tourists to access the seafront, reanimating a water fountain and growing a mixed use business hub.

We will also be working with other projects active in the coastal communities area such as the Business Improvement District and Fisheries Local Action Group.

Contact: Kevin Boorman
Hastings Borough Council, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, TN34 3UY
kboorman@hastings.gov.uk / 01424 451 123

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