Taking a Tour – Evolving Eastbourne Businesses
Business support organisation Locate East Sussex took a tour around a selection of evolving Eastbourne businesses with local councillors and officers highlighting the importance of providing support to businesses looking to grow.
Joined by Eastbourne and Lewes Borough Council’s Head of Regeneration Lisa Rawlinson, and Regeneration Monitoring Officer Maiken Bagley, along with East Sussex County Council’s Economic Projects Manager Vera Gajic, ESI (East Sussex Invest) Funding Panel Councillor Simmons, Business Investment and Projects Coordinator Peter Adler and Conservative MP for Eastbourne Caroline Ansell, the group visited 4 brilliant Eastbourne based businesses to talk through their progression, their challenges and the impact that the support from Locate East Sussex has had on their businesses.
Locate East Sussex is a business support service and the inward investment agency for East Sussex. It provides 12 hours of free advice, support to access funding and business finance, help finding commercial property and free events and training, and as it is fully funded by East Sussex County Council, the 5 District and Borough Councils, and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), it services are free of charge. Here to support businesses already based in, or looking to relocate to East Sussex, the organisation promotes business growth, stimulating the local economy and creating jobs.
The first stop was to timber frame manufacturing, delivery, and installation company, Träframe LTD, located at Hammonds Drive. Showing us around their unit in White Knight Business Park, Shaun Nicholls, Director, talked us through the challenges they face with the limited space available, which is needed to expand their growing business. He also explained how they were able to fill the gap in the Southeast market for timber products to smaller scale local property thanks to the Locate East Sussex service.
The next stop on the tour was indoor adventure and fitness venue, based in the Beacon, Ninja Arena. Taking a wander around the neon-lit setting and watching one of the pros complete the obstacle course in under 20 seconds, Director’s Wayne and Gary discussed how East Sussex Invest and start-up loans aided getting the business up and running, and their name out there through marketing as well as future investment plans in upgrading facilities.
After a long lunch break at the independent family-run Thai Brasserie in the Eastbourne Enterprise Shopping Centre, as well as a quick look at the newest co-working space to Eastbourne, Foundry a place where people can work and sell or host events – the group headed off to appointment booking app for the health and beauty sector, Booksy. Speaking to previous Country Manager Thomasz Odrobinski who manages Booksy for the UK at the head office in Eastbourne, he explained how Locate supported them through finding suitable premises with the expansion of staff and users.
Our last visit of the day was to Zoonou, a software testing & QA consultancy, just a short walk-up St Leonard’s Road. Speaking to co-founder Nick Turton, he spoke to us about what their business is and how one of the grants Locate East Sussex helped them to receive allowed them to set up their premises.