The creative haven of Hastings

We explore how The Yard, on Waterworks Road, Hastings, is a hidden gem of over 40 creative businesses, creating a haven and community for artistic and skilled people in the area.

Nestled down a quiet street, on the outskirts of Hastings town centre sits The Yard. It’s the kind of place you could walk past unknowingly, but hidden inside is a wealth of small businesses supplying a huge range of goods and services, all offered by a group of friendly and hugely talented individuals.

“The Yard is what small business centres realistically need to be. We are flexible, we are affordable for town centre space and amenable."

Lucy GastallOwner
The Yard

The Yard

Business Space
March 2022

Historically this area was seen as industrial space, but over the last 5 years, it has developed and grown into a creative hub, with everything from jewellery makers, carpenters, metal workers, book binders, bakers, artists, boat builders and more. The Yard has always created a community that supports each other and takes time to learn from each other to move their individual businesses forward.

“We’re flexible, we’re affordable and as amenable as we can be. We pride ourselves on putting the needs of our tenants at the centre of what we do: recognising their individual requirements, making sure they’ve got as much practical help and support as they need, whether this be from us, other tenants or organisations like Let’s Do Business. We couldn’t be prouder of the sense of community within The Yard, this is something that’s happened organically, our tenants deserve all the credit for this, as without our their generosity and enthusiasm towards each other, The Yard wouldn’t be what it is”
Lucy Gastall, Manager, The Yard

Something that is unique about The Yard, is that tenants are encouraged to take ownership of their own space, fitting it out, decorating it and using it in the best way to suit their business.

“We don’t put restrictions on how a business can use their space, they can use it as they please, in the way that best serves them. That’s one of the reasons there’s such an eclectic mix of people in The Yard, as rather than having a formulaic approach, the spaces are flexible and ever evolving. Allowing people to make their space their own means they’re invested in it, and, more importantly, they’re proud of it”
Lucy Gastall, Manager, The Yard

As you walk around, it’s clear you are walking into a tight knit community. The space is buzzing with atmosphere, with tenants chatting outside their units, helping each other with deliveries and even making a fuss on an onsite dog! It’s something that fits so well in Hastings with its bohemian atmosphere and creatively inspired people.

Hastings has the best community spirit I have ever observed or been a part of in my life. There is always something going on and to be  a part of. It is one of the best seaside towns you could possibly live in.
Tobias Cobrin, Owner, Over Wrought Forge, Yard Tennant

What I love about it here is the community. It has really changed over the last few years, going from more industrial space, to more artisan. Everybody is really supportive of each other, and the management is really fantastic. I can’t say how highly I recommend Lucy and Henry in terms of being supportive and always being around for a chat if it’s needed. It’s a really fun, friendly and supportive place to be.
Katja, Owner, Katja’s Cakes, Yard Tennant

The great thing about the Yard is that they try and find people that fit. Not businesses that are all the same, but more so people with the same attitude.”
Geoffrey Wass, Owner, Ultra-light boat works, Yard Tennant

As more and more find this hidden gem, through word of mouth, their new regular markets and when visiting new addition Half Man Half Burger, I expect The Yard will become a must visit when exploring the sights that Hastings has to offer.
To find out more about what is happening at The Yard, visit their website or follow their Instagram @theyard.waterworksroad

Locate East Sussex support small businesses, like those at The Yard to grow and reach their potential. If you think we could help you Get in Touch

Who’s Here?

Here are some of the businesses you will find at The Yard, Waterworks Road

Over Wrought Forge

Instagram: @over_wrought_forge
A blacksmith and metal worker who on a commission basis creates items such as gates, railings, hooks, pokers, door knockers and brackets.

Le Chambre Magique

Instagram: @lachambremagique
Upcycles furniture and home décor to give it a new lease of life, using eco-friendly mineral and milk paints.

Unit 33 Studios

Instagram: @unit33hastings
Unit 33 is an independent artist-run contemporary book bindery and print studio producing high quality bespoke artist books, boxes, prints, portfolios, stationery, marbled paper and much more. They also run book binding workshops.

Old Woodworks

Instagram: @oldwoodworks_
Makes furniture and home furnishings on a commission basis from reclaimed wood and materials. Visit the showroom Mon-Sat 8-5.30pm

Ultra-Light Boat Works

Instagram: @ultralightboatworks
Boat Builder, crafting lightweight eskimo kayak design paddle boats from steam bent bamboo. Geoffrey’s ethos is about providing accessibility to the water for all to enjoy.

Katja’s Cakes

Instagram: @katjascakes
An experienced cake maker who makes highly decorative celebration cakes and cupcakes using buttercream. With over 20 years of experience Katja enjoys playing with surface patterns and colour to make a cake worthy of your special day.

Waterworks Plant Company

Instagram: @waterworks_plant_co
Sells indoor and outdoor plants, and offers creative workshops

Carola Van Dyke

Instagram: @carolavandyke
Carola van Dyke is a textile artist who designs quirky, intricate cushions and textile taxidermy. Offering over 45 designs of cushion, she had supplied huge stores such as House of Fraser and Liberty London.

Gabrielle Parker Clothing

Instagram: @gabrielleparkerclothing
Clothing designer with a love for colour, and floral prints. Available to buy wholesale and online. Gabrielle has been designing clothes for over 25 years, and moved into The Yard 3 years ago after moving over from Brighton.

Holly Dawes Ceramics

Instagram: @holly.dawes
An artist who deals primarily with ceramics, sculpting using clay collected from the local area

Blacklands Fire

Blacklands fire is a family run business that has been operating in the fire trade since the 60’s, supplying Fire Extinguishers, signage, hose reels and alarms at competitive prices.

Half Man Half Burger

Instagram: @halfmanhalfburger
Serving up fresh, locally sourced, beef and vegan burgers. Half Man Half Burger have a reputation for excellent food and a relaxed, creative vibe.

Kit + Clogs

Instagram: @kittyclogsstudio
A sustainable, independent footwear and lifestyle brand driven by a true love for beautiful, handmade items and the determination to keep traditional crafts and manufacturing methods alive.

For support and advice on how to progress with your business goals get in touch and one of our team will contact you to discuss you needs.