Known for its rich heritage of 1066 and its fishing fleet and vibrant music scene, Hastings is a town that fizzes with creative energy. New industries are supporting the old; technology is reconnecting communities and the next pioneering generation of innovators, creative businesses and cultural organisations are finding fresh relevance for Hastings.
The jam-packed seasonal events calendar is proof enough of a town with a relentless need to express itself.
Growth across all industry sectors is mirrored by a buzzing evening economy. Award-winning pubs and restaurants serving Hastings Fish and other excellent seasonal, local produce are placing Hastings firmly on the map as a gastro-tourism destination.
The fusion between the natural landscapes, wide open spaces and urban-on-sea, makes Hastings a stimulating place to live, work and create.
£4m flagship Jerwood Gallery was built next to the fishing beach in Hastings’ historic Old Town in 2012. The impact has been profound. New jobs emerged; tourism increased.
Plans for a 25-hectare site 'Bohemia Quarter' - a cultural regeneration masterplan that offers a rare opportunity to help shape the town's future.
Investment in projects like The Sussex Exchange; a stylish, eco-friendly conference venue, restaurant & boutique cinema, is stimulating new cultural economic activity.
Culture is playing an increasingly important role in the regeneration of Hastings and is positively impacting the lives of communities and the economy.
The area’s reputation as a cultural centre continues to strengthen with flagship projects such as the RIBA award-winning Pier, Jerwood Gallery and iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, stimulating new cultural economic activity.
The Coastal Currents Festival in Hastings and St Leonards is the annual month-long visual arts celebration featuring an incredible list of internationally acclaimed artists and curators as well as new commissions, one-off evening events and the ever-popular open studios.
Edgy and alluring, many artists, writers and musicians continue to be drawn here by the light, the air, the food, the music, its atmospheric narrow streets and its radicalism, each adding another layer to its rich cultural roots.
Hastings and Rother have earnt the title of UK's newest 'Music City' with the highlight of the annual Music Month festival, Fat Tuesday, being voted the 12th Best Mardi Gras event in the world by The Telegraph.
Local leadership and strong, progressive partnerships at both the local and regional level have been vital in developing a shared vision for the future.
The innovation charity Nesta, named Hastings a creative hotspot with a high percentage of firms and potential for further growth in this sector. The creative community is a hotbed of creative talent and networked in ways usually only seen in larger cities.
Hastings occupies a unique position on the Creative Coast stretching from Margate to Brighton, via Bexhill and Eastbourne, with Hastings at its epicentre.
Not only is it a place where people find inspiration and retreat, it is a place where radical ideas, challenging creative output and alternative lifestyles form part of the Hastings vibe.
An estimated 1000+ creative businesses and freelance professionals working in design, illustration, digital, tech, TV/media production and post production, are living or working in Hastings and St. Leonards-on-Sea.
The Town has one of the most thriving manufacturing bases in the South East with innovative industrial businesses in aerospace, defence, precision optics and hi-tech electronics. The manufacturing industry makes up 14 per cent of GVA (gross value added). It is not well known that Hastings is home to a specialist and world-renowned ultra-high vacuum/photonics and optics cluster - Tec66.
East Sussex College Hastings deliver a broad range of programmes across all levels of education for young people and adults: A-levels, Certificates and Diplomas at Levels 1, 2 & 3, HND’s and BA (Hons) Degrees, validated by the University of Brighton. The College is renowned across the UK’s higher education sector for the calibre of its foundation training and lively and dynamic experimental approach to teaching creative subjects.
Students and academic staff contribute to the unique culture and strong sense of community at East Sussex College Hastings and make a vibrant contribution to the digital and creative industries both locally and on a national and international level.
The College has adapted apprenticeship courses for young engineering talent to obtain some of the skills necessary to progress to a cutting-edge technology career. The college works closely with Sussex Skills Solutions to help match apprentices with fantastic employers.