What Has Happened So Far?

Local Trust announced in 2012 that North East Hastings had been selected to be a Big Local area and to have £1million to make a massive and lasting difference to the community.  An Interim Steering Group was formed, bringing together a range of experienced people, who have a great deal of knowledge about the needs of the North East Hastings area, and the local issues. Orbit South was appointed as the "trusted organisation" to hold funds and enter into agreements on behalf of the Interim Steering Group.

In May 2013, the Interim Steering Group commissioned a consortium led by HVA to raise awareness of Big Local and to consult with local residents about what they thought of the area and what the £1million should be invested in.  The consortium worked between May and August distributing leaflets, holding and attending events, and setting up this website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account for Big Local in North East Hastings.  The consortium's progress report given to the Interim Steering Group in July 2013 and a summary of the final report presented in September 2013 can be downloaded by clicking on the files below.

In June 2013, the Interim Steering Group had a development day. The papers can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

On 3rd October 2013, two sessions were held in the Ore Centre to thank volunteers and groups who have expressed interest in helping with Big Local.   The Getting Started team outlined the main findings from the consultation.  The Chair of the Interim Steering Group explained what will happen next.  The Big Local rep led discussions about what individuals and groups can do, and the skills and experience needed by members of the resident-led partnership which will take over from the Interim Steering Group. 

The first meeting of the communications sub-group was held on 7th November 2013 at Broomgrove Community Centre.

A meeting to launch the North East Hastings Big Local Group and to start to form the resident-led partnership was held on Saturday 16th November 2013 at The Bridge Community Centre, Priory Road, Hastings.  The Chair of the Interim Steering Group gave a short progress report. Issues discussed included terms of reference for the Big Local Group, values and a code of conduct for the resident-led partnership which will take over management of the Big Local programme from the Interim Steering Group, arrangements for meetings and the memorandum of understanding between the resident-led partnership and Local Trust.  Many of those present put themselves forward for election to the resident-led partnership.  The notes of the meeting can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.  

On 12th December 2013 the first general meeting of the North East Hastings Big Local Group was held in The Bridge Community Centre.  The meeting elected the members of the resident-led Partnership, which will manage the Big Local activities, and approved the terms of reference for the Big Local Group and the resident-led Partnership.  Jan Papworth, the new part-time community development worker for Big Local North East Hastings was introduced and welcomed by the members.

There was a quiz night sponsored by Big Local, including a report on progress so far, on 17th January 2014 at the Ore Centre.  12 teams took part (around 60 people) with the eventual winners being STEPS, an organisation that provides support for over 65’s in the area.  £300 was raised for St Georges Paediatric Children’s ward in recognition of their invaluable treatment of a local boy.

The resident-led partnership met for the first time on 27th January 2014.

A community centres support project has been launched to help the four community centres in the north east Hastings Big Local area - Broomgrove, The Bridge, Downs Farm and Ore Centre.

On 10th May 2014 we held an exhibition our proposed Big Local action plan at the Ore Centre from 9am until 12noon.  Our proposals were overwhelmingly supported by the majority of people who attended.  The comments of those who did not support certain of the proposals will be taken into account in finalising the plan. 

The resident-led partnership submitted its 3-year plan and budget (for the period 2014 to March 2017) to Local Trust for endorsement on 4th June 2014.  Confirmation of Local Trust's endorsement was received on 11th July 2014.  For more information click here

The Chair of the resident-led partnership gave a presentation on Big Local Noth East Hastings to the Hastings & St Leonards Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) on 21st July 2014 which was well received.  LSP members representing business, statutory and community and voluntary organisations pedged their support.    

In September 2014 the resident-led partnership submitted a response to East Sussex County Council's consultation on its proposals to change the subsidised bus network.  Our response can be read by clicking on the link below.  Despite many protests, including ours, the decision of East Sussex County Council cabinet on 16th December 2014 to remove subsidies from a variety of bus services across the county meant that services 28 and 344 would cease to run on Sundays from April 2015 as the operators did not consider them viable without financial support.  Service 28 is a vital route along The Ridge through Ore Village and to the town centre, taking in the Conquest Hospital, and the 344 is an important link between Hastings and Rye and serving Fairlight, Pett, Winchelsea Beach, Rye and Playden via Ore Village.  However, in January 2015, the Hastings Parking Board, an East Sussex County Council body on which sit four councillors from Hastings Borough Council, voted to use parking revenues to fund the continuation of the Sunday services of the 344 and the 28 from April 2015 for a year. This victory is a direct result of the pressure from local residents and particularly from the Don’t Stop the Bus campaign.  Also from April 2015, Sunday and evening services on the 20, 21 and 22 routes will be operated commercially by Stagecoach but as yet we do not know what the timetables will be. Hastings Dial a Ride will run Monday to Friday.

A new blog by local resident Bev Jenkins, focussing on the meetings of the resident-led partnership, appeared in October 2014 followed by the first edition of our newsletter in November 2014.  The newsletter,sent out by email to all those with an interest in our work, will be published every two months.

The 2014 Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 13th December 2014 at the Ore Centre.  The winners of the survey prize draw were:

  • 1st prize              £50         Derek Rainer
  • 2nd prize             £30         Emma Law
  • 3rd prize              £20         Keith Lawrence

The 4Centres Community Interest Company was formed in February 2015 with the backing of Big Local North East Hastings to support Broomgrove Community Centre, Downs Farm Community Centre, Ore Centre and The Bridge Community Centre.

Community Led Regeneration, Lessons from the Past for the Future – Hastings Exchange Forum - On Wednesday March 25th 2015, local residents (including representatives from Big Local North East Hastings), community organisations and academics were among those gathered at the University of Brighton in Hastings, Havelock Road, Hastings, to explore what we could learn about community led regeneration in the local area and how what has been learnt from past projects can be used to inform future initiatives. The PowerPoint slides and posters from the afternoon are available to view on the Hastings Exchange blog click here  . 

A Culture and Sport Funding Networking and Learning Event was held on 19th May 2015 at Ore Community Centre organised for Local Trust by Big Local Reps Alana Gooding and Jim Boot.  The free event gave participants the opportunity to: learn at first-hand about the grant or funding available from the Arts Council, Sport England and other local funders; how to start-up/fund a social enterprise through Star People; how to develop projects and how to apply for funding. To see the full programme click here.  To read the report of the event please click here.

The resident-led partnership meeting on 8th June 2015 was held at the Ore Valley campus of Sussex Coast College Hastings and included a tour of the college's impressive premises.  The college announced a series of free eveing courses for Big Local area residents, "Ore Tuesday", starting in September 2015. 

Ron Bennett resigned as Chair of Big Local North East Hastings in June 2015.  The Resident-led Partnership is currently led by its two Vice-chairs.


What we know 

From looking at statistics and from the work of the Getting Started team we know that

  • Compared with other areas across the country, we have more people seeking employment; not enough people with good educational qualifications; more adults and children living in poverty; fewer residents in good physical and mental health; and more people without a car
  • We have two large housing associations; four community centres; three children’s centres; a branch library; a fire station; two college buildings and three schools; a number of faith, community and voluntary groups; various play areas and the town’s adventure playground; employers ranging from high-tech manufacturers to small shops; green spaces and undeveloped land; a building society and a credit union.  We have even more services and facilities close to the boundary
  • Many people like the area, others do not.  Some are not convinced that Big Local is real or that it will not be like some of the other initiatives in the past – promise a lot and deliver little
  • There is a widespread view that there is not enough to do, particularly for younger and older people.  Residents say more needs to be done to publicise the events and services that are available.
  • There is a great desire for investment in community centres, learning and skills, sports, leisure and play facilities, the economy and in green spaces.  Residents want to see less litter and dogs’ mess and less anti-social behaviour
  • ‘North East Hastings’ is an artificial area: it comprises a number of neighbourhoods that are not well connected by public transport and divided by hills and valleys.  Getting to places can sometimes be difficult.