October 2016 Business Scene
Construction of Portland House on the site of the old TR Fastenings factory – and then the Pandamonium soft play centre – in Framfield Road, Uckfield, is now well advanced.
The new building comprises three ground floor offices with nine flats above on the first and second floors.
The three office suites are self-contained from 800 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft with car parking and will be available next spring.
Agents, Lawson Commercial, said the rents would start at £14,750 pa + vat . The premises offered “smart, modern space” almost directly opposite The Alma Arms.
The construction of new offices, relatively in the centre of town will be welcome to many who had worried over the loss of office space in the last year or so, writes Paul Watson.
On a number of occasions, Uckfield Town Council’s plans committee has commented that it was sorry to see offices going when conversions to home were proposed.
Examples included premises in Grange Road and in New Town, not far from the Roman Catholic Church.
Tourism views sought
Wealden District Council wants to hear the views of local residents and businesses as part of an ambitious project to boost the local economy through tourism.
Visitors are a huge part of the district’s economy and the likelihood is that the sector will continue to grow.
Wealden is well-placed for continental visitors with a ferry port just across the district border at Newhaven and an international airport not far away at Gatwick.
The fall in the value of the pound in recent weeks will, if the value does not recover, make the UK an even more popular tourist destination for foreign visitors.
Cllr Roy Galley, Wealden cabinet member for economic development, said: “With a plethora of popular attractions around the area, Wealden is already a popular tourist destination and tourism is the cornerstone of the local economy.
“In 2015 it injected more than £294 million into the local economy and provided jobs for over 7,000 people in Wealden.
“However, we want to do even better.
“We want your views as local residents and business owners to help us gain an in-depth understanding of tourism in Wealden. Tell us what is currently done well as well as where you think there’s room for improvement. Please, have your say and help us grow the local economy.”
Wealden is working with international tourism development consultants Acorn to undertake a number of surveys across the District including face-to-face visitor surveys at a number of tourist attractions as well as surveys for Wealden residents and business owners.
The results of these surveys will help to inform future tourism plans for the District.
If you’re a Wealden resident you can have your say please in this online survey (external link). As a thank you for taking part, you will be offered the chance to enter a prize draw to win afternoon tea for two at Buxted Park.
MP takes on ambassador role
Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has become an Ambassador for Locate East Sussex, to encourage and attract new investment and business relocation to the county.
Locate East Sussex works on behalf of the district, borough and county councils of East Sussex to create a stronger local economy by helping companies expand and by attracting new business investment.
As an Ambassador, Ms Ghani will enhance awareness of East Sussex as a location for growing companies and highlight the opportunities existing in the county for flourishing businesses.
Recently, she has surveyed Wealden’s pub landlords and farmers to get their views on how the Government can better support the pub and agricultural industries.
She is currently carrying out a tour of pubs to discuss the landlords’ concerns in greater detail, and has met the National Farmers’ Union and a number of local farmers.
She said: “It is already my job to champion the interests of Wealden’s businesses and to sell East Sussex as a brilliant place where new businesses can locate themselves. As an Ambassador for Locate East Sussex, I hope to be able to do this even more effectively, as we work to raise awareness of our county as truly buzzing space for growing a business.”
Elite Dance & Drama Academy
New dance and drama studios have opened in Uckfield. Bexx Carr, who already runs Spirit Elite cheerleading classes which she will continue, and drama teacher Cathy Tye have come together to form Elite Dance and Drama Academy.
It is based in the town centre. Read more here
Swindells Financial Planning
If you are lucky enough to have inheritance tax challenges or complex retirement planning issues to overcome then Duncan Orr, director of Swindells Financial Planning, and his team may be able to help.
Mr Orr said that any financial solution should be based on robust research and using tried and tested methods.
When speaking specifically about investing he added:
“We will not speculate, forecast or attempt to crystal-ball gaze because we believe that approach to be flawed, detrimental to your wealth and outdated.”
Pet, animal, horse feed and bedding are all supplied by Hurstwood Feeds based at Vulcan House Farm, Coopers Green, Uckfield.
There’s a wide selection of wild bird food too and feeders are also stocked.
Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice
More than £55,000 was raised for Chestnut Tree children’s hospice at a golf day and celebratory dinner at the East Sussex National Golf Club..
Representatives of 29 companies from across Sussex played 18 holes on the two championship courses, near Uckfield, before enjoying the dinner. More here
Swindells accountants in Uckfield and Seaford have been shortlisted for an award in the British Accountancy Awards.
The firm, which is based at Atlantic House, 8 Bell Lane, on the Bellbrook Estate, Uckfield, is one of eight firms shortlisted to be Independent Firm of the Year – South East England.
The awards celebrate excellence in the accounting industry and the winners will be announced at a dinner on November 29, 2016.
Did you see?
Down Memory Lane
Peter Gale looks back on 50 years at Uckfield accountants Swindells, coupled with a walk down memory lane to see how the High Street used to be.
Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory