March 2016 Uckfield Business Scene
Office buildings in the centre of Uckfield are fast disappearing.
Paul Watson writes:
Permission has already been given by planners to convert premises at:
- Oakridge House, New Town
- Sussex House, Grange Road
- 19 Church Street (former financial services business).
All three are set to be converted into homes.
An application to change the use of the ground floor of Clearwater House in Bell Farm Lane is before planners.
If permission is granted these office premises would become a shop.
1,000 new homes at Ridgewood
Over recent months, Uckfield Town Council plans committee has fretted over the conversion of office space to homes.
The loss of employment space is a concern with councillors pointing to the town’s population growth in the next few years with 1,000 homes to be built at Ridgewood Farm.
What is not clear at the moment is whether there is an overall decrease in office work in Uckfield or whether businesses are locating (re-locating) to more modern premises on the business park or similar developments in nearby villages.
Commerical agents, Oldfield Smith and Co, has said there is a “shortage of good quality office space in the Wealden area” and it has applicants looking to buy or rent.
The firm made the comment when reporting the letting of air condtioned offices at Falmer Court, London Road, Uckfield.
Dawson Hart solicitors would seem to be bucking the trend having taken on another building in the town centre.
The firm has acquired 9a Church Street next to their premises at The Old Grammar School. They plan to use the extra space to facilitate their popular seminars more frequently while also making use of additional office space.
High Street roadworks
Uckfield Chamber of Commerce was quick off the mark to secure Uckfield businesses directly affected by the roadworks a helping hand.
Negotiating a block business rates reduction was a positive move, which should lift owners’ spirits.
Of course, if a business feels it can argue a case for a further cut in business rates because of a loss of trade, they are free to make an application to the Valuation Office Agency.
Stylish refurbishment at the Buxted Inn
Refurbishment of The Buxted Inn is complete.
During the last five years the whole building has been taken apart and put back together again with a new role and contemporary feel.
Tile Source panto party
Staff from The Tile Source, Uckfield, dressed up to enjoy a pantomime-themed party which was held at the Goodwood Hotel.
See more photographs here
Duke Letting on the move
The letting agents have enjoyed a successful time from the current office in the upper High Street but have been looking for a more prominent location for some time.
The move to the former Bargain Store should be complete mid-month.
Lawson Commercial is acting for Duke Letting to find a tenant for the existing premises, which it says would be “ideal for a small financial services business”.
The Cock Inn at Ringmer
The Cock Inn country pub restaurant at Ringmer, just off the A26, has an enviable reputation for good food and beer.
It is now in its 11th year of being run by the Ridley family, who also run the Highlands Inn ar Ridgewood.
Special screenings at The Picture House
Uckfield Picture House is 100 this year and to mark the occasion owner Kevin Marwick has launched special screenings on the theme of A Century of Film.
Kevin gets the season under way with his favourite film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Next up is Radio 4 presenter Francine Stock , introducing Sweet Smell of Success (1957).
Shortage of industrial units
Lawson Commercial reports there is a shortage of industrial units in East Sussex.
The firm said: “During the course of 2015 we had a good, steady market with reasonable demand and during that time we let or sold some 75,000 sq ft in 21 separate transactions.
“The problem is that now that space has been occupied, there is nothing new coming onto the market to replace it.
“In some East Sussex towns there are no units around 1,200 sq ft available, these units being ideal for small and start up businesses. There is also a huge shortage in the 2,000 – 5,000 sq ft category with there being in some towns the choice of only one or two units.
“In some ways this is good news for landlords and sellers of freehold industrial units as a shortage in supply usually leads to a rise in prices.”
Wealden tourism in numbers
5.6 million visitor day trips in 2014
£300 million brought to the district by tourism
5,000 full-time equivalent jobs supported by tourism
120,000 WEalden Do Dussex tourism guides printed this year.
Figures from Wealden District Council
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