Eastbourne’s a hotspot for creative industries, says report

We do like to be beside the seaside ... there are more than 960 creative firms in Eastbourne
We do like to be beside the seaside ... there are more than 960 creative firms in Eastbourne

Eastbourne and Hastings are hotspots for thriving creative industries, according to a new report.

The Geography of Creativity study named the two East Sussex towns as being among 47 creative clusters across the UK that show a high concentration of firms and growth in this sector.

Produced by innovation charity Nesta and not-for-profit organisation Creative England, the report found that in addition to more-established clusters like London and Brighton, other areas are starting to have a significant impact.

In Eastbourne, there are 969 creative firms, representing 9.1 per cent of total businesses in the town providing employment for 2,703 people.

Hastings has 654 creative companies, representing 9.4 per cent of total businesses in the town and providing employment for 1,319 people.

Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, the county’s business support service funded by local authorities, welcomed the news.

He said, “It’s no surprise to see Eastbourne and Hastings getting this national recognition for being places where creative businesses thrive. Locally, we are well aware of the vital contribution creative industries make to the county’s economic growth and prosperity.

“East Sussex is clearly a place with a rich creative community and somewhere that offers creative companies the space to think and grow.”

Wave graphic design co-operative is among the growing number of creative companies located in Hastings.

Diana Harman, of Wave, said, “Hastings is a great place for creative people to work. We increasingly feel that there are more and more complimentary talents and skills in Hastings that we can offer to our third sector clients.”

Lifestyle benefits are a major reason why design and branding agency Firebrand is based in Eastbourne.

Its Director Michael Dale said, “Our creative team enjoy the quality of life that working in East Sussex brings. We can be working remotely with a client in the US at 5pm and by 5.30pm we can be mountain-biking across the Downs.”

Highlighting the growth in this sector, The Geography of Creativity report says that creative industries such as design, digital, music, performing arts, film, television, radio and advertising accounted for 1.9 million jobs nationwide in 2015, on average more than 28 per cent more workers than seven years ago.

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