Eastbourne’s Enterprise Centre: ‘We didn’t want to lose anyone in the pandemic’

The town’s Enterprise Centre is bouncing back after the pandemic.

The centre, behind Eastbourne’s Railway Station, is home to 30 units for independent stores and eateries.

Despite a turbulent couple of years, the centre is still full of businesses beavering away to serve residents.

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Denise Harwood, commercial director, said during the pandemic she worked with the Chamber of Commerce, MP Caroline Ansell, and Eastbourne BID to secure grants for the businesses.

The Enterprise Centre. Photo by Alex Read at Bamb. SUS-220216-123804001

She said, “There’s been a bit of change but on the whole we’ve kept all businesses going. We didn’t want to lose anyone in the pandemic so we worked with them.”

Denise said the environment means there is a ‘community feel’ to the centre and as a result businesses choose to stay year-after-year.

She said, “We’ve got regular customers coming to the businesses week-in-week-out.”

Joe Lam Hair Artist opened this week (Monday, February 14) and Denise said, “With 16 years experience, Joe has built an enviable reputation and specialises in colour correction, balayage, cutting and styling.”

Enterprise Shopping Centre, Eastbourne (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-220215-200229008

Ninkaci is a craft beer store and taproom which only came to the centre in May last year but the demand means a bigger unit is needed.

Owners Andy and Jo Plumbley said, “We’ve had a really positive response so we need a bigger unit now to accommodate people.”

Ninkaci will branch out to serve more products including tapas.

The pair are really happy with how things are going and hope to move into the new unit by Easter.

Denise at the Enterprise Shopping Centre, Eastbourne (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-220215-200456008

Andy said, “It will be bigger and better – come and find us at the centre.”

Yummy Noodles has been in the centre for 23 years and manager Nop Rainbow said, “It’s a lovely environment here for people to shop and eat.”

She said during lockdown the centre’s team has been a ‘big support’ and that teamed with branching out with deliveries through Just Eat means it’s kept them going successfully.

Laptop Station owner Liam Cooper said since he arrived in 2010 the business has ‘extended behind the scenes’ so now as well as selling new and used laptops and accessories, they can do repairs too.

He said, “The online side of things has grown and the centre has helped us with that. Covid really sped up our expansion online.”

Liam said the support through covid has been great too. He said, “They put us at ease when lockdown hit because they stressed to us that there would be help coming which is why a lot of shops are still here.

“We extended upstairs before lockdown and the centre helped us do that. If we hadn’t I think we would have struggled and that helped us expend at the right time which has helped us keep our heads afloat. It’s a safe place to be and grow as a business.”