Boosting Bexhill business

MP Greg Barker visited Rother District Council's business centre on Elva Way to check out its green credentials as a new build.

The Elva Business Centre is made up of 32 units including workshops, offices and communal facilities such as meeting rooms, and is built on the derelict goods yard off Ninfield Road, next to land earmarked for the Bexhill-Hastings by-pass.

The complex boasts a number of energy-saving features such as the ground source heat pump system and solar panels generating electricity at Napier House, and the buildings have been rated ‘excellent” by BRE Environmental Assessment Method.

The Climate Minister met RDC chief executive Derek Stevens to look over the premises and was shown around by estates manager Tina Holman, the council’s head of regeneration Graham Burgess, and Keir Dellar of 1066 Enterprise.

Mr Barker learned how the units had been created to be energy-efficient and how the business complex had thrived since its opening in July 2010 as a convenient new base for small or start-up businesses which are able to come in on a 3-6 month lease.

There is a wide range of companies who have moved into its offices or workshops, including Multicultural Toys, Home Care supply, property management, Bexhill Solar, and an importer of electric off-road bikes for children.

Greg met a number of those working in Napier House, the flagship unit, including David and Barbara Burstow of Clairwood Accounting and Alison Godwin of Local Payroll Company.

David told him they had previously been working at home and commented: “We’ve been building up an accounting practice of our own – but we have just run out of space. We have outgrown home now.”

He praised 1066 Enterprise for providing business support services to tenants such as himself, including “very useful” training sessions which many make use of.

Bexhill Solar’s Lee Standell said: “I was working from home for two years. Then obviously this started. I have been here since August and its definitely a good thing.

“I have had customers come here which I never would at home – but people can visit here.

“Now I would like to have another unit – this definitely feels like the right place.”

Following his visit Greg said: “I was extremely encouraged to visit so many home-grown Bexhill businesses, now taking that leap from their spare bedroom or garage into proper, very professional business premises.

“This is a great showcase for the entrepreneurial spirit in Bexhill nad a tribute to the foresight and “can-do” outlook of Rother District Council who took the lead in making the new local asset a reality.

I look forward to watching these firms grow and grow as our local economy recovers from the recession.”