Is Hastings the new Shoreditch?

Published on by Eliza-Joan Garvey (author)

Hastings Pier (photo: )
Hastings Pier

Hastings is now becoming one of the most popular developing art and cultural destinations. As new business are opening in Hastings, they are thriving in its redevelopment. Lauren Eva, manager of The Cake Room has said "There is more of a gap in the market to open a business in Hastings and people are moving down from London and that's a sign." 


Over the years Hastings has constantly been redeveloping itself and its reputation. With the University of Brighton campus being situated here it is a prime spot attracting thousands of young people to the town and where there are young people there needs to be fresh ideas to boost the liveliness of the arts scene. 


What is informally known as the act of ‘shoredification’ is happening all over the UK thanks to the British media. The main idea of this act implies a trendy and hipster feel to a town. Many boroughs and districts are currently undergoing this transformation. 


We are beginning to see this transformation within the seaside town of Hastings, with the opening of new bars and music venues. The historical Sussex town is in close competition with the trend setting town of Brighton, the unofficial capital of the Coast. 


Brighton has become trendier in recent years, it is now a local hub for activity. With the main university campus situated in Brighton it is bustling with young adults thriving from its cultural opportunities. Now Hastings is trying to set its own landmarks. 


Being situated only 85km away from the capital, London, Hastings lies within easy reach of London. With only a population of 90,000 residents, it is seen as not the mist culturally diverse town within the UK. A staggering 94 per cent of the town’s population are white British in juxtaposition to 45 per cent in London. 


Efforts by the Rother District council have set out to regenerate the seaside town. The ‘Hastings and Bexhill Task Force’ was established in 2001 to bring together a strategy to regenerate Hastings Town. In the development stages of the strategy the task force identified 5 keys themes to ensure regeneration: Urban Renaissance, education, business and enterprise, broadband and ICT and lastly transport. 


The district council presented this ‘five-point plan’ to the Government and because of the strength of its proposals they were granted an initial £38 million over the next three years to successfully pursue its objectives. 


Countless efforts to bring a fresh and youthful scene to Hastings can go back decades. Most recently was the regeneration of Hastings Pier, officially finished last year the pier has attracted hundreds of more tourists over the summer months playing host to music festivals and open-air cinemas. This is just one leap that Hastings has taken to improve its reputation with young adults. 

The De La Warr Pavilion and the Jerwood Gallery are included in those efforts to re-establish Hastings as a fresh and prosperous town. However, for the residents and tourists whose palette isn’t acquired to art, Hastings also has a growing number of music events and interactive workshops. The Brass Monkey in the centre of town host numerous bands and DJs as part of the initiative to reinvent Hastings.



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