Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hastings Trust has a makeover

The Trust is enjoying its 21st year in style and as part of our celebrations we are having a makeover!

Come to join the mayday fun in Hastings Town Centre on May 7th where we will be launching our new logo (designed by Danny Grando or Design Crew) along with our refreshed vision and mission.

Thank you to Bike 1066 for inviting us to use such a high profile event for such a significant day in the Trust's life, and thanks to Arrow FM for promoting us in the lead up to the day.

Bike 1066 Spring Opener has teamed up with British Eurosport to bring live coverage of the Oulton Park rounds of British Superbikes to a giant video screen in the town centre. the screen will also be showing the classic bike ace movie Silver Dream Racer. It will also be used to show our new promotional video which will be made by students of University of Brighton, Hastings directed by Simon Hedges.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A unique opportunity to shape the financial future of Hastings Trust

An opportunity to shape the future of Hastings Trust.

Hastings Trust is a development trust with a twenty year history of facilitating community led regeneration in Hastings and St Leonards through active partnership working and direct service delivery. We have made progress towards financial independence, however we recognise that there is more to be done. In time for our 21st anniversary, Hastings Trust is looking to appoint suitably experienced consultants to support the charity in developing a sustainable financial future through two important pieces of work:

Review of Hastings Trust Business Model REF TF0811/1 and Review of Enterprise Development Potential REFTF0811/2

For the tender documentation and information for applicants please contact Mel Bonney-Kane on 01424 446373 or e-mail

Closing date for receipt of completed tenders 9am Monday 12th September 2011

Myplace at St Mary in the Castle Update

On behalf of Hastings Trust and our partners I am extremely disappointed in the decision of the Department for Education not to fund Hastings Myplace at St Mary in the Castle.

Our proposal had been initially submitted in September 2008 and we have worked with young people to develop their ideas into our ambitious proposals for a youth led and managed arts and cultural facility at St Mary in the Castle. With a team of dedicated architects and other specialists we translated young poeple’s ideas into a scheme of preservation and modernisation of the building which not only aimed to protect and preserve, but also maximise the contribution that the building could make in the current cultural and social context of the town. Our plans would have protected the building, improved it, and put young people at the heart of managing it and preserving it for current and future generations.

Alongside provision of dedicated youth facilities incorporating support, advice and development opportunities, a cultural and arts centre open to the general public, a new cafe venue, and an acoustically improved auditorium, the scheme would also have created about 15 paid jobs, countless volunteering opportunities and training and development opportunities for young people and the wider community in all aspects of managing a cultural facility.

When the government changed in May 2010 we were certain that funds would be withdrawn due to the massive public sector spending cuts that were anticipated – in fact we received a letter in December 2010 telling us that funds were still available and that we would need to review our position and confirm whether we were still willing and able to go forward. We brought partners back together and engaged consultants to carry out the due diligence process that we need to do to ensure that the organisation is aware of and protected from untoward risk, and to ensure that we were still confident in our ability to deliver. However, when we received notification that our project would not be taken forward, the decision had been informed by a report from the BIG Lottery which contained a number of crucial misrepresentations – such as stating that we had not achieved planning permission when in fact this was achieved over a year ago – and to assess our viability they had not compared like with like and had completely disregarded the USP of an iconic performance venue and the associated income generation potential. We were given the opportunity to appeal directly to the Department for Education and we took a cohort to London to meet senior civil servants where again we tried to make our case – despite this and a written appeal we failed to convince Ministers of the viability of our proposals and therefore the funding has been withdrawn.

The loss of this opportunity will have a major impact on young people in the town particularly in the context of significant changes in the provision of support and youth development services. We are also aware, through the condition surveys and other investigative works that have been carried out on the building, that a significant capital injection is needed to undertake remedial works necessary to protect St Mary in the Castle.

Despite the news, the experience of developing the project through working with young people, the design team and other partners, has been a positive one and a great example of collaborative project work. We believe that everyone can be proud of their contributions, regardless of the outcome. Our design team, co-ordinated by Derek Rankin and Guy Holloway from Dunn and CTM Architects, was inspirational and it is such a loss that the scheme cannot now be put in place as it would have made such a significant difference to the building and the historic crescent.

Hastings Trust is keen to see that the building remains in use as an arts and cultural centre for the benefit of the whole community (including young people) and we are pleased to learn that Hastings Borough Council has extended the tenure of Barbara Rogers for another year. We would be happy to work with the Council and the community to look at sustainable solutions for the building, as well as continuing to work with young people to help them to address their concerns about lack of suitable facilities and reductions in provision.

Mel Bonney-Kane

Executive Director

Friday, December 10, 2010

Myplace at St Mary in the Castle - latest update

PRESS STATEMENT 8th December 2010

Trustees and management of Hastings Trust are clearly delighted with the confirmation from Tim Loughton MP that the capital funding for Myplace has been safeguarded and that the proposed scheme for St Mary in the Castle has the opportunity to go forward, despite the odds.

However, it is clear that in the 12 months since the submission of the capital delivery plan and the business plan to BIG Lottery (who are administering the funding on behalf of HM Government) the economic and funding climate has significantly changed. The impact of public sector funding cuts on the in-principle commitments that partners made to seeing the scheme taken forward must be appreciated, along with the impact of wide-ranging austerity measures on the potential users and supporters of the facility. We will need to work closely with our Borough and County colleagues to re-assess the sustainability of our scheme in the light of this new financial climate.

We are confident that by working together we can find an appropriate way in which this ambitious and much-needed development can be taken forward, and we will be seeking an early meeting with partners to consider our options.

Mel Bonney-Kane

Executive Director


Hastings Trust, working in partnership with young people, the community, public and third sectors, was awarded and in-principle grant of £4.25m from HM Government’s Myplace programme to develop world-class youth arts and cultural facilities at St Mary in the Castle. A capital delivery plan and business plan were submitted in September 2009 in order to ‘unlock’ that funding, with notification expected in March 2010. This confirmation was not received due to changes in government and the Comprehensive Spending Review. We have now received notification from Tim Loughton MP and the Dept for Education that funds are secure, however with a recognition that robust future revenue funding plans are in place due to the economic climate. This will require a review of the proposed scheme as it stands and its future business plan.

The original intentions of the Hastings Myplace project are stated below:

Myplace is about youth & community involvement, providing a safe but inspirational place for young people to go, and ensuring a sense of place & belonging that is shared with the wider community. Current users of St Mary in the Castle will find this youth-managed arts & cultural facility more than receptive to their active involvement, and we believe that St Mary in the Castle will become more vibrant, accessible and utilised than ever before.

The project will ensure that young people are connected to the town’s heritage. It will raise aspirations, create opportunities, and will ensure that St Mary in the Castle can continue to stand proud as a very real celebration of the arts, culture and creativity inherent in Hastings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BIG Lottery Reaching Communities Programme recognises Hastings Trust employability and community confidence work

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded just under £500k from the BIG Lottery to deliver a new project called Community Enablers which enables people to play a greater role in their communities whilst improving their skills, confidence and employment prospects.

The project will commence in November 2010 and will run for three years. We will work with local residents, community groups, social enterprises, voluntary organisations and local businesses to create active opportunities for involvement - contact myself or Heather Smith ( for more information.

We are currently in the process of recruiting new staff to deliver the project - please contact me for further information and an application pack -

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 29th October.

Please see the following press statement from the BIG Lottery - and huge congratulations to Project Artworks who have also been awarded funds thorugh this programme

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hastings Trust AGM

Our AGM will be held on Thursday 11th November 2010 at F-ISH Gallery, 45 Robertson Street, Hastings

We have chosen to delay our AGM this year due to the current economic situation, public sector spending cuts and the likely impact on the voluntary sector - as we have to be able to provide members and other stakeholders with clear information about the future of the Trust it was felt advisable to await the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review and various funding applications before holding the Meeting.

On behalf of the Trustees, I look forward to welcoming you to our AGM which will be held at 12.30 (registration from 12.00)

Members and other staekholders will be receiving their invitations over the next few days.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hidden Histories

The Heritage Lottery Fund is keen to support projects focusing on stories that have been lost forgotten or untold, and as such, 'Hidden Histories' is a priority theme for the South East England team.
'Hidden Histories' themes could include
. settlers in the south east
. forgotten heroes
. overcoming prejudice
. local traditions
. vanishing environments
. disappearing communities
. lost, forgotten, untold stories
. village secrets
. threatened species
. languages and dialects
. cultural traditions and customs.

They are particularly encouraging applications for grants between £3,000 and £10,000.

In particular, they would like to receive applications from first-time applicants and community groups. They are therefore encouraging groups to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000, with the expectation that applications will contain less detail than is required for larger grants.

HLF South East England team welcomes applications for projects with a clear heritage focus that meet our criteria. Applications must be made under our existing 'Your Heritage' grants scheme.

Get involved:
They will fund heritage projects which result in celebratory events, performances and exhibitions, but these should be the culmination of a project in which participants have had an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the heritage. A project which is only concerned with organising a one-off celebratory event, performance or exhibition is unlikely to meet our priorities.

Help with your project idea in Hastings?

The HLF South East team will be holding a pre-application workshop in Hastings on 22nd September (11-1pm)at UCH

To register your interest in attending the workshops, please call 020 7591 6171 or email you can alos contact for more information and to book a place.

Places are limited but there will be a further information event in London if you are unsuccessful in securing a place at the Hastings workshop.

In addition to this, the HLF South East Team offers a pre-application service to give feedback on your project idea before you submit your application.

Contact Anna Jarvis (, Christine Garwood (, Daniela Carpinelli ( or Sarah Wicks ( if you would like further information or to discuss your project idea.