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.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hastings Trust staff and volunteers become pirates for the day

Pirate Day In Hastings Old Town! 2010

Event Times 10:30 to 23:00 on Fri, 6th Aug 2010

The pirates return to Hastings for a day of colourful and spectacular action!

Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Barbosa meet again as the Old Town goes back in time with swashbuckling action and music as Pirates converge on Hastings once again. Come dressed as a pirate and be in their crew as they march on Hastings! Hastings Town becomes Pirate Town!

Join them for the Guinness Book of Records attempt – the greatest number of pirates in one place. The current record is held by Portland, Oregan, USA, with 1670 pirates.

Let's make Hastings "The biggest Pirate Day in the World"

From 10.30am - Childrens entertainment in George Street: nautical music, hair braiding, face painting, treasure hunt and musicians.

Treasure Hunt forms from Old Town Carnival Week office, on the seafront.

1pm - Guinness World Record attempt - Follow the drums onto the beach to await the arrival of the Pirates. Expect the unexpected!! Adjacent to the lifeboat house
Requirements for pirate costume, to be considered a 'Pirate' and to be included in the world record attempt:

* Pirate style hat or bandana,
* An eye patch,
* An accessory:sword or hook or musket or pirate flag or parrot.
* An appropriate striped or white t-shirt or shirt,
* Appropriate trousers, pantaloons,tatty trousers, rolled up trousers or flowing skirts.

2pm - Pirate Procession. Join Jack Sparrow, Barbosa, Will Turner, Elizabeth Turner and scores of drummers as one of the largest colourful Pirate processions ever sets off to march through Hastings Town Centre and back into the Old Town. Starts at lifeboat house, ends at Torfield Close in the High Street (top end), but can be joined at any point. There is sure to be action!

'Watch out … the law’s coming … scatter … back to your ships, me hearties!'

3.30pm - Scenes from Pirates of Penzance performed in Butlers Gap. Meet the Pirates and have your photo taken with them.

4pm - Live music and Punch & Judy in the High Street.

5pm to 7.30pm - Piratical Barbecue at Hastings Motor Boat & Yacht Club, Rock a Nore. Ahoy there me hearties! All swords must remain sheathed, and pistols shall not be cocked. Pieces of eight or coins of the realm accepted. Well behaved parrots and children welcome. Heave away and haul away with special guests, Hastings Sea Shanty Crew, on board from 6pm to lead the singing of lusty songs of the sea and rousing sea shanties. Proceeds from the barbecue to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society.

8pm - Pirate Songs and Sea Shanties at the Stag, All Saints Street. Yo ho me hearties, drink up!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Four Eco-Apartments For Sale

Hastings Trust has just completed a demonstration project which involved undertaking an eco-refurbishment of a Victorian terraced property in Cambridge Gardens applying the highest environmental standards that we were able to.

The property was converted using quality local contractors, volunteer trainees and four Future Jobs Fund employees.

The end product is four beautifully refurbished apartments which have a low environmental impact and greatly reduced running costs.

All four flats are now available for sale or to rent.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Future Jobs Fund - lets show our support

Call for Evidence: Youth Unemployment and the Future Jobs Fund

The Work and Pensions Committee is holding a short enquiry into Youth Unemployment and the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) and is calling for written evidence from interested organisations on the extent to which the FJF has succeeded in matching new work experience opportunities to young unemployed people, the strengths and weaknesses of the FJF programme, the likely impact of the decision to end the FJF in March 2011 rather than March 2012 and how the transition from FJF to the Work Programme will be managed, including the part to be played by the Government’s proposal to fund new apprenticeships.

Any written evidence should be submitted before the 10th September 2010 as an MS Word document, of no more than eight pages (including an executive summary). Evidence should be emailed to

Hastings Trust has participated in the Future Jobs Fund programme and has been lucky enough to employ ten FJF young people across various projects - our experience has been a really positive one and we hope it has been so for the young people involved. Despite being sceptical about the scheme at the start, we were keen to provide these opportunities for young people and haven't been disappointed. To be able to provide real paid work experience for our young people has been a privilege and we truly hope that it will help them to secure permanent work in the near future.

I am personally disappointed that one of the most promising welfare to work scheme is not being given the opportunity to demonstrate its value by the new coalition government and would encourage participants, both employers and employees, to contribute their experiences to this enquiry.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Castle Ward Forum AGM 19th June 2010

Local residents & people who work in the Town Centre, your presence is requested at the Castle Ward Forum Annual General Meeting

Saturday 19 June 2010
11am in Hastings Town Hall

Plus vintage film show: Pete Murray takes you to Hastings, Baim Collection,1983

Come and hear what has been achieved in the past year, elect the new committee, find out how you can get involved and see vintage Hastings through the eyes of DJ Pete Murray!

The film lasts 19 minutes

Coffee and Pastries will be served from 10.45am

Tel: 01424 201113
Erica Smith, 6 Wellington Square TN34 1PB

Monday, May 17, 2010

Job Vacancy at the Trust

Hastings Trust has a vacancy for a position of full time Finance and Administrative Officer to work with our management team and projects.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the dedicated Trust team which aims to promote social, economic, cultural and environmental regeneration of Hastings and St Leonards.

Excellent financial management, administrative, written / verbal communication skills are required alongside a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office packages and Quickbooks (or equivalent accounting packages). ICT skills will be tested at interview.

For more information and an application pack please contact Paul Ashdown, Director's PA, on 01424 452523 or

The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 14th June, with interviews to be held on Wednesday 23rd June.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Trust Newsletter Out Now

The latest Hastings Trust newsletter is now out - please pop into our Resource Centre, 35 Robertson Street, to pick up a copy, or e-mail me at for an electronic version

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spoken word at F-ISH Gallery

On May 15th F-ISH tales will celebrate the 5 senses through the medium of art and the spoken word.

Start 6.30PM to 8PM. Admission free.

F-ISH tales is hosting a reading on Saturday at F-ISH Gallery by local poets Jan Hedger, Joe Fearn and…set within the current exhibition of paintings ‘KRITIKOS’ by Peter Waldron – show extended till 30th May.

The acoustic space of F-ISH Gallery provides a unique opportunity for synergy of art and sound. The sensual experience will be completed by provision of soft drinks and an alcoholic punch.

F-ish Gallery has excellent wheelchair access and facilities.

Further events from F-ISH tales to promote art and the spoken word will take place during the America Ground celebration on July 4th. Regular monthly readings and events by poets, authors and artists are planned at F-ISH. Catch them!

Any queries, Joe Fearn, F-ish Tales Coordinator: 0845 4090562

‘…to experience the 5 senses: Clink glasses to 'hear' the toast - Touch the glass - See the colour of the wine - Smell the fragrance - Taste the flavour’. Tortilla Soup. (Paraphrase) Film, 1981.

F-ISH Gallery 45 Robertson Street Hastings East Sussex TN34 IHL

Future jobs Fund

A government sheme to provde six month job opportunities to unemployed young people, the Future Jobs Fund, is actively running in Hastings, and we at Hastings Trust are supporting it.

We have been able to take on 10 new staff under the scheme who are ably supporting our projects and partnership activities, and we hope that they will find the experience useful in securing themselves future permanent employment after their six months.

We have 4 Eco-Fab technicians working on our Skills2Build project - Paul, Brendan, Sam and Joe.

We have the Trust's first ever paid receptionist, Matt, working at HQ along with Volunteer Support Assistant, Nick, HELP Administrator Lorraine, and Director's PA, Paul who provides support directly to me.

and under our partnership agreement with F-ISH Creative Trust we have two Gallery Assistants, Emma and Jack.

I am happy to welcome them all to the Trust and am confident that this scheme creates a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills and aspirations for future employment.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Myplace Hastings

Despite the article in the Observer today I would like to stress that BIG Lottery have still not made their decision on whether to convert the in-principle grant into a full award - we are in on-going communications with them and have no reason to anticipate that the bid will be rejected.

We are aware of the impact that the delays have on the current tenant, however we are not in a position to be able to speed up the funders' decision making processes.

It is unfortunate that the Observer continues to perpetuate misinformation about the project.

When we get the decision we will announce it, whether it is favourable or not. If you have any questions about progress please direct them to me at Hastings Trust on 01424 446373 or