TK Associates, in association with Acorn Consulting Partnership, has been appointed by a consortium of public authorities to devise a ‘destination management strategy’ and marketing approach for the towns of Hastings and Bexhill in East Sussex. This will outline how the towns can attract new high-growth businesses, career-minded residents and learners and so boost their economic performance.

The study is designed to complement previous destination management strategy work for the area which focused on attracting visitors to provide a boost to tourism.

The project will involve research into the many existing strategies and sets of data available in order to analyse how the towns perform in terms of education standards, quality of life indicators, resident satisfaction, crime, housing, local authority services, employment, wage levels and business performance. It will include interviewing stakeholders from local politicians to council officers, business leaders, members of the education system and community representatives.

Based on this, we will devise a situation analysis of how the towns function today. We will assess the towns’ existing work to develop visions of the future and make recommendations for how these can evolve or be improved. We will outline priority actions to attract new residents and investors and a marketing strategy to present the area as a highly desirable place to live, learn and do business.

The initial strategy work will be completed by May 2007, after which the local authorities and their partners will decide how to put the recommendations into action.