In November 2012 Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce pulled together all the chambers and the FSB in East Sussex to decide whether we wanted to work together as a team. The answer on the day was a unanimous “Yes!” As a result, after an intense meeting the joint chambers agreed five strategic goals to help business grow and succeed in East Sussex:
Open For Business
ACES was formed to co-ordinate activity across East Sussex and make sure we are seen as a vibrant business destination. And, as Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” so ACES will work with its partners to make sure its stated goals are achieved. We have held talks with:
- Theresa May when she was Home Secretary and Amber Rudd
- Previous Chancellor George Osborne about the A27 and Gatwick Airport
- Sec of State Chris Grayling about Southern Rail, Gatwick and the A27
- We presented a 1000+ petition about the A27 to previous Sec of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin
- Gatwick Airport Management
- Previous and current Road and Rail Ministers Paul Maynard, Rob Goodwill and Andrew Jones
- Previous Minister of State for Business and Skills, Matthew Hancock
- Spencer Dale, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee
- Becky Shaw, CEO of ESCC
- Rupert Clubb, the Director of Economic Development and Transport ESCC
- Roy Galley the Head of Economic Development and Nigel Hannam the Corporate Director at Wealden District Council
During these discussions ESCC committed to rolling out high speed broadband across 90% of the county by March 2016, and the SE LEP the South East Local Enterprise Partnership has started working on a programme to close the ‘not spots’ - where mobile cover fades out on major East Sussex roads.
Funding for transport
Our successful lobbying has resulted in a £3 million pot to fund a new road study for a better A27 between Beddingham and Polegate. We are also lobbying to extend the improvements to the A21 from Pembury all the way down to Hastings to really open up the economy of East Sussex.
ACES also supports the highspeed railway to Hastings and Bexhill; improving the marsh-link rail line to Ashford and opening up th Uckfield to Lewes line.
When Londoners decide to visit the seaside for a family day out, they jump in their cars and drive to Whitstable or Brighton as they can be there quickly via the M2 or M23. They don't visit Hastings or Eastbourne unless they plan to stay overnight. Fast roads and rail will therefore make all the difference to tourism across the East Sussex coast line.
Business in East Sussex
We are working closely with Locate East Sussex, Cobb PR and all ACES members to promote the county as a successful business destination, and we are working with the universities and colleges across the county to ensure that all students are work-ready when they graduate.
If you have any issue or concerns you would like ACES to communicate on your behalf please email email@example.com or call Edeal on 01323 641144.
To get support relocating to Eastbourne or East Sussex visit Locate East Sussex.
Why I'm a Member
"Being involved with the Chamber means I'm able to meet and network with the best and most forward-looking businesses in the area"
Neil Hooper - Handelsbanken