Hastings Big Local

Our 2013 report Sussex Uncovered highlighted the particular disadvantage that exists in parts of Hastings. However we looked at the data, the same areas came up time and again, very often with North East Hastings in the frame.

  • Hastings is the most deprived district in the south east of England.
  • 7 out of 10 wards in Hastings are in the top 10% most deprived in England.
  • The worst child poverty Sussex is in Tressell ward where 67% of children live in poverty.
  • All wards in Hastings have health deprivation worse than the England average.
  • The average annual wage is almost £10,000 less than the South East average.

Sussex Community Foundation promotes effective philanthropy and awards grants to charities and community groups across Sussex. Since 2006, we have given grants worth almost £800,000 to groups in Hastings, and over £9 million across Sussex. Many communities like Hastings have seen substantial investment from national and local government over the years, yet the problems still remain. Sussex Community Foundation believes that the solutions must come from within communities themselves and that there are limits to what ‘top-down’ funding can achieve.

 So what’s happening in Hastings?

As a result of our 2013 report, our trustees decided to take proactive action to encourage more philanthropists to support local community action to address disadvantage in Hastings. We are supporting a Big Local project in Hastings as part of this proactive grant-making approach.

How does the Big Local project work?

  • The Big Lottery has committed £150 million to the Big Local Trust, a national charity that is responsible for the Big Local programme.
  • 150 areas across England will each receive £1 million over 10 years.
  • One of those areas is North East Hastings and the project is ‘Big Local NE Hastings’. 
  • One of the projects supported by Big Local NE Hastings’ is the ‘community centre support project’.

What is the ‘community centre support project’?

The ‘community centre support project’ is a key project which aims to bring four community centres ‘back to life’ via resident-led support and activity. The community centres are:

  • The Bridge, 361 Priory Road, Hastings TN34 3NW
  • The Broomgrove Centre, 85 Chiltern Drive, Hastings TN34 3PY
  • Downs Farm Community Centre, Crowborough Road Hastings TN35 5EE
  • The Ore Centre, 455 Old London Road, Hastings TN35 5BH.

Collectively, they are being run as the 4 Centres CIC.

Click here to hear more from the community centres involved:

Funding will pay for:

  • Trustee recruitment and training
  • Trainee community workers
  • Joint programming by the four participating community centres
  • Business planning
  • A Community Development Manager in each participating community centre.

Where is the funding coming from?

One of the aims of the Big Local Trust is to attract money from other funders. The community centre project has a budget of £180,000 over three years and is co-funded by Sussex Community Foundation (£90,000*) and Big Local NEH Hastings (£90,000). *Through the Foundation, a number of local donors have made a three-year commitment (£30,000 per year) to support the community centre project.


To read our report Sussex Uncovered, click here.

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