The seaside town of Eastbourne has traditionally conjured up images of pensioners and retirement homes but that view is certainly changing.
If you are looking for a job in Eastbourne you might be interested to learn that it has a growing population, a forward-looking business community and the most recent Census in 2011 revealed that the average age of its 100,000 residents is actually decreasing.
This has been attributed to rising numbers of young professionals moving to the area, attracted by the range of industries operating there. Young families are also moving there to achieve that work life balance with the help of some heathy sea air. It’s all helped to make Eastbourne the second-fastest growing seaside economy in the UK.
So what’s behind these changes? Tourism has always been a staple employer in the resort. Holidaymakers have flocked to its Victorian seafront hotels and seaside attractions for more than 100 years and it currently attracts around four million visitors a year.
Now it appears to have cashed in on the growing ‘staycation’ market as Britons realise the benefits of eschewing a holiday on the Costas for some home-grown hospitality. Why pay for expensive flights when, for the price of a tank of petrol, you can be holidaying by the sea here? Its reputation as the sunniest spot in the UK certainly helps too.
The latest figures available show that tourism and conferencing bring in just under £400m in revenue for Eastbourne each year, and that figure is growing year on year, meaning more jobs in the travel and tourism and hospitality sectors.
One of the key tourist attractions was Eastbourne’s famous pier, and following a devastating fire which destroyed two thirds of it last year, the government has stepped in to give £2m towards its redevelopment.
It’s one of many building projects in the town. More than 700 new homes are planned for Eastbourne, which has already seen 3,000 luxury homes constructed at Sovereign Harbour Marina in the last 10 years.
Eastbourne is also home to the largest book distributor in the UK and it has a growing number of e-commerce firms who are benefiting from a good deal of affordable commercial property. Its unemployment level is below the 4.4% national average at 4.1%.
Other draws for anyone below retirement age looking for a job in Eastbourne are its three-week annual arts festival, which this year will include a week of live music for the first time with Music Live, and its yearly four-day air show.
Even without the air show there’s no doubt Eastbourne is attracting some real high fliers.