The catering and hospitality sector in Eastbourne
19 miles east of Brighton and nearby to the imposing Beachy Head — Britain’s highest chalk cliff face — the charming south-coast seaside resort town of Eastbourne is one of Britain’s most popular tourist locations.
And for good reason. According to the Met Office, Eastbourne is the UK’s sunniest place, while Sovereign Harbour is Europe’s largest man-made marina. If that’s not enough, it’s also regularly listed as one of the UK’s happiest towns. With golden sunshine, blue sea, undulating countryside, decorative Victorian hotels, a picturesque pier, and a colourful art scene, Eastbourne continues to attract droves of people to the sunny south coast.
The picture-postcard backdrop to Eastbourne is evident in the town’s number of on-screen cameos. On the silver screen, Eastbourne has featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; James Bond film, The Living Daylights; Pearl Harbour; Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire; Made in Dagenham; and Brighton Rock. On TV, this stretch of coast has been showcased on Poirot, Little Britain, Foyle’s War, Miss Marple, Top Gear, and That Mitchell and Webb Look.
Such is the allure of Eastbourne that the town attracts 4.9 million visitors each year, who spend a combined £287 million. 13% of this total spend comes from overseas visitors, showing the town’s cosmopolitan pull. Altogether, tourism is worth a whopping £388 million to the local economy and supports over 8,000 jobs — including a large number of catering and hospitality roles.
Surprisingly, Eastbourne is a fairly young town. The average age here is 43 years old, and one in three of its 107,000 residents are under 30. For the millennials and Generations Zers among you, you’ll feel right at home. And with millions currently being invested into town centre redevelopment, shopping, infrastructure, sports and Eastbourne College, there’s never been a better time to move to the town and grow your catering or hospitality career.
Eastbourne also offers some of the most competitive salaries on the south coast.
For chefs of all levels looking to upskill, Eastbourne and the broader East Sussex region is home to a number of training opportunities. East Sussex College, for example, offers a number of part-time adult courses at its Eastbourne campus.