City News


A Boutique Hotel in Brighton has launched its own business club, the Blanch House Business Supper Club. At their recent meeting, Nik Askaroff, CEO of EMC Corporate Finance, spoke about his new book, The Mobile Boardroom, co-authored by Julian Clay. Nik spoke about his journey from working in the family textile company and offered fascinating insights into how to grow a sustainable business, and in this issue of PBM we have an in-depth interview with Nik.

The monthly Supper Club events are for members of the Blanch House Business Club to enjoy an evening of fine dining and interesting presentations from a selection of high-profile speakers from the Sussex business community on topical business subjects.
The suppers are held at Blanch House Hotel, in their Belle Époque room, which is also used as a conference venue and meeting room. There is more information on the hotel’s Business Club and meeting facilities at


A Co-op supermarket has just gained permission to take over the old Atlas Pub in Hove. The site is situated directly opposite the Amherst Crescent Post Office, and owner Ujai Sethi said: “It will affect us drastically, and will basically shut us down as we cannot compete with their prices”. Another small shop gone, and another supermarket opens. If this Council are serious about their comments on helping the High Street to survive, they need to do more to stop major retailers putting small shops out of business.


The University of Sussex has risen 10 places in an annual ranking of world universities and is recognised as one of the best 125 higher education institutions globally for the fifth year running.

Sussex is 14th in the UK, 43rd in Europe and 111th in the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014-15, published on October 1st.

Sussex is also ranked among the world’s top 100 universities for studying physical sciences (89th) and social sciences (79th). The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: “It is good to see Sussex recognised once again as one of the very top institutions in the UK and the world.
“We’ve shown remarkable adaptability in an increasingly competitive global environment – we’ve grown, innovated, and invested in our future. These rankings show that it’s vital we continue on this path.”
The rankings are the most widely recognised and widely used among international students, research has found.


Developers are being asked to put forward plans for the re-development of the King Alfred Centre in Hove. B&H Council placed ads in Estates Gazette, the property trade publication, asking for any interested developers to come forward with plans for 400 homes and a leisure centre on the historic site. Last year the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee agreed that the mix of facilities should include a swimming pool, teaching pool and children’s pool, a badminton hall with six courts, a bowls rink, a 70-piece gym, a workout studio and 180 parking spaces. The council said: “Up to five firms will then be invited for more talks and will need to demonstrate their experience of handling such projects. A shortlist of companies invited to tender will be issued in April 2015. They will be required to show designs for a leisure centre and enabling development, prove its financial viability and demonstrate how the scheme would secure planning permission and be delivered. It is hoped a preferred developer will be selected in Summer, 2015.”
Members of the cross-party King Alfred Project Board are Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, Councillor Andrew Wealls, Councillor Warren Morgan and the Executive Director of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, Tony Mernagh.

If it’s anything like Black Rock, Saltdean Lido or the Peter Pan Playground site, we can look forward to a decision in 2050!
And l still think there’s a chance that King Alfred is buried under the car park!


The sun shone at Brighton Marina as teams gathered recently for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity’s Dragon Boat Race 2014.

Fifeteen teams took part in the event to raise much-needed funds for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, of which Rockinghorse is the official fundraising arm. Local businesses taking part included Brighton & Hove City Cabs, Priory Group, Dyn and Mishon Mackay.

Scores of supporters headed for Marina Square to cheer on competitors and soak up the late September sunshine. Following a three-way battle between The Unsinkables, Priory Pirates and Brighton RNLI, the RNLI Brighton Lifeboat team proved to be on winning form and were crowned 2014 Dragon Boat champions.

The event raised £25,000 for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, including match-funding from Lloyds and Santander, which will be used towards providing counselling sessions throughout 2015 for parents who have children on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Alex. Speaking after the event, Ryan Heal, CEO of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, said:

“We are so pleased with the fantastic support shown at our 2014 Dragon Boat Race at Brighton Marina. Fifeteen teams took part on the day and helped us raise an amazing amount of money, which really will make a difference to the lives of sick children and their families in Sussex.”

The Dragon Boat Race will return to Brighton Marina on Sunday, 27 September, 2015. and all Sussex companies should consider entering to raise money for a worthy cause and to give staff a great motivating day out.


Supporters of the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) are relieved that their project was given planning permission last week. The theatre will be created by landscaping land currently occupied by a disused bowling green in Dyke Road Park in Hove. The work would include building an acoustic wall and building terraces for the audience. The site is owned by the Council and would be operated as a theatre with seating for 425 people.

The architects Miller Bourne said in a written submission to the committee: “When it is not in operation, which will be the majority of the time, it will be a pleasant space to sit and relax.”
The project was the brainchild of Brighton playwright, theatre maker and construction manager Adrian Bunting, who died of pancreatic cancer last year aged, 47.
Mr Bunting left his £18,000 life savings to the project. The BOAT committee has since raised more money as it looks to turn Mr Bunting’s dream into a lasting legacy.


New figures show that Brighton is leading the way in the creation of new jobs. Having set out to help create 6000 jobs, official data shows that the figure was smashed with the creation of 9,400 jobs between 2010 and 2014. This makes Brighton 38th in the top 100 Councils. The growth came from sectors such as insurance, finance, culture, retail, digital and IT.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, Chairman of the City’s Economic Development and Culture Committee said: “This is very positive news for the city: unemployment is down and the pace of jobs being created is growing. Brighton & Hove is among areas leading the country in terms of private sector dynamism. We are out-competing London on a head-for-head basis, and we are very much punching above our weight”.