12:30pm Sunday 31st March 2013
By Kimberly Middleton
It is regularly, and unflatteringly, dubbed “God’s waiting room”.
But Eastbourne is throwing off its geriatric reputation, with a new study suggesting it has become a hub for young business people – especially women.
The town more commonly associated with the grey pound had the highest percentage of female director appointments in the UK last year.
It also had the highest number of director appointments under the age of 25.
President of Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce Mark McFadden said the news was not hugely surprising for the town’s population.
He said: “It’s obviously good news, but people who are doing business in the town are obviously aware of what a good place it is to do business. “
It is probably more of a shock to people who have the outdated perception that Eastbourne is full of old people.
“It has changed an awful lot in the past five to ten years. It’s now a very busy and vibrant place.
“It is pleasing to see these independent results coming out.
“Reputations sometimes take a while to shake off, but the reality is different to the old perception."
The most recent census of Eastbourne showed the town is gaining young residents.
In 2011, 15 to 29-year-olds made up 18.5% of the population, compared to 16.5% in 2001.
The local authority has been working hard to rebrand the town with events like the Eastbourne Extreme sports festival, which features surfing, skateboarding and power kiting – all designed to attract younger visitors.
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