Big challenges ahead for trust’s new chairman

Esther Brown, new chairman of Hastings Trust
Esther Brown, new chairman of Hastings Trust

HASTINGS Trust, an organisation which enables community-led regeneration, has a new chairman.

Esther Brown, the University of Brighton’s economic and social engagement manager was unanimously elected on February 26.

Esther takes over from Alan Privett, artistic director of Longborough Festival Opera and long-standing member of Hastings Trust who had been chairman for eight years.

Esther said: “The trust would like to thank Alan for his dedication and guidance during this period.

“We have begun a review of our activities and have had a tough reality check.

“The trust is facing a very challenging situation, and the trustees are on a new journey.

“I am looking forward to getting to grips with the challenge and seeing how best to build on the trust’s legacy in the borough.

The trust has generated more than £3.5 million in charitable funds, supported 22,000 volunteer hours, and engaged with more than 20,000 local residents through its projects and resource centre.

Recent projects include the affordable loans scheme Innovative Finance.

The trust is also currently in talks with the new owner of the Observer building in Cambridge Road, regarding possible schemes for preserving the building for the use of the community.