WEEKLY pay packets in Hastings have seen the second highest growth in the UK over the last five years according to new research.
Wages have risen by an average of seven pounds a week despite the recent harsh economic recession.
According to the highly detailed study by the Centre for Cities research organisation, workers earned £394 a week in 2012 compared to £387 in 2007.
Only Derby had a higher wage rise over the last five years with workers taking home £471 last year compared to £452 in 2007. The national average has dropped from £531 to £490 a week.
Entitled the Small Business Outlook, researchers sampled 64 largest areas towns and cities across the country.
They studied government figures for PAYE and hours worked at 2,300 small to medium businesses in the Hastings Borough to make their assessments.
The research also showed how the borough saw an overall increase in the number of small and medium sized enterprises expanding.
However there was a fall in expansion among larger SMEs.
Noami Clayton, senior analyst at Centre for Cities, said: “Despite the recession and inflation people in Hastings on average have more money in their pocket than five years ago.
“Hastings is also doing well in the number of smaller businesses expanding.”
Council leader Jeremy Birch welcomed the research.
He said: ”Unfortunately we have become used to hearing bad news about the economic prospects of Hastings. This report paints a far more balanced picture.
“Hastings has the second highest growth in ‘real’ wages. Hastings also has one of the lowest rateable values in the UK, making it attractive for businesses to locate and grow here.
“Red tape, including the speed of planning decisions, can act as a barrier to new and existing businesses and Hastings does really well in this area too.
“We rate third in the table of 56 in terms of fast planning decisions reflecting very well on our planning department. This is a major plus point for businesses looking to expand here. These figures give us real hope for the future. We can see that the really hard work that we, and others, have put into the regeneration of our town is starting to pay off.”