SBT caught up with Darren Jackson from Unique Building Preservation & Energy Management Ltd who, continuing with a focus on Eastbourne, here explains his expectations from the forthcoming developments for business

Unique Building Preservation & Energy Management Ltd is a prestige business based in the Eastbourne area of Sussex, focusing their efforts on creating outdoor rooms and garden sanctuaries for a broad array of clients. Despite Eastbourne being the company’s local town, Unique are dedicated to creating these high quality builds for clients across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London.

For many local businesses, Eastbourne’s regeneration is likely to bring many more clients into the area – something Managing Director of Unique, Darren Jackson is hoping for. Speaking of how the regeneration will change Eastbourne as a town, Darren said: “It’s frustrating at the moment because it’s a bit of a ghost town and there’s not a lot going on, but I think once it’s all completed it’s of course, going to encourage more people to move down here and as a result, I’d like to thing it’s going to bring more clients for all local businesses. It’s certainly going to encourage younger people to visit the town centre more often.”

As mentioned elsewhere in this issue of Sussex Business Times, Eastbourne has always carried the stigma of being a town primarily for older people, but the current goings on and forthcoming developments will surely change the town’s typical demographic? “Eastbourne definitely needs this regeneration as the town’s young people are typically spending their money elsewhere in other towns more suited to their age range, such as Brighton,” said Darren. He continued: “It’s the same old thing; you’ll get seaside towns that become a destination for old people to retire and enjoy later life, or if they’re still working they’ll often move down from the city.”

Naturally, you can get housing for much better value in seaside towns such as Eastbourne – Brighton being an exception. Buying property up in London can cost you anything around the £2 million mark, but for somewhere in Eastbourne – a little bit out of the ordinary – you might pay on average £400,000. Darren commented further: “Living in Brighton and Hove price-wise is also horrendous! It’s almost London prices whereas you can get some absolutely beautiful properties down here in Eastbourne.”

Commuting in and out of Eastbourne and its surrounding towns couldn’t come easier either – Polegate and Eastbourne train stations are in prime locations while the local bus service is also available. However, public transport may well need a slight update once the regeneration has been completed as a means of keeping up with the demand for access to the new and improved area.

Of course, in terms of the effects of these changes to his local area on his business, Darren said: “There really is no specific demographic of people Unique aim to cater for. You might get people who are retired and want their own small space to use as an art studio, or full-time workers who would rather have access to their own gym – there are no limits with what can be done. Obviously local work can be completed at a lower cost, so I’m hoping that the improvements due to go on in the town will bring in more clients.”

Speaking of Unique Building Preservation & Energy Management in particular and as a large amount of people are finding that moving to a larger house or paying for extensions is too expensive, it’s looking promising for the already-established business. As teenagers return home from university for the summer to enjoy their ever-improving home town but cannot afford to manage their own property whilst on student fees, an outdoor space should be something to consider. Darren continued: “It’s definitely cost effective, that’s for sure… Depending on how the client would like it to be built, of course. There are many different specs and the beauty of what we do surrounds the fact that we are bespoke from the ground up.” All materials used during the process of creating garden sanctuaries are very high-end materials, and there are different options depending on the client’s preferences. The company ensure all of their buildings are well insulated and getting heating and cooling right is one of the most important factors – clients want outdoor spaces that can be used all year round so ensuring condensation and heating issues don’t arise is something they take very seriously.

While the majority of other businesses of this kind – and there are a fair few at this time – will only offer generic X, Y and Z products, Unique Building Preservation & Energy Management Ltd offer everything bespoke, taking a completely different approach, and with 28 years of experience in building and working with the public, they promise a flawless service. When asked about building regulations, Darren said: “while it’s compulsory to build to certain specifications and guidelines, they’re not very limited, so it’s a lot more flexible now. If you’re going for an extension or a loft conversion then you do need planning and building regs, and that in itself is time-consuming and expensive, but with a garden space then 9 times out of 10 you don’t need planning and if you do we’ll organise that anyway!”

The world of garden sanctuaries and outdoor spaces is now a huge industry, but Unique’s unique selling point is their extensive experience and knowledge on the trade. Darren concluded: “We have an amazing team of electricians, plumbers and roofers, plus a real good-quality skillset and employees who have been in the game for a minimum of 15 years. While business is going well and is growing more each day, we’ll definitely look forward to the expected demand for these spaces in our local area once the town’s developments have created a much more enjoyable place to live!”