Chalk Eastbourne: the new Silicon Valley?

PRESS RELEASE: 29 JUNE 2020 - For Eastbourne-specific use

Chalk, a new digital community for Eastbourne, has just launched online. This new initiative aims to change the perception of Eastbourne in order to increase the number of digital businesses in the area, provide a supportive network to help grow talent locally, and therefore make it easier for digital companies in the town to recruit. It’s open to anyone who’s into “digital” in the local area - developers, graphic designers, marketeers, students, freelancers, and hobbyists.

Originally intended to be launched as an in-person conference this spring, Chalk has moved online and will initially take the form of an email newsletter and a podcast series focusing on Eastbourne business owners about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on their companies, including the shift to digital.

The first series of the podcast Chalk Talks will be rolled out across all usual podcast streaming channels from the beginning of July, with new episodes on a weekly basis. The series includes conversations between Garry James, Head of Marketing at Eastbourne software agency Switchplane, and representatives from Towner Eastbourne, The English Soap Company, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Pure Arts Group, and Exclusively Eastbourne holiday cottages.

Plans for Chalk started last summer and were borne out of discussions between Switchplane and Caroline Ansell MP, Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne Borough Council, and local digital companies Zoonou, Fountain Digital, and PRG Marketing Communications.

Garry James from Switchplane says: “Recruiting people with the necessary digital skills in Eastbourne is troublesome, as young talent is often attracted to the glamour of Brighton and London lifestyles. We really want to get across the message that Eastbourne isn’t just a tourism destination, but a great place for people with families to live, work, and escape the rat race of the bigger cities. Living in one of the UK’s creative clusters, we want to celebrate the opportunities Eastbourne offers for the digital community, and that digital brings to the town too.”

Caroline Ansell MP says: “I love the concept of Chalk and I congratulate Switchplane on this important work to bring the digital community together. Building this sector will be vital to Eastbourne’s future and I will support this endeavour in every way I can.”

For more details about Chalk, to sign up to the newsletter and to find the podcast, visit

Garry James, Head of Marketing at Switchplane
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