BUSINESS Doctors, the national support service for small and medium-sized businesses, has opened a brand new operation in Eastbourne.

The company provides hands on support to owners of SMEs in every sector.

The new office will be led by Vanessa Peters who lives in Eastbourne.

As part of the fast growing national Business Doctors network, she will provide advice to start-ups and next level growth support to owners of small businesses of all kinds across the Sussex East region.

Qualifying as a lawyer in 1980, by the early 90s Vanessa had already served as assistant chief executive of two local authorities, taken assistant directorship of City of London regulatory body IMRO, and was then asked to set up a national consumer protection body, the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau.

She then spent 20 years running change management programmes with organisations including Railtrack, Oxford University, DEFRA, Royal British Legion and Thames Gateway.

She operated a pilot scheme for a community advice service in Eastbourne and support, on an informal basis, a number of local SMEs.

She said: “What I have learned from working with small businesses is that once you have established a connection with the owner you can make a difference quickly.”