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Locate in Kent creates and retains nearly 3,000 jobs in the county in 2013 to 2014, getting 56 companies to relocate or expand

By Chris Price

The agency employed by Kent County Council to encourage businesses to spend money in the county helped create or retain nearly 3,000 jobs last year.

Locate in Kent ended the year to March a shade over its target of 2,750 jobs created, retained or indirectly created, recording a total of 2,762.

They came from 56 companies deciding to relocate or expand in Kent, creating 1,398 new jobs and retaining 917.

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Of these, 820 jobs came from overseas companies setting up operations or expanding in the county, known as foreign direct investment (FDI).

This was after targeting leads in France, Germany and the USA and signing an agreement with UK Trade & Investment.

Most success came in the ICT sector at 16%, followed by life sciences at 11%.

In March, the company visited the world’s largest business-to-business ICT event, CeBIT, held in Hannover, to promote the county as a business location and a place to trade with.

Locate in Kent chief executive Paul Wookey
Locate in Kent chief executive Paul Wookey

Locate in Kent chief executive Paul Wookey said: “This year’s figures are encouraging and reflect the increased confidence and growth in the UK economy.

“Kent has a great offering for ICT and life sciences companies, with an abundance of high-quality bases such as Kent Science Park, Discovery Park, the Innovation Centre Medway and innovation centres at the Bridge and the Base in Dartford.

“Our latest figures show that 2013/14 was a strong year. With 306 active projects in the pipeline for 2014/15, which the team here is working hard to convert into successes, this year shows all the signs of being equally successful.”

Cllr Mark Dance
Cllr Mark Dance

Kent County Council cabinet member for economic development Mark Dance said:“The figures for FDI give us particular encouragement as investments from foreign companies tends to be greater in both capital and jobs terms than that of domestic businesses, and companies that move here from abroad often reinvest later.

“It is vital that we tap into the FDI market and the measures Locate in Kent has put in place to do that are clearly starting to pay dividends.”

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