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Kent's popularity among businesses to improve over next five years, says Locate in Kent study

By Chris Price

Nearly half of bosses think Kent's popularity as a place to do business will improve over the next five years, according to a new study.

Two-thirds of business people questioned believe it is a good location to run a company, mainly thanks to strong transport links.

However 8% believe Kent’s prospects will become less attractive over the next five years, according to investment agency Locate in Kent, which has carried out the research six times since 2003.

Connections to London and Europe was the top reason businesses think Kent is a good place to work

Connections to London and Europe was the top reason businesses think Kent is a good place to work

Its survey of 238 business people found the county’s proximity to London and the continent – and its connectivity between the two – came out on top as its strongest selling point.

This was followed by quality of life, cost benefits and the availability of a skilled workforce.

Those who expect Kent to become more attractive were most likely to mention new and improved transport links and infrastructure, as well as increased development, improved links to Europe and an increase in the population.

For the first time, the study targeted the views of developers and investors, making up 42% of respondents compared to 9% in 2014.

"We are pleased the perception of Kent from key business figures matches the strengths that we know Kent to hold..." - Paul Wookey, Locate in Kent

The results showed optimism for business in Kent was highest among this group.

Locate in Kent chief executive Paul Wookey said: “We are pleased the perception of Kent from key business figures matches the strengths that we know Kent to hold.

“This reaffirmation is key to supporting the delivery of jobs and investment to the county.

“The study also helps us identify areas where Kent is not considered yet; and has plenty of positive case studies to illustrate the benefits.”

The perception study follows the launch of a campaign by Locate in Kent called “101 Reasons Kent Makes Business Sense”.

Its website lists 101 of the best statistics and benefits of the countyas an area to do business.

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