Dragons' Den entrepreneur Doug Richard: 'It's east Kent for me'
Doug Richard is looking to move to east
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Former Dragons' Den entrepreneur Doug Richard is so impressed by
east Kent that he could be moving in.
The American entrepreneur who founded School for Startups and
recently completed a report on apprenticeships for the government
revealed his intentions at the Grow for It in East Kent campaign
launch in Dover.
It aims to woo businesses to the area, emphasising lower costs,
better lifestyle and financial incentives.
The campaign – controversially awarded to London-based agency
Seven Hills – initially involves adverts aimed at Londoners on the
sides of red double-decker buses and alongside escalators in Tube
Slogans like “Swap your Oyster for Oysters” and “A Great Place
to Live, Work and Grow” are designed to tempt business people away
from the capital’s expensive and stressful lifestyle.
Guest speaker Mr Richard, who lives in Cambridge, said: “We run
our only programme right in the centre of London. The key question
we’re asking is where do we set up next – do we set up here?
“If I am already persuaded, and persuaded for perfectly rational
reasons, I have no reason to vote for one place or another, except
to ask where’s the best opportunity to drive economic growth.”
“East Kent, close to London and ‘a nice place’ has huge
opportunity to grow. It will enjoy enviable growth of the right
type over many years. I look forward to joining you in due
Meanwhile, the first seven companies were granted interest-free
loans from the £35m Regional Growth Fund – Bumble Beez (£30,000)
and Southeast Retail (£500,000) in Thanet; UK Mobile Bars (£32,500)
in Canterbury; Creative Minds (£100,000) and The Research Network
(£72,000) in Dover; and Chalk Hill (£30,000) and H V Wooding
(£1.1m) in Shepway.
Rail operator Southeastern is hoping to expand its high-speed services in the east of the county by creating a coastal loop route.
A Kent consumer electricals company is selling part of its business to an American group in a deal which will leave it with £3m in the bank.
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