Start-up businesses have a new home in the county town.
The Maidstone Enterprise Centre is a new initiative by the charity Enterprise Foundation opening for the first time this week.
Based in the newly-refurbished first floor of the HM Passport and HMRC offices in Mote Road, it provides affordable work desks and office space.
Start up businesses have a new office space to work from
The hub is targetting under-represented groups in the business world including the unemployed, under 30s, over 50s, those with disabilities and ex-service personnel.
It follows on from successful projects in Leeds and Birmingham launched last year.
The centre is open for two days this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 11 to 12, between 10am to 4pm.
The £90,000 refurbishment also gives new businesses access to grants, workshops, signposting and support in the 5,800sqft centre.
Members get free Wi-Fi, casual meeting space and formal training rooms, with regular workshops and events being run in-house and with local and national partners.
The charity hopes to sign up its first tenants soon.
Chief Executive Keith Powney said: “Speaking from personal experience, starting a new business can be tough, especially when based in wrong or isolated surroundings.
“This is why we want to provide a professional but nurturing environment for new businesses to base themselves from.
“We also want to find people who have a great idea and just need an extra bit of guidance and support to set up on their own.
“Maidstone will be our third centre to open in the UK and we know there are people here that we can help to make self-employment a reality.
“This could be the route back into work for people who have been made redundant, are unemployed, or struggle to find work that suits their needs, and we want to help facilitate this transition and make their business a success.”
Details at www.enterprisefoundation.net.