North Kent given Enterprise Zone status in Autumn Statement

North Kent was given a boost during the Autumn Statement after the Government granted it the right to offer cheap business rates to new companies.

The Enterprise Zone status could help the area create 9,900 jobs by 2027 in about 230,000sq m of warehousing and offices.

The zone covers new commercial development in Ebbsfleet garden city, Kent Medical Campus at Maidstone and a proposed Rochester Airport Technology Park.

Ebbsfleet garden city is under construction, with Swanscombe to the north
Ebbsfleet garden city is under construction, with Swanscombe to the north

It means local authorities will be able to offer discounted rates to companies moving into those areas.

The North Kent bid was submitted by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Thames Gateway Kent Partnership on behalf of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Maidstone Borough Council and Medway Council.

Fran Wilson, leader of Maidstone Borough Council said: “We are delighted that the North Kent Innovation Zone, including the Maidstone’s Kent Medical Campus, has become an Enterprise Zone. With our private sector partners we are ready to go and I am confident we can now attract significant new inward investment to Maidstone, creating more business opportunities and jobs for local people.”

Kent already has an Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park in Sandwich, where more than 120 companies have moved in, creating 2,300 jobs.

Geoff Miles, chairman of Kent & Medway Economic Board, said: “Kent’s existing Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park has proven to be a great success, and we now want to show we can deliver the same level of jobs and businesses here in Maidstone.

“The bid, part of the North Kent Innovation Zone, was a compelling one as each of the sites complements the others in terms of their proposed activities and industries.”

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