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Big push to attract firms to North Kent Enterprise Zone at MIPIM in London, the UK's largest property summit

By Chris Price

Development officials are preparing for a big push to attract new businesses to Kent as they show off the benefits of the county’s new enterprise zone at the UK’s largest property summit.

Representatives from Ebbsfleet Garden City, the newly named Innovation Park Medway in Rochester and Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone will be at MIPIM in London this week.

Each site was jointly awarded enterprise zone status by the government in 2015, meaning local authorities offer heavily discounted business rates to companies operating in each area.

Kent Medical Campus will be built near Junction 7 of the M20
Kent Medical Campus will be built near Junction 7 of the M20

The North Kent Enterprise Zone, as it’s known, came into effect in April for a five-year period with the promise of creating nearly 10,000 jobs by 2026 and contributing £443.5 million annually to the county’s economy.

Companies which move to the areas will be eligible for up to 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over the five-year period.

The trio of hubs, collectively spanning 164 acres, will go on show at MIPIM on Wednesday and Thursday at Olympia, London.

Each site is at varying stages of their development. Ebbsfleet Garden City is earmarked for 15,000 homes over 15 years, with about 700 built so far.

Innovation Park Medway, formerly known as Rochester Airport Technology Park, will offer 100,000 sq m of commercial space once built if its planning application is approved.

Homes at Springhead Park in Ebbsfleet
Homes at Springhead Park in Ebbsfleet

Kent Medical Campus, already home to the new private KIMS Hospital, will well underway with £30 million of healthcare-related investment already being spent.

Paul Wookey, chief executive of Locate in Kent, said he believes the sites will be as successful as Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent’s only other enterprise zone to date.

He said: “I am very excited about the future of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, and I think businesses and stakeholders at MIPIM will be just as impressed by what the emerging sites have to offer.

“Attending such a large and influential event will help to put the North Kent Enterprise Zone on the map alongside MIPIM veterans who return year after year to network and gain new business. It’s the place to be to establish yourself in the market.

“Kent is already home to the highly successful Discovery Park Enterprise Zone, and I strongly believe the North Kent Enterprise Zone has the potential to follow in its footsteps.”

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