Published: 12:39, 05 January 2021
| Updated: 10:02, 06 January 2021
Never mind Covid, construction of the Maidstone Innovation Centre commissioned by the borough council has continued at pace.
The centre at the Kent Medical Campus off Bearsted Road in Boxley is on course to open next summer and borough has signed up its has its first tenant.
CREATION.co - a consultancy on health strategy - has booked to take office space in the centre.
The company's founder, Daniel Ghinn, said: "We are delighted. As an insights-led strategy company, we now work with most of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
"We are involved with delivering some of the most exciting data-led projects to teams around the world and we wanted to build on our significant growth in 2020 by creating a new strategic HQ.
“Having been a Maidstone-based company for over 20 years, we are really excited to be part of this new development at Kent Medical Campus.”
The firm is currently based at Maidstone House in King Street, but also has offices in Philadelphia n the USA.
The Innovation Centre, situated near Junction 7 of the M20, will be a mixed-use four-storey development providing 37,000ft of flexible office space and facilities for small and medium-sized enterprises working in the life science, healthcare and medical sectors.
Council leader Martin Cox said: "The Innovation Centre is a very exciting new facility for Maidstone which is going to help businesses and entrepreneurs in the med-tech sector stand-out from the crowd.
“One of the borough's priorities is 'Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure’ and this fantastic new building will do just that.
"It will encourage and enable new companies to launch their businesses right here in Maidstone, the business capital of Kent.”
The project is being part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, with Maidstone investing £5.2m in recovered business rates from the Enterprise Zone into the building.
When finished, the centre is expected to generate around 270 jobs and bring in a further £120m to the local economy over the next decade.