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Innovation Park Medway set to get another £1.5 million of government money

Innovation Park Medway is set to be given a further £1.5 million of public money, bringing the total sum to nearly £10 million.

Voting members of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) agreed the proposal on Friday (April 12), subject to a revised business case being signed off in September.

The Local Growth Fund cash – funded by central government – will be spent on creating an extended road and footpath network, as well as other necessary infrastructure at the Rochester Airport site.

CGI images of what Innovation Park Medway will look like
CGI images of what Innovation Park Medway will look like

The money is in addition to two grants totalling £8.1 million, and a £650,000 publicly-funded loan. All of the work is due to be completed by March 2021.

Medway Council cabinet member Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con) said: “As far as we are concerned, there is a certainty this combination of projects which makes up Innovation Park Medway will be delivered within the growth period.

“There will need to be a revised business case which will be submitted in July for this board to consider in September.

“I believe the project will now proceed at a pace – not necessarily to the timetable we originally had – but I’m confident it will be delivered by the end of the growth period.”

The portfolio holder went on to tell colleagues that there has been “significant interest” from both national and local businesses wanting to move onto the site, labelling the project as a “good opportunity”.

The £1.5 million will bring the park's total investment to £10m
The £1.5 million will bring the park's total investment to £10m

Innovation Park Medway’s success is reliant on private companies investing in developing the land, and a consultant working on behalf of SELEP said this was the only “uncertainty” which may bring problems at a later date.

Edmund Cassidy, principal consultant for Steer who advise on funding applications, added: “The additional information we’ve been provided (by the council) gives us a far greater level of certainty around deliverability. That’s the only risk that we would raise.”

Medway Council believes 1,365 “new highly-skilled jobs in engineering and technology” will be created at Innovation Park Medway by 2030/31.

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