101 reasons
Kent makes
business sense

This is our definitive list of reasons why there is no better time to setup or expand your business in Kent.

Get in touch with the Locate in Kent team today to discuss your specific business needs.

01. Kent is the only UK county with High Speed 1

High Speed 1 is a major point of difference for Kent. The line connects London St Pancras to stations throughout Kent, and offers access to international hubs in France and Belgium, from Ebbsfleet, Folkestone and Ashford.

02. Kent has innovation at its core

With 14 innovation centres across the county, ambitious and innovative businesses are in great company in Kent.

03. Ideally placed to get things moving across Europe

Being home to Europe's busiest ferry port at Dover, access to European supply chains is easy. The Eurotunnel in Kent also sees 21.3 million tonnes of freight and 10.6 million passengers pass through it each year.

04. Kent commercial property costs are up to 60% cheaper than London

A wide range of business parks, development land, office and industrial space are up to 60% cheaper than London and 15% lower than the rest of the south east.

05. Enjoy the UK's low business tax rates

The UK has the lowest headline business tax rate in the G20 (20 major economies.) The current UK corporation tax rate is 19%, reducing to 17% by 2020.

06. More road networks by miles

Kent has more motorways by distance than any other county in the UK, with sections of the M2, M20, M25 and M26 totalling 173 km (107 miles) within the Kent boundary.

07. CASE STUDY YOOMI

"Locate in Kent helps businesses to find premises within the Kent region and also links organisations together with business opportunities, both in terms of suppliers and customers."

08. Kent has all the skills your business needs

Kent is home to a highly skilled workforce with 320,000 people in managerial or professional roles, meaning you can find the very best candidates for your business.

09. The number of enterprises keeps on rising

Thanet's economy is booming, with an 18% increase in enterprises in the past two years and employment rising at five times the UK average.

10. Kent has space for success

With space for starts ups to grow, 42 business parks and state of the art laboratories, Kent has a site for every type of business to succeed.

11. Tech businesses love our science parks

One of the biggest clusters of technology focused businesses in the south east is at Kent Science Park.

12. Kent to London in just 17 minutes on High Speed 1

Getting to the UK's capital is quick and easy on High Speed 1, travel in just 11 minutes to Stratford International and 17 minutes to London St Pancras from Ebbsfleet.

13. The largest urban area in the south east outside London

Medway is the largest urban area in the south east outside London with a population of 276,000 and 13,000 businesses.

14. CASE STUDY CRIPPS

"Kent is a great location for a modern, professional practice such as Cripps. As well as having its own diverse and vibrant economy, the county is well-connected for doing business with clients from both London and mainland Europe. The working environment is good, with modern, well-located business parks and Kent also offers an excellent quality of life."

15. Kent has a large skill base in manufacturing

Kent has an accessible workforce of over 40,000 skilled manufacturing workers.

16. The only UK county where you can drive directly to Europe

Kent is home to the world-renowned channel tunnel, connecting Folkestone to France in just 35 minutes. The fastest method of crossing the channel with your car.

17. We nurture the growth of creative businesses

Locate in Kent has helped create over 10,000 jobs in the creative sector and assisted over 177 companies in the industry to relocate or expand into Kent.

18. Superfast broadband across the county

92% of homes and businesses across Kent have access to superfast broadband.

19. Affordable talent without compromising on quality

Kent offers extremely good value for money in terms of access to skilled staff. The median salary in Kent is £28.5k, compared to £32.5k in Greater London.

20. Funding support available for your business

With more than 10 funding schemes available, we have a unique set of incentives in Kent to help your business thrive.

21. Affordable coastal living

Dover offers highly affordable coastal living against an iconic backdrop of the cliffs, castle and harbour.

22. Locate in Kent's PLUS service is tailored to your business needs

With sector specialists in the Locate in Kent team, we really understand what makes your business tick and can offer bespoke advice that meets your needs.

23. A healthy amount of development space in the medical sector

Kent Medical Campus, part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone offers the perfect opportunity for growth with over 1,000,000 sq. ft. of development space available.

24. All the knowledge and expertise you'll need

Companies setting up or expanding in Kent have access to our partner network of more than 50 specialist business experts that can help them succeed in Kent.

25. The UK's busiest inland waterway flows right past Kent

Kent has direct access to The River Thames, the busiest inland waterway in the UK.

26. Huge investment and regeneration makes it a great place for growth

In Ashford developments worth £519m are already underway or planned to start within the next 5 years.

27. The UK's gateway to Europe

With two international train stations, passengers can travel to Europe's top cities, including Paris, Brussels and Lille in less than two hours.

28. Start-ups excel in Kent

Start ups thrive in Kent. The latest one year survival rate for businesses in Kent is 93.6%, higher than the national and local average.

29. Quality grammar school education

23% of England's grammar schools are located in Kent. Together, the two Kent authorities have 38 of the 164 state grammar schools, there are also 54 independent schools to choose from.

30. A cultural hotspot

Thanet has over 2,000 listed buildings and 22 conservation areas. It has some of the finest heritage and cultural assets in the county, including the RIBA award-winning Turner Contemporary in Margate, Bleak House in Broadstairs and Britain's Royal Harbour in Ramsgate.

31. CASE STUDY PUREWHITE CREATIVE

"We relocated from London to Kent, by taking advantage of the significantly lower commercial property costs we were able to buy rather than rent. The fantastic connectivity means we can easily access clients and staff, from London, Kent and Essex."

32. An abundance of talent and expertise

Kent has four universities: Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent, University of Greenwich with a site at Medway and the University for the Creative Arts. The University of Kent is ranked in the top 25 of all universities in the UK.

33. The best location for distribution

Three major supermarkets have their distribution centres in Swale, including 920,000 sq. ft. for Morrsions, the largest pre-let warehouse in the UK.

34. Kent is home to leading UK horticultural research

The NIAB EMR, a leading UK research centre focused on the horticultural sector, is based in Tonbridge and Malling.

35. Our Enterprise Zones provide up to £275,000 in business rate discounts

Businesses can thrive at the two Enterprise Zones here - Discovery Park and North Kent. Not only can you benefit from business rate discounts of up to £55,000 per year, £275,000 over five years, the vast amount of available space presents a huge opportunity for growth.

36. Scientific and technical industries succeed in Kent

Sevenoaks is a location that attracts professional, scientific and technical businesses - in March 2015 there were over 6,370 businesses of this nature in Sevenoaks.

37. Unique business parks with a global reputation

Dover has unique business spaces - Discovery Park, a global science hub with Enterprise Zone status, and Betteshanger Sustainable Parks an emerging hub for land management, agri-tech, food security, and environmental technology.

38. CASE STUDY HKD

"A belief in cultural heritage and community engagement has always been core to our business, but we simply hadn't got the budget or commercial space to realise this vision in London. Moving to Margate has enabled us to share skills and work more with the community. We now have a large property with a studio, gallery for artists in residence and a meeting room we hire out."

39. Our team helps you stay ahead of the game

We know Kent inside out, from the hottest property locations to the newest funding streams so we can always help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

40. When it comes to shipping, Kent's got it covered

London Thamesport is one of only three UK deep-water ports capable of handling the largest container vessels.

41. Creative industries flourish in Kent

The number of Creative and Digital businesses setting up or expanding in Kent has grown rapidly between 2012-17, it is now home to over 8,700 companies in this sector. The districts seeing the biggest growth are Gravesham (150%), Dartford (121%), Tonbridge & Malling (107%) and Thanet (106%.)

42. Investment is booming across the county

There are a number of areas in Kent benefitting from huge investment including £500 million being invested in Tunbridge Wells town centre which will offer new office space, retail opportunities and leisure facilities.

43. Kent is planning for growth

There is currently £6.7 billion worth of infrastructure proposed including a Lower Thames Crossing project and extension of the Crossrail in Gravesham. And from 2018, there will be a direct Thameslink service from Maidstone East to Cambridge.

44. CASE STUDY SUNSTONE SYSTEMS

"Kent has high quality manufacturing facilities and through Locate in Kent we received expert advice and insight into finding the right properties for us to expand into."

45. A truly international location

Ashford is the UK's international town - only 38 minutes from London, 2 hours from Paris, and with direct links to Lille, Brussels, Lyon and Marseille.

46. Beautiful garden cities to work and live

In addition to Ebbsfleet Garden City, Otterpool Park, a new garden town settlement will provide up to 12,000 new homes and will be built over the next 30 years on a site close to junction 11 on the M20.

47. Kent's businesses are supported all the way

As well as Locate in Kent, there is a huge network of organisations that support local businesses, including Kent and Medway Growth Hub, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, The Kent Foundation and West Kent Partnership.

48. Kent's economy keeps on growing

Since last year, Kent's economy has grown by 3.9%, a higher rate of growth than seen nationally.

49. Kent is an employment success story

With businesses continuing to thrive, Dartford has seen the greatest growth in employment in Kent over the last 20 years.

50. Kent is home to the most secure data centre in the UK

The secure data centre is located within purpose built, ex-Ministry of Defence facilities that are armoured, nuclear bombproof and military-specified fortresses.

51. CASE STUDY ALGAECYTES

"The funding we received from the Kent and Medway Regional Growth Fund has allowed us to create jobs and expand the business. Due to the funding we've been able to move to Discovery Park which has led to us attracting more investors and customers. Without the funding we would be a few years behind in terms of growth and have nowhere near our current customer base."

52. Kent's innovative businesses are changing the world

Some of the most exciting new medicines have been born in Kent as well as technologies to help rid the world of land mines and reduce the carbon footprint.

53. Kent is so well connected

Kent's rail network is bigger than you may think, offering direct access from Kent to nine central London stations. It's quicker to travel from Ebbsfleet International station to central London than from London Gatwick to Victoria.

54. North Kent Enterprise Zone creates opportunity for growth

Selected as one of the south-east region's new business hubs for innovation and entrepreneurial growth, the North Kent Enterprise Zone is made up of six exceptional business sites across Gravesham, Medway and Maidstone.

55. Kent roads are set for a major upgrade

Over £70 million investment is planned for three new road projects in Canterbury as well as another £70 million in road infrastructure improvements in Tunbridge Wells, improving connectivity even more.

56. The UK is less taxing for inventors

The Patent Box offers a 10% corporation tax on profits from inventions patented in the UK.

57. Kent produces the finest talent in creative arts

Oscar-winning film makers and animators, world-renowned fashion designers, television presenters and Turner-Prize nominees are just some of the high-profile graduates who have come from Kent's University for the Creative Arts.

58. Kent has a building boom

Kent has a higher proportion of enterprises (15.5%) in the construction industry than there is nationally (11.8%.)

59. CASE STUDY CHILDREN SALON

"Kent and the surrounding London orbital has a highly skilled international workforce which has helped us grow. We could not have grown without the amazing team we have from all over the world that live both locally as well as commute to us from parts of London."

60. Our commercial property database is free to use

There are hundreds of available commercial sites across Kent listed on Locate in Kent's free to use property database.

61. A county steeped in history

There is lots of heritage to explore in Gravesham, with a thriving historic town centre, riverside leisure area and access to exceptional areas of outstanding natural beauty.

62. One of the greatest places for Bioscience

The University of Kent's School of Biosciences is one of the very best places to study in the UK, attaining a top ten position in the National Student Survey for three years running.

63. We offer free expert business advice for small and medium sized enterprises

Locate in Kent's business support services are free, meaning organisations of all sizes can make the most of the opportunity to grow in Kent.

64. Residential rental costs are lower than the rest of the South East

Kent is highly competitive when it comes to renting a home. The average monthly private rent is £826, compared to £984 in the wider south east region.

65. One of the UK's creative hotspots

Tunbridge Wells is one of the UK's top creative hotspots with a thriving cluster of creative and cultural businesses.

66. Kent connects on a global scale

With access to five international airports including London Heathrow and Gatwick within one hour, it is easy to connect internationally from Kent.

67. Commercial space on the rise

Swale has seen one of the largest increases in commercial floorpsace in the south east, with c. 3 million square feet of development since 2008.

68. Home to some of the country's most innovative agri-tech companies

Thanet has experienced a 330% growth in technology organisations over the last four years and hosts the largest and most advanced agritech sector in the UK worth £135m.

69. CASE STUDY ECOLOGIA

"Kent offers us excellent access to potential customers in London and across the South East, and a great location from which to manage our network of offices. With government investment in infrastructure projects such as Crossrail beginning to flow, our business is getting stronger and we are actively recruiting."

70. Kent is home to the top creative university

Kent's University for the Creative Arts is ranked as the top specialist university for the creative industries by the Complete University Guide 2018.

71. Kent has a thriving manufacturing sector

With over 3,000 manufacturing companies in Kent, from food production to electronics there is a thriving community that keeps on growing.

72. Inside London's travel zone network

Swanley and Dartford are within London Travel Zone 8 and part of the Transport for London Network, meaning even quicker and cheaper access to and from the capital.

73. Investment in a new engineering, science and technology centre

The centre, costing £6.12m will add an additional 1,250 graduates with higher level engineering and technology skills into the labour market by 2024.

74. Home to three UNESCO world heritage sites

Canterbury boasts UNESCO world heritage status across three sites.

75. An environment where innovative firms can thrive

Medway Council supports new and growth businesses with a package of free advice, funding and four business incubators with 128 units including Innovation Centre Medway and the new Innovation Studios Strood.

76. Be part of a lively and ever–growing creative community

Folkestone's internationally recognised Triennial arts festival centres on the Creative Quarter, which now hosts some 180 units of studio, retail, training, performance and residential space.

77. Space for growing businesses and families

Kent's popular county town Maidstone is growing, with 18,000 new homes expected by 2031.

78. Home to the UK's premier ferry port

Dover is home to Europe's busiest ferry port, a vital international gateway for the movement of passengers and trade. It is also an award-winning cruise port, the second busiest in the UK and hosts some of the world's most prestigious cruise lines.

79. Business is a great reason to visit Kent

Business travel is the third most popular reason for visiting Kent.

80. A strong comittment to funding in Bioscience

The School of Biosciences at the University of Kent is amongst the best-funded schools of its kind in the UK, with current support from the BBSRC, NERC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, EU, and industry.

81. CASE STUDY GENEA BIOMEDX

"Discovery Park in Kent ticks all of the boxes. It's close to all forms of transport to continental Europe as well as direct flights to North America and Asia, there are state of the art facilities and valuable support from local government."

82. One of Europe's most popular places to live, work and play

Kings Hill has been highlighted as one of the most successful live/work/play communities in Europe, with 2800 homes and 200 businesses.

83. We help you find the skilled people you need

Our in-house skills specialist provides solutions on workforce development and will ensure you have access to the optimum talent that your business needs.

84. CASE STUDY CHAPEL DOWN

"Kent is the Garden of England. In every sense it's a beautiful place to create, to grow, to nurture and to enjoy. Being a wine company that tries to do things other people can't, Kent is the place to be."

85. Essex and London are on our doorstep

Dartford is situated on the M25 providing direct links to London and outstanding connections to international markets. It is also home to the Dartford Bridge linking Kent to Essex.

86. An exceptional place to work and play

Kent has a land area of 1,368 square miles and just over 350 miles of coastline. With 33% designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, Kent is perfect for people who value short commuting and quality family time.

87. There is even more quality commercial space coming

Seven sites across Canterbury are currently in development and boast over 100,000m2 of new business space.

88. A one-stop-shop database

Our property portal provides access to hundreds of available commercial sites across Kent in one place, saving you lots of time in your property search.

89. Start-ups are well supported

The Business Terrace provides incubation space in Maidstone as well as a strong business support offer for new businesses.

90. Land ready for business development

Thanet, in East Kent has over 56 hectares of employment land available for development.

91. CASE STUDY SHEARWATER SYSTEMS

"When we created Shearwater Systems we considered a number of locations across England and Wales. Kent stood out because of the availability of high level IT skills, a range of graduate employment programmes and a genuine enthusiasm on the part of Kent County Council to attract high-tech businesses with the support of regional funding."

92. Kent is not just a business hotspot

Kent is one of the warmest parts of Britain. On 10 August 2003, in the hamlet of Brogdale near Faversham the temperature reached 38.5 °C (101.3 °F), the hottest temperature ever officially recorded in the UK.

93. More people live in Kent than in any other English county

With a resident population of just over 1.8m, Kent and Medway has the largest population of all of the English counties.

94. A fast-track for business development

Medway Council is a Unitary Authority and therefore offers a one stop shop for planning and regulation.

95. The best place to entertain

With more than 60 golf courses, motor racing circuits, cricket grounds, theatres and a number of top restaurants including The Sportsman in Seasalter, recently voted the best restaurant outside London, Kent offers a number of places to entertain your clients.

96. A home county in more ways than one

The average house price in Kent is just under £314,668 (Q1 2017) whilst the figure for the South East as a whole is just over £361,181. (41% cheaper than Oxford: £530,710 and 33% cheaper than London -avg £471,742.)

97. Attracting the best from home and away

Alongside outstanding homegrown talent Kent has access to 370,000 student population in London - a huge workforce that could commute into Kent via High Speed 1.

98. The ideal place for national HQs

Dartford's range of popular business stock hosts national headquarters and includes premier business parks such as Crossways.

99. Home to award winning beaches

Thanet offers an unrivalled lifestyle experience, boasting a laidback seaside vibe and breathtaking sandy beaches. It has 10 award-winning beaches. That's an award winning beach every 1.9 miles.

100. Outside London, Kent is the UK's third most popular destination for international visitors

Kent is the third most popular destination for international visitors in England outside London, attracting 60 million visitors a year.

101. Be surrounded by the best in the business

Ashford is home to Chapel Down, England's leading wine producer and many other successful brands such as BAE Systems, Hitachi, Coty, Kimberly Clark and Saga already call Kent home.

Brought to you by Locate in Kent