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From professionals and senior officials to technical and manufacturing roles, Kent has a large, skilled workforce.
From professionals and senior officials to technical and manufacturing roles, Kent has a large, skilled workforce. From professionals and senior officials to technical and manufacturing roles, Kent has a large, skilled workforce.

ABOUT KENT

Finding the right place, a place that satisfies the needs of the business, your employees and their families, is fundamental to the success of any relocation.

CONNECTIVITY

Connectivity

Today’s businesses need to move fast and be well linked by road, rail, sea and air – as well as digitally.

Connectivity

CONNECTIVITY

Today’s businesses need to move fast and be well linked by road, rail, sea and air – as well as digitally.

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WORKFORCE & SKILLS

Workforce & Skills

From professionals and senior officials to technical and manufacturing roles, Kent has a large, skilled workforce.

Workforce & Skills

WORKFORCE & SKILLS

From professionals and senior officials to technical and manufacturing roles, Kent has a large, skilled workforce.

MORE

QUALITY OF LIFE

Quality of life

From open countryside to bustling towns, Kent is a place to work and live, not simply live to work.

Quality of life

QUALITY OF LIFE

From open countryside to bustling towns, Kent is a place to work and live, not simply live to work.

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SECTORS

Sectors

From multinationals to start-ups, clusters of like-minded companies operate in a range of industries.

Sectors

SECTORS

From multinationals to start-ups, clusters of like-minded companies operate in a range of industries.

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Did you know?

High Speed One takes rail passengers from Ebbsfleet International to London St Pancras in just 18 minutes. With the fast route stretching across the county to include Ashford International (only 38mins from London) and connecting with the Channel Tunnel, commuters can travel to and from London in speed and comfort.

Heralded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Channel Tunnel links Kent to Continental Europe. Combine the frequency of Eurostar’s trains, Eurotunnel’s shuttle services and ferry crossings plying the English Channel from Dover, and it’s easy to visit a range of European destinations at short notice.

Eurotunnel’s car and freight shuttles regularly travel between Folkestone and Calais. While Eurostar rail services run to many European cities ­– including Lille, Brussels and Paris ­– from the international stations at Ebbsfleet and Ashford. This means France and Belgium are less than two hours away.

The county’s large population gives it a workforce of 833,000, including more than 100,000 people who commute daily to work in London.

An estimated 112,000 Kent people are employed in finance and insurance; a further 90,000 in business services; Life science businesses employ 6,200 people; ICT companies 10,100. The county’s creative industries employ 9,800; agri-tech a further 18,000; cleantech and renewables 5,600; and manufacturing 33,700; with the logistics and distribution sector employing 19,700 people locally.

Businesses have easy access to a range of talent thanks to a steady stream of 14,500 Kent-based graduates a year. And with many institutions keen to work with employers to tailor their courses for the benefit of individual companies there is always the potential to grow your workforce thanks to a talented skills base.

The county has nearly 1,500 square miles of glorious countryside and 200 miles of unspoilt coastline to explore, and home to more historic homes and castles than any other county.

Proximity to London and Europe may be good for business, but it’s also good for people as Kent residents enjoy easy travel times for leisure activities and excellent value for money visiting nearby attractions.

Positioned between the markets of London and Europe means businesses can enjoy access to more than 520 million European consumers while also being close to the English capital. This makes Kent an ideal location for overseas investors to set up or expand their business.

Property costs are up to 60 per cent lower in Kent compared to London, combined with competitive salary costs this can result in operational savings of up to 50 per cent. And this saving does not mean a lack of quality and choice – a wide range of commercial and residential property is available in the county, which has more developable land than any other area in the south east of England.

From start-up loans to funding for major expansion plans, as well as a range of sector and location-based options, Kent has a wide range of funding available for growing businesses to make the most of.

Industry Sectors

Kent’s economic diversity, and close links to London and major European markets, means it can offer businesses in many sectors a competitive edge over their international competitors. Select your sector from the suggestions below or search here.

Kent location map

Areas of Kent

Thanks to its links to London and Europe, Kent has developed a diverse economy with longstanding strengths in many industries.

Kent is one entity split into several regions, with each part offering a great deal to businesses looking for a new home. Already competitive in terms of property and employment costs compared to London, access to funding support for job-creating companies means it is perfectly placed to serve customers in London, the rest of the UK, and continental Europe.

Thames Gateway & Medway

Covering north Kent and embracing Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale, this area is a government priority for growth and regeneration. Sitting close to London, businesses benefit from High Speed One rail services (18 minutes to London St Pancras from Ebbsfleet International Station) and links across the River Thames to the rest of the UK’s motorway network via the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford.

The area has attracted significant residential, retail and commercial development, with landmarks such as Bluewater, the major retail and leisure centre, leading the way. Today it’s the focus of exciting new proposals, including Ebbsfleet Garden City, London Paramount Entertainment Resort and Rochester Riverside.

The heart of Kent’s manufacturing community, the area is also home to a strong logistics, warehousing and distribution cluster of companies. Kent Science Park, near Sittingbourne, is home to a growing community of science and knowledge-based businesses.

Thanks to its London links, North Kent already offers back-office and administrative support functions for many London-based financial services and banking-related businesses, including Lloyds of London.

West Kent

Benefitting from its longstanding fast rail links to London and Gatwick airport starting from 30 minutes’ travel time, Kings Hill, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are home to leading law firms, accountancy practices and businesses with national reputations.

Its towns and surrounding villages are renowned for the quality of their housing, leisure and education.

Paddock Wood, built on Kent’s fruit growing businesses, now also has a thriving transport industry. The rural economy is well served by scientists at East Malling Research – a centre of international excellence for its top fruit and soft fruit advancements – and skills and training support come from the nationally respected Hadlow College.  

Maidstone and Ashford

With the M20 running between the ports of Dover and Folkestone, and on to the M25, this area is home to Maidstone, Kent’s county town and administrative headquarters, and Ashford.

Recent investments throughout Maidstone include the £95m Kent Institute of Medicine & Surgery, which looks set to pave the way for the Maidstone Medical Campus, and the prospect of attracting high quality medical-related businesses and thousands of new jobs.

With its road connections north to Medway and Swale, Maidstone has a cluster of business parks close to the M20 motorway, or built on the area’s industrial past, such as at Turkey Mill, a former paper mill, as well as nearby Kings Hill.

Ashford is a long-standing UK growth point and one of the fastest growing towns in the UK. Its railway heritage was brought into the 21st century when Hitachi set up their maintenance headquarters for high speed trains and Ashford is also the site of the UK’s first international train station outside London. Big names in the food and cosmetic industries such as Premier Foods, Brake Brothers, Coty Rimmel and Givaudan are also based in the town.

East Kent

Home to the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel at Folkestone, and the nearby International Station at Ashford with its Eurostar services, East Kent is one of the UK’s most important trade routes to mainland Europe. High Speed One train services put London only 38 minutes away from Ashford.

Many exciting and innovative businesses, including life sciences with a burgeoning cluster at Discovery Park, as well as the creative and digital industries, business services, and transport and logistics, have made East Kent their home.

Everywhere in East Kent is close to the Kent coast and rolling countryside offering great living and leisure opportunities and making it a compelling choice for anyone looking to improve their work-life balance.

Canterbury’s historic city, with its cathedral and world heritage site, is home to two leading UK universities and the new Marlowe Theatre – satisfying educational, as well as leisure and cultural needs.

Kent has an Enterprise Zone at Sandwich for more information click here.

Looking for commercial property in Kent? Let us help.

OUR PART OF THE SOUTH EAST

Ideally located between London and the continent, the county’s range of transport options, with train links across Britain and into Europe, six ports, a strong road network and easy access to a number of international airports, is perfect for business.

  Sea Ports 
  Airports 
  International Rail Stations 
  Channel Tunnel 

IMAGERY USED WITHIN OUR SITE:

Locate in Kent would like to thank - Canterbury Christ Church University, Discovery Park, Frogmore, Kent County Council, Liberty Property Trust UK, London Array, Medway Council, Thanet Earth, University of Kent and Visit Kent - for the use of their images on this website.