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Offering business rate relief, loans, and a simplified planning regime The Discovery Park Enterprise Zone is one of many funding support opportunities on offer to companies moving to, or already based in Kent
Kent’s Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park, near Sandwich, is considered to be the most successful
Claim Enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in plant and machinery


Offering business rate relief, loans, and a simplified planning regime, Enterprise Zones are specifically designed to encourage business.

There are 24 across England, and Kent’s Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park, near Sandwich, is considered to be the most successful. Selected by the government in August 2012, the 220 acre site counts life science giants Pfizer and Mylan among its 100 tenants.

Companies relocating to Discovery Park are eligible for financial assistance, including up to 100% business rate relief to a maximum value of £275,000 over five years. There is also the potential to claim Enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in plant and machinery. Other benefits, such as lease payment holidays, low-rent incubator units and development funding are also available at the site.

For large projects requiring a design and build programme, a Local Development Order is in place which leads to a streamlined, quicker planning process.

In addition to the financial incentives on offer, such as the prospect of [Expansion East Kent] support, new arrivals can connect with a burgeoning community of nearly 125 companies employing an estimated 2,300 people.

As well as world-class science being undertaken on site, Discovery Park has welcomed the county’s leading legal and accountancy advisers, as well as recruitment consultants, design and marketing agencies, IT and telecoms experts.

Science-based training is delivered on site by East Kent College, which also has further education campuses at Broadstairs, Dover and Folkestone. Canterbury Christ Church University has also established a base at Discovery Park from where it will offer graduate training.

High Speed One train services to London are available from nearby Sandwich with plans for journey times to be reduced with the development of a Thanet Parkway railway station.

The Discovery Park Enterprise Zone is one of many funding support opportunities on offer to companies moving to, or already based in, Kent. For more information click here

Companies interested in finding out more about Kent’s Enterprise Zone should contact Locate in Kent’s team.

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 894,000, including more than 100,000 people who commute daily to work in London.

An estimated 96,000 Kent people are employed in business services; a further 23,700 in finance and insurance; Life science businesses employ 6,200 people; ICT companies almost 11,000. The county’s creative industries employ 13,700; agri-tech a further 17,500; cleantech and renewables 3,700; and manufacturing 36,900; with the logistics and distribution sector employing 17,660 people locally.

Businesses have easy access to a range of talent thanks to a steady stream of 14,000 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 600 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 55 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.


Great expectations for permission in principle

Owners of brownfield sites looking to bring forward housing-led development could be given permission in principle (PiP) after new planning legislation came into force, according to Ashford-based Hobbs Parker Property Consultants.



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Looking for commercial property in Kent? Let us help.


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.

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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.