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Paul Wookey - Chief Executive of Locate in Kent

Paul Wookey - Chief Executive of Locate in Kent

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Assistance from Europe welcomed by Locate in Kent

Paul Wookey - Chief Executive of Locate in Kent

Paul Wookey - Chief Executive of Locate in Kent

Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, has welcomed news that for the first time parts of Swale and Medway have joined wards in Thanet and Dover, and, as of July 1, have been eligible to receive EU regional aid to support economic growth and attract investment.

The new areas approved by the European Commission means that these areas will now be eligible for Assisted Area Status (AAS) state aid - provided as regional aid - to promote the economic development of certain disadvantaged areas within the European Union.

Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, said:

“This is a massive opportunity for these parts of the county as it now removes the barrier to Regional Growth Fund support for firms employing more than 250 people in these particular areas, while at the same time ensuring that smaller businesses are eligible."

“Kent has a lot to offer businesses, but it is clear that there are parts of the county that need additional support in order for them to achieve their full potential. This decision will make Kent more attractive to larger firms and support the widest possible economic growth.”

The decision follows a submission by the UK Government which put forward areas it believed should be eligible to receive regional aid, which included Kent Science Park near Sittingbourne, as well as parts of Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham that offer development potential.

Regional aid is typically offered as capital investment for businesses in less prosperous local economies designated for AAS. Programmes offering regional aid include the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Although AAS does not guarantee regional aid funding, support is targeted at key employment areas and development sites in areas, where investment has been prioritised by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities.

The success in putting the case for continuing and extending AAS in Kent was the result of the combined efforts of the South East LEP, Kent & Medway Economic Board, Kent County Council, the district councils of Dover, Thanet and Swale, and Medway Council.

Locate in Kent was also joined in promoting the expansion of the area’s eligible for AAS by a number of businesses and representatives, including Discovery Park, Tillett Racing Seats and Thanet Business Forum.

For further information contact:
Andrew Metcalf or Andy Rayfield, Maxim 
• Tel: 01892 513033

Notes to Editors:

  • Locate in Kent’s expertise makes it the one stop shop for businesses looking to succeed in Kent. It offers companies a number of free corporate relocation services, which includes access to its comprehensive Commercial Property Search –, giving businesses the opportunity to search for premises in every part of Kent and Medway.
  • Established in 1997, Locate in Kent is funded and supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, local councils, the Kent Developers Group - a partnership of the area's leading commercial property developers and partners from the private sector.
  • For more information about Locate in Kent, call 01732 520700, email

Search and find the perfect commercial property in Kent for your business. Locate in Kent gives advice and relocation support to international and UK companies looking to move or expand. Call +44 (0)1732 520700 or email


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.

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