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Lord Heseltine, Chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission

Lord Heseltine, Chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission

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Lord Heseltine visits north Kent to see growth potential

Lord Heseltine, Chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission

Lord Heseltine, Chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission

On Wednesday, Lord Heseltine took a tour of north Kent as the chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission to see how businesses can influence the economic growth of the region.

The Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission was set up in March 2016 and has been tasked with developing a vision and delivery plan for growth around the river for North Kent, South Essex and East London up to 2050.

On his tour, the former deputy prime minister went to the Port of Sheerness, which handles 1.4 million tonnes of cargo and car imports a year and employs about 600 people. He was given a tour of the site by the owners, Peel Ports, and found out about the company’s ideas for new infrastructure on the River Medway.

Paul Barker, port director at Peel Ports London Medway, which includes Sheerness, said: “While there is much to be pleased about already, I’m very confident that we can aim even higher by working together to make the most of our shared vision for the Medway economy.

“Lord Heseltine and his colleagues on the Commission can make a major contribution to the process by facilitating the public sector leadership and investment necessary for private companies such as ours to flourish.”

Lord Heseltine also visited pharmaceuticals manufacturer Aesica in Queenborough; Junction 5 of the M2, where a £100 million improvement programme is set to start in 2019; and in Sittingbourne Kemsley Fields Business Park and Eurolink Business Park, which is home to 280 companies and 6,500 staff. He also visited Kent Science Park in Sittingbourne, where 60 companies are based employing 1,650 people.

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