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Partners together: Richard Colley of UKTI; David Fitzsimmons, incoming Chairman of Locate in Kent; Warwick Morris, outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent; Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent; and Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, at Locate in Kent’s summer event at Turkey Mill, Maidstone

Partners together: Richard Colley of UKTI; David Fitzsimmons, incoming Chairman of Locate in Kent; Warwick Morris, outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent; Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent; and Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, at Locate in Kent’s summer event at Turkey Mill, Maidstone

Warwick Morris, Outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent

Warwick Morris, Outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent

Locate in Kent - Summer networking event, Turkey Mill

Locate in Kent - Summer networking event, Turkey Mill

Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development

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Kent and Medway plays key role in growing UK economy

Partners together: Richard Colley of UKTI; David Fitzsimmons, incoming Chairman of Locate in Kent; Warwick Morris, outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent; Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent; and Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, at Locate in Kent’s summer event at Turkey Mill, Maidstone

Partners together: Richard Colley of UKTI; David Fitzsimmons, incoming Chairman of Locate in Kent; Warwick Morris, outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent; Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent; and Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, at Locate in Kent’s summer event at Turkey Mill, Maidstone

Warwick Morris, Outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent

Warwick Morris, Outgoing Chairman of Locate in Kent

Locate in Kent - Summer networking event, Turkey Mill

Locate in Kent - Summer networking event, Turkey Mill

Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Kent and Medway is punching above its weight when it comes to attracting foreign-based companies into the UK, guests at Locate in Kent’s summer event heard on Tuesday (June 30).

The county’s important contribution to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UK was highlighted by Richard Colley, Head of Local Delivery at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Government department that works with overseas companies looking to invest here.

Guests at the event at Turkey Mill in Maidstone learned that in 2014/15, the UK had maintained its position as the number one European destination for FDI after attracting 1,988 projects, 12 per cent more than the previous year and a new record.

Of the FDI jobs created in the UK, 2,397 were in Kent and Medway.

Richard Colley outlined just how important FDI is to the UK economy, and why it is crucial for UKTI to work with local partners such as Locate in Kent and Kent County Council.

He said: “We look to Locate in Kent for quality propositions and a coherent, joined up offer to present to potential clients across the globe.

“We cannot achieve the results we do without partners such as you. We are a powerful team together. Other countries try to replicate what we do, but without success.”

The event also heard from Warwick Morris, who is stepping down as Chairman of Locate in Kent at the end of August after three years in the role.

He said: “I have found the role of chairman both stimulating and enjoyable. The organisation plays a vital role in attracting investment and jobs to Kent and Medway, from home as well as abroad and, as all the latest figures show, is doing so very successfully.

“We are lucky to have the support of exceptional partners and there are exciting things happening around Kent and Medway which show the area has a positive future.

“I am confident my successor is well placed to take forward Locate in Kent, and hope that he will gain as much satisfaction as I have from seeing jobs created in a county which has so much to attract growing, ambitious businesses.”

David Fitzsimmons of Penshurst, near Tonbridge, was named as the investment promotion agency’s new Chairman. He is a former vice-president of BP and is a current director and board member of a number of energy sector companies, and a Governor at the Skinners Kent Academy.

After a successful year last year in which it exceeded its target for jobs created and retained in Kent and Medway by reaching 3,325, Locate in Kent has had a positive start to 2015-16, achieving 767 jobs so far, more than 100 above the pro-rata target.

It came into the year with 292 active projects in the pipeline, with the prospect of 13,766 associated jobs.

Forty-four US companies and 17 from France are considering investing in Kent.

Most interest is in the high value life sciences sector, which received a further boost earlier this month with the launch of BioGateway at Discovery Park on June 23. The aim is to form Europe’s most complete life science network and build on Kent’s unique gateway to Europe.

Mark Dance, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said that it was the quality of the jobs being created and retained in the county as well as the quantity that was important.

He said: “The county’s growing prominence as a centre for knowledge-based sectors such as life sciences provides a firm foundation for future growth.

“Life sciences spans a wide range of skills, taking in research and development, manufacturing, agritech, medical devices and many more, all of which require highly skilled staff and all of which add exceptional value to the county and UK economies.

“It is an area we have focussed on building here and that hard work is clearly paying off.”

To find out how Locate in Kent can help you invest, grow or set up in Kent, visit www.locateinkent.com. 

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 enquiries@locateinkent.com


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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.