Join the Creative Revolution
One in eight companies are now working within the creative industries – and Kent is emerging as one of the leading creative hubs in the country.
Kent is the perfect location for creative, digital and tech businesses.
Amongst the 7,000 creative companies located in Kent, more than 1,500 have located here over the past five years partly thanks to a surge in creative talent leaving London for Kent’s exciting coastal communities.
Digital start-ups, film & TV studios, artistic producers, games manufacturers, and entertainment companies have created an ecosystem of expertise and growth across the county, from household names to SMEs.
“Some people are currently making their living by going up to London and back daily. What that means, if you move here with your business, is that there are some really talented people who I’m sure would like to live and work in the county.”
Key locations – Find creative studio space in Kent & Medway
Kent and Medway boast a number of strategic locations for creative and digital businesses, including the Folkestone Creative Quarter, the Maidstone TV Studios or the Chatham Historic Dockyard. On top of these creative hotspots, towns such as Margate, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells have also been taking full advantage of the county’s booming creative sector.
The county boasts a number of strategic locations that are primed for creative and digital businesses to expand, including the Folkestone Creative Quarter, Maidstone TV Studios, Newtown Works Ashford and the Chatham Historic Dockyard. On top of these creative hotspots, towns such as Margate, Folkestone, Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells have also been taking full advantage of the county’s booming creative sector, building collaborative communities and consistently outrank the capital when it comes to quality of life.
New initiatives such as the Creative Estuary – part of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor – and the planned London Resort theme park (built in partnership with ITV, BBC and Paramount Pictures) will only build interest in Kent’s creative potential.
The Creative Quarter in Folkestone has become a go-to destination for both new and well-established creative businesses. An urban village of designers, filmmakers, musicians, web developers and artists, this creative collective oversees 115 studios and offices and more than 50 shops to create support for this ever-growing collaborative community.
The Creative Quarter offers a collection of retail, office and artist studio space for small, medium and large companies, and is supported by the arts regeneration charity, Creative Folkestone. International businesses are consistently choosing the seaside town over London when looking at expansion plans, with major players in the sector calling this creative hotspot home, including Saga, Sleeping Giant Media, and Progress Creative.
The Maidstone TV Studios is one of the UK’s largest independent high definition TV broadcasting facilities, providing film, TV, video, radio and photography businesses with the very best versatile recording studio space available. The site contains two large studios for hire, with flexible lighting solutions and fully configurable production, viewing, lighting and sound galleries, and state of the art post-production suites.
Past shows filmed on site include the 2019 Election Debate, Inside No 9, Jools Holland Annual Hootenanny, Take Me Out, the Rugby World Cup 2019 coverage. On top of the exceptional recording studio space, the Maidstone TV Studios also offer outstanding office space.
One of the most exciting developments for film and TV production in the UK, Newtown Works is a planned mixed-use development centred on the creation of a new TV and film production space.
Complimenting existing media venues such as Maidstone Studios, Newtown Works intends to maximise its proximity to London and build a new venue for global streaming production companies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. With 80,000 sq. ft. of TV and film studios, a 27,000 sq. ft. media village for SMEs and freelancers, a conference and events centre, a 120-bedroom hotel, and supporting leisure and retail space, the new development aims to put Ashford at the forefront of the digital revolution.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a world-famous maritime heritage site, but is also home to a number of creative enterprises. Dovetail Games is a leading games developer and publisher of simulation entertainment software creating digital hobbies enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of passionate enthusiasts across the globe.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham also houses the Joiners Shop, one of Kent’s most unique and exciting centres for creative businesses. This 200-year-old structure provides businesses with 1,750sqm of high-specification creative space, including studios, workshops, office units, meeting rooms and communal facilities, in a stunning environment. An ideal location for SMEs looking to work alongside some of Medway’s top creative and digital businesses.
A short walk away from the historic city centre, The Fruitworks offers up to 80 desks in open plan rooms and flexible packages to suit your business needs. Complete with chill-out areas to meet the other businesses on site, but carefully adapted to meet Covid-19 restrictions where applicable, the Fruitworks allows freelancers and start-up businesses to work in a collaborative and friendly environment in one of England’s most famous historic cities.
A creative talent pool..
A highly-skilled, creative talent pool is easily accessible in Kent, with over 9,000 people already working in the creative industries, an abundance of home-grown staff trained at some of the top Universities including the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), and a London workforce within an easily commutable distance.
The UCA is ranked as the number one specialist university for the creative industries in the UK, delivering a growing pool of creative talent to local businesses. With campuses in Canterbury and Rochester, the University for the Creative Arts offers over 120 courses which provide students with the skills Kent businesses need to support their growth. Beside the UCA in Canterbury and Rochester, Kent is home to three more universities, including the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Greenwich. Each offers courses specialising in film, multimedia, digital technologies and performing arts, allowing you to find the best employees right on your doorstep. Need more information on finding the right talent for your creative business? We’re here to offer advice. Download our Guide below or get in touch.
More than 10,600 people are employed in the creative industries across the county, with an abundance of home-grown staff trained at our four universities – including the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) – and a London workforce within an easily commutable distance. Creative businesses in Kent come together regularly to collaborate or simply enjoy the incredible quality of life the county has to offer.
Immerse yourself in creative influence and culture
Creative businesses in Kent come together to collaborate or simply enjoy the incredible quality of life the county has to offer. Whether it’s at one of the county’s famous Digital Meetups (in Canterbury, Ashford, Folkestone or Maidstone), summer events on the Harbour Arm in Folkestone or B2B expos, meeting like-minded businesses is easier than ever here, and you’ll be able to create long-lasting connections that will support your business growth over the years.
Thanks to the county’s great connectivity, you will also be able to reach your clients in London or attend national creative events in the capital from just 17 minutes thanks to HS1, the high-speed rail service from Kent to London St Pancras. This proximity has played a key part in Kent’s creative and digital success, with businesses able to travel to central London faster than if they had to cross the capital. Kent is an attractive location for creative and digital businesses. Our team is here to help you locate here, whether you are a new or existing business. Download our Guide or contact a member of the team to find out more about Kent as a business location.
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