Kent has a thriving manufacturing sector that keeps growing

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Join the Makers

Kent and Medway is a key part to the UK’s manufacturing success, generating an estimated £3.2bn GVA a year. Some of the largest UK manufacturing companies are based here, such as leading skincare, cosmetics and fragrances manufacturers Coty, global defence, security and aerospace manufacturing company BAE Systems and from 2028, Brompton Bicycles.

In fact, more than 3,500 manufacturing companies are based in the Kent and Medway region, employing over 45,000 people. International brands have made their home in Kent, like Rolex, Pfizer, Bose, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Veetee, Sleepeezee, Hornby and Qinetiq.

3,500 +

manufacturing employers in the region.


manufacturing businesses in Medway, the region’s highest concentration.

20,000 +

University graduates in Kent & Medway each year. 53% in STEM subjects.

“Kent has really allowed us to triple the size of our business. From being a hub for manufacturing, it makes it very easy for us to get materials, recruit skilled staff to join the team, and grow our business,”

Catherine Barratt, Managing Director, Contracts Engineering

Find the right location

Locating in Kent will give you fast links London and Europe thanks to easy access to major motorways, international airports, major UK ports, and the High Speed rail services taking you to London in as little as 17 minutes.

In addition to the region’s manufacturing heritage, unparalleled connections to ports and green energy, makers choose to be here due to competitive commercial property costs that are up to 60% cheaper than London and 15% lower than the rest of the South East. That means businesses to get more space for their money and future-proof their manufacturing operations thanks to our state-of-the-art facilities.

Maidstone is a top destination for manufacturing businesses, with 370 companies now located in the county town’s mixed-use industrial parks. The 20/20 Business Park and Parkwood Industrial Estate are both located close to the M20, and offer companies cost-effective office, industrial and distribution space to let.

One of the UK’s leading science parks, Discovery Park boasts modern and flexible GMP manufacturing facilities. Whether you require pilot-scale facilities or large manufacturing premises, this world-class science park is your one-stop destination to grow your operations. On site renewable energy supplies can also power your manufacturing operations using clean resources, helping your business to remain sustainable and responsible.

The Medway region is home to 450 manufacturing businesses, employing 7,500 people. Innovation Park Medway is the latest addition to the region’s thriving industrial parks, allowing manufacturing companies to expand in a collaborative business environment. It complements the existing London Medway Commercial Park, Chatham Maritime and Chatham Centre and Waterfront. These mixed-used business parks offer office space as well as light industrial space for businesses looking to relocate in a more affordable location.

Finding the right talent

Manufacturers find a great qualified employees at a fraction of the London cost when relocating in Kent with three proactive Further Education Colleges, including the only Ofsted Outstanding facility in the country; and three universities with mature engineering schools.

According to the 2023 Graduate Outcomes Survey, Canterbury Christ Church is the best university in the UK for graduates in employment. The university has developed the Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise Hub, has added an additional 1,000 graduates into the labour market.

The University of Kent’s School of Engineering and the University of Greenwich Faculty of Engineering and Science deliver courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the Medway Campus in Chatham, Kent. Training the engineers of the future right on your doorstep.

Tailored Advice for your Business

Working closely with manufacturing businesses to provide the right courses and placements, our higher education services ensure graduates are ready to support your business growth.

With industrial units, science parks and new land already strategically earmarked for new commercial development, Kent is the perfect location for manufacturing businesses looking to distribute their products across the UK and Europe.

To support the booming manufacturing sector in the county, Locate in Kent has developed a free programme to help manufacturing companies grow.

For more information, contact our team today.

Read more about the support we offer to Kent’s manufacturing sector in our free factsheet.

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Plan your business move to Kent.

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    Speak to one of our advisors now to find out how our service can help you

    Karima Kamel, Business Development Manager
    Direct: +44 (0)1732 520700

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