Kent has a thriving manufacturing sector that keeps growing

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More than 3,500 manufacturing companies have made Kent their home, employing over 45,000 people.

Competitive commercial property costs are up to 60% cheaper than London and 15% lower than the rest of the South East, allowing businesses to get more space for their money and future-proof their manufacturing operations thanks to our state-of-the-art facilities.

Kent and Medway is playing a key part in 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 and industry-leading defence, security and aerospace manufacturing company BAE Systems.

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.

You will also find a great number of highly-qualified employees at a fraction of the London cost when relocating in Kent. The University of Kent’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts in Chatham Maritime trains the engineers of the future right on your doorstep. Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) has developed the Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise Hub, which will add an additional 1,250 graduates into the labour market by 2024. 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.

3500 plus

manufacturing companies in Kent and Medway.


highly-skilled engineering ad technology graduates by 2024.


manufacturing businesses, Medway has the highest number in the region.

“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

Key Locations – Find Warehouses, Workshops and Industrial units in Kent

With easy access to major motorways, locating in Kent gives you fast links to international airports, whether Gatwick or Heathrow, UK ports including Folkestone and Dover, and HS1 train services taking you to London in under 20 minutes. The perfect location for all manufacturing businesses looking to distribute their products across the UK and Europe. With state-of-the-art industrial and science parks, you will be able to find the right industrial property for your needs. We are here to help you understand the strengths of each site, get in touch with our manufacturing experts today to find out more.

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 at competitive costs

With over 45,000 people already working in the manufacturing sector in Kent and Medway, you will find a great number of highly-qualified employees at a fraction of the London cost when relocating in Kent. The University of Kent’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts in Chatham Maritime trains the engineers of the future right on your doorstep. They work closely with manufacturing businesses to provide the right courses and offer relevant placements, ensuring their graduates are ready to support your business growth. Other universities in the county include the University of Greenwich as well as Canterbury Christ Church University, allowing you to tap into a wider and more versatile talent pool.

Tailored Advice for your Business

To support the booming manufacturing sector in the county, Locate in Kent has developed a free programme to help manufacturing companies grow.
Our bespoke manufacturing support packages are designed to help you set up or scale up your operations in Kent. Our manufacturing specialists will help you grow your business through:

  • A manufacturing audit to establish your key areas of focus
  • Lean benchmarking and capability gap analysis complete with tailored recommendations
  • Reshoring advice to access specific tools and guidance
  • Supply chain advice to help you set up and identify new opportunities
  • Grant funding advice for SMEs to help you unlock the right financial support
  • Introductions to exemplar manufacturers who will share their best practise with you

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.

Call the team on 01732 520 700 or complete the below form and one of out experts will be in touch shortly.

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

    Karima Kamel, Business Development Manager
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Direct: +44 (0)1732 520700

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