Locate in Kent launches new package for Businesses looking to set up in the county

Locate in Kent has launched a new business support offer designed to attract UK and international businesses seeking to set up, relocate or expand in Kent and Medway.

As a response to major shifts in the way businesses operate owing to the pandemic, Locate in Kent has observed an increasing number of organisations in the UK, searching for a cost effective and well-connected foothold in the South East, and overseas businesses looking for a base in the UK with access to talent, international connectivity and a growing infrastructure.

The inward investment organisation’s new ‘soft landing’ offer has been designed to enable these businesses to set up operations in Kent with ease and expert guidance throughout the entire relocation or expansion process. Locate in Kent will support companies to maximise opportunities in the county, as well as providing a helping hand to tackle trade during and after COVID-19.

To help deliver the soft landing offer, Locate in Kent is collaborating with key partners including, Azets, Brachers and Kent HR, Cripps Pemberton Greenish, Crowe UK, Growing Kent and Medway, HSBC, Kent Science Park, Kreston Reeves, London South Bank University, Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone Studios, New Appointments Group, SELEP, Shores and Legal, University of Greenwich, University of Kent and Whitehead Monckton.

Gavin Cleary, CEO at Locate in Kent, commented: “Kent has a vibrant mix of established home-grown SMES and thriving multinationals. We’re now noticing an uplift in businesses from overseas and the UK, including those in London, looking for a new commercial base in Kent. The county offers a strong proposition, with its cost-effective property, excellent connectivity and large talent pool.

“Our soft landing package means that relocating to Kent and Medway is now easier than ever before, with companies able to access all the help and support they need to succeed. This package is part of a suite of support for businesses that Locate in Kent will be leading on over the coming months.

“As well as supporting organisations already based in Kent and Medway to bounce back via our Future Forward programme, we are also looking to ensure businesses can relocate and expand in Kent and Medway easily, stimulating jobs and investment to support economic resilience and recovery in the county.”

Darren Rigden, Partner at Crowe UK, added: “Crowe UK is very pleased to be involved in Locate in Kent’s new soft landing package. As a national firm which is part of the eighth largest global accounting network with offices in over 130 countries, we work with many international businesses. We have two offices in Kent which is truly a great place to relocate your business, with quick links to both London and Europe, and have helped many international businesses locally, from start-up companies to established businesses, which need accounting, tax and outsourcing support.”

The soft landing package includes:

  • One free desk space in a state-of-the-art and safe co-working facility for one year at Maidstone Studios or Kent Science Park
  • Access to a Business Boost grant upon business registration in the region
  • 1-2-1 business and sales support
  • Supply chain introductions and external support programmes
  • Specific start-up and scale-up support programmes for Film and TV businesses
  • Expert mentorship and accelerator programme for Food Tech companies
  • Business rate relief and access to mentors for medical and life science organisations
  • Free professional accounting and legal advice from top firms
  • Free business registration and immigration support
  • Help to find the right commercial space
  • Information and statistics on the local economy, including demographics, infrastructure and labour market data
  • Familiarisation visits to the region
  • COVID-19 guidance and support

The soft landing offer also supports businesses to attract talent with guidance on wage comparisons, recruitment assistance, reduced recruitment fees on a case-by-case basis, local workforce information and support for key employees and their families moving to the area.

Locate in Kent provides free strategic advice regarding setting up, expanding or relocating in Kent and Medway, from property searches to funding advice and everything in between. Locate in Kent has helped more than 1,250 businesses invest in Kent and Medway and has seen almost 80,000 jobs created and retained since 1997, due to its unrivalled knowledge of the region’s business landscape.

To find out more about the soft landing package, and other avenues of support from Locate in Kent, please click here.

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