Science, manufacturing and logistics leads business enquiries as Locate in Kent looks forward to bringing more investment to the region.

Locate in Kent, the investment promotion agency for Kent and Medway has released its review of 2023 including a look ahead to the business opportunities expected to deliver jobs and investment in the new year.

Simon Ryan, Investment Director, Locate in Kent, said: “Kent is so strategically important to Britain’s prosperity as our Investment Prospectus revealed in October and we’ve seen evidence of that again throughout  the year – with logistics, manufacturing and science related space in particular performing strongly as the Kent Property Market Report confirmed.

“The enquiries we get and the support we deliver to companies interested in expanding in Kent include FDI expansions for Jazz Pharma, Hochiki, Amazon, DHL, Borg Warner and BAE Systems. 2024 meanwhile looks to be an important one for investment as we mark the 30th year of the opening of the Channel Tunnel, including big decisions to be made on further infrastructure improvements needed to unlock investment and job creation across the region.”

The past 12 months have seen a number of new employment sites successfully delivered including the 1.6 million sq. ft. logistics park at Panattoni Park in Aylesford and the first phase of Loc8 off junction eight of the M20, near Maidstone. The second phase of Clearbell’s prime logistics, industrial and office development will be ready to occupy in Q2 2024.

Innovation Park, Medway located at Rochester Airport has seen progress on the completion of the civil work to enable 645, 834 Sq. Ft. (60,000 sqm) of space for technology, advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based businesses that will ultimately create around 3,000 jobs. The £2.4 billion NeuConnect interconnector project, that will link the energy markets of the UK and Germany once complete in 2028, started this year with work on the £450 million Cleve Hill Solar and Energy Storage Park, now underway.

Success stories this year have included Chapel Down and Speciality Breads expanding in Kent. Japanese manufacturer Hochiki opened its new £5.5 million facility in Gillingham. Firms moving to Kent include two USA firms Laserlight – the billion-dollar US satellite business investing in Dover – and Mission Produce expanding to Dartford from California. Caterham Cars also returned to Dartford after a 20-year absence and Recipe Box moved to Sittingbourne from the West Midlands.  Barclays Eagle Lab launched at Discovery Park, alongside an expansion of the site’s investment fund (Discovery Park Ventures) for innovative science and technology start-ups.  New arrivals included DLOC Systems, a bio-tech company developing organ-on-a-chip technology.

In 2024 construction will start on Medway One, the redevelopment of the former Kingsnorth Power Station site, owned by leading international energy company, Uniper. Over the next decade 3,552,087 Sq. Ft. (325,161 sqm) of employment space for a new manufacturing hub and waste-to-power plant.  The site has the potential to deliver over 2,000 full time equivalent jobs.  Work is also expected to get underway on transforming Manston Airport into a regional cargo focused facility, new cargo handling and a hotel at the Port of Dover, the expansion of laboratory space at Kent Science Park, and a new battery storage facility at Richborough Energy Park in Dover district.

Three remaining units at Click Aylesford, the 300,000 Sq. Ft.  (27871 sqm) logistics and industrial space near junction 5 of the M20 will be available from the summer. Planning decisions meanwhile are expected on the Lower Thames Crossing and Brompton’s proposals for a new bicycle factory – and new global HQ – in Ashford.

For more about investment opportunities in Kent and Medway, visit: www.locateinkent,com


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