Kent has a thriving manufacturing sector that keeps on growing

Join the Makers

Kent and Medway is playing a key part in the UK’s manufacturing success, generating an estimated £3.2 billion GVA in 2016. With a strong focus on the industries of the future, the region is one of the most dynamic industrial regions in the South East with 3,525 manufacturing companies in Kent and Medway, of which almost half are focused on advanced engineering.

Some of the largest UK manufacturing companies have picked Kent to grow or expand their business, with one of the world’s leading skincare, cosmetics and fragrances manufacturers, Coty, choosing to set up a site in Ashford, and BAE Systems, an industry-leading defence, security and aerospace manufacturing company locating in Rochester.

Key decision factors to relocate include our great motorway links, with the M20 and M2 corridors offering easily access to London and mainland Europe from existing business parks and land strategically reserved for new commercial development. Competitive commercial property costs up to 60% cheaper than London and 15% lower than the rest of the South East also allow businesses to get more space for their money and future-proof their manufacturing operations thanks to state-of-the-art facilities.

“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,”

Troy Barratt, Managing Director, Contracts Engineering

Need more information?

The Locate in Kent team is here to provide you with more information, answer any questions and support you and your business.

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.


Ashford is home to some of the county’s top industrial parks, included the upcoming Stour Park, in Sevington. Located in the south-east of Ashford, this brand-new industrial park will include 1.6m sq. ft of warehouse, office and industrial space. This development is ideally located next to Junction 10a on the M20, allowing you quick access to one of the main UK motorways. Waterbrook Park and Orbital Park are two other key industrial destinations in Ashford, with flexible industrial units, storage and distribution facilities available on both sites.


Maidstone is a key destination for manufacturing businesses, with 370 companies now located in the County town’s mixed-use and industrial parks. 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. With quick train services to London, close proximity to major airports and UK ports, Maidstone is a popular base for manufacturing businesses looking to expand.

North Kent Enterprise Zone

Enterprise Zones offer manufacturing businesses key benefits, including discounts on business rate worth up to £55,000 annually for five years. This, alongside other incentives, is helping to create a strong manufacturing community in North Kent, where manufacturing companies can collaborate and thrive together. The North Kent Enterprise Zone offers three unique locations: Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent Medical Campus and Innovation Park Medway, focused on engineering, digital technologies and medical and life science. Flexible, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are being developed on each site to adapt to your business needs as you grow over the years.

Discovery Park, Sandwich

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 manufacturing operations sustainably. They also have their own renewable energy supply on site to power your manufacturing operations using clean resources.


The Medway region is home to 450 manufacturing businesses now employing over 7,000 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 as well as light industrial space for businesses looking to relocate in a more affordable location. Lower business costs are a key factor leading businesses to choose Medway, as well as access to main motorways and the riverfront, an ideal location for businesses shipping manufactured goods in and out of England. For more information on key locations in the county and how we can help your business, download our factsheet.

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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.

Kent's manufacturing sector - engineer using tablet in factory

Tailored Advice for your Business

To support the booming manufacturing sector in the county, Locate in Kent has developed a free programme to help companies already established here or looking to relocate. Our manufacturing specialist will assist you in growing your business through a series of actions, including:

  • A manufacturing audit to establish your key areas of focus
  • Lean benchmarking to provide you with a sector specific score 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 about our free support service or how we can help your manufacturing business succeed in Kent, get in touch today.

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

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

Karima Kamel, Business Development Executive
Direct: +44 (0)1732 520700
Mobile: 07552 217 917

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