Business moves bring 3,000 new jobs

An agency which encourages businesses to move to Kent brought nearly 3,000 jobs to the county last year.

Locate in Kent, based in Ashford, helped 46 companies invest in the region in the 12 months to April, either moving here from other areas or finding new premises for businesses already based in the Garden of England.

Nearly two thirds were from business and financial services, life sciences and ICT, identified by the agency as “high value, high growth sectors”.

More than half of the 2,915 jobs which the investments either created or retained in the county came from those industries.

Eight of the investments were from overseas, with three from the United States, two from Sweden, and the remainder from France, Italy and Austria.

Discovery Park

Chairman David Fitzsimmons said: “This was another successful year for Locate in Kent, and it is particularly pleasing that so many of the investments and jobs were in high value, high growth sectors, so further new jobs can be expected in due course.

“These investments and jobs are also benefiting every part of Kent and Medway.

This success would not be possible without the myriad of our public and private sector partners – this teamwork has been key.”

Kent County Council awarded Locate in Kent a three-year contract to be its inward investment agency in 2014.

It has placed a large amount of its resources into growing the county’s life sciences sector, which made up five of the organisation’s successful deals.

Kent County Council economic development chief Cllr Mark Dance, who sits on the Locate in Kent board, said: “Life sciences is a crucial sector for Kent and we have benefitted greatly from having modern, flexible premises such as Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent Science Park in Sittingbourne, and at the up and coming Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone.

“We now have a life science cluster group – Biogateway – up and running, and this will help Kent companies work together and assist in the attraction of more of these companies to Kent and Medway.

“I am already looking forward to another successful year for inward investment in Kent, despite the distractions of the European referendum.”

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