With a geographically attractive location and close links to both London and the European mainland, there’s no wonder why the county of Kent has become a hub of business in the South East.
Boasting more start-ups than Brighton, and with a net of over 50,000 businesses, Kent already hosts a thriving business community and a booming small business sector, with over 70% of businesses classifying as small, with between 1 and 4 employees.
Moreover, with a number of redevelopment initiatives spanning the county, such as the Thames Estuary Plan launched in early 2016, aiming to invigorate long term economic growth, the Garden of England is fertile ground for potential business investment.
Northfleet Commercial Development
In late 2016, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, in partnership with Gravesham Borough council, launched a proposal to develop the western part of the Northfleet Embankment East site. The potential 35 million investment would mark the latest in a number of cash injections across Kent, after the hugely successful 10-15 year regeneration program aimed at changing the face of Margate, and the first significant new commercial development in the Borough for 25 years.
The Northfleet Embankment East site already has a long history of industrial use, and provided jobs for the community in Gravesham for decades, which the modern development intends to revitalise. Predictions indicating that upwards of 500 jobs will be created, through the development of retail, hospitality and small business growth in the area.
The 29-acre plot of land, has been earmarked as the cultural hub spot of the larger Ebbsfleet Garden City expansion, with a potential seven hundred homes as well as a school to surround the business development.
Ebbsfleet Garden City
Whilst work on the site is still in proposal, construction on the larger Ebbsfleet Garden City site, which was once four quarries, has already seen more than 400 new homes built, with work on several hundred more already under way.
Overall, the project is on track to develop seven parks, 15,000 homes, a major new commercial centre and improved public transport over the next 15 years, leading to the creation of over 30,000 jobs.
Moreover, Ebbsfleet will have its own stop on the new high-speed rail line, linking passengers with central London in 17 minutes and Paris in two hours, opening up exciting prospective links with European businesses and becoming a hotspot for commuting professionals.
Small Business Benefits
Northfleet Embankment East is opening a proposed 240,000 square feet of employment floorspace, covering commercial units and workshops, with a specific focus on accommodating small and medium sized businesses.
Centered in the North Kent Enterprise Zone, companies that move into the space will be eligible for business rate discounts worth up to £55,000 per year up to 2022, in line with the area centric Government incentives.
Alongside the financial reimbursements, the proposal offers the opportunity to enter into a flourishing micro economic environment, and business community, within the larger confines of the county-wide business network.
The proposal was opened up for comment to the Gravesham community on January 17th, however, there is still time for the larger Kent business community to have its voice heard, and have a hand in shaping the economic growth of the county’s future.