The final go-ahead has been given for land in New Romney to be linked up with a road and services, paving the way for the creation of 480 jobs over the next decade.
The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) announced today (23 November 2020) that a Folkestone & Hythe District Council business case for the use of its land in Mountfield Road has been given the thumbs up and secured £3.53 million of government funding.
The Getting Building money, agreed in August but subject to the completion of a successful business case, will enable a road to be built and utilities installed on the five hectares of land.
The project, supported by Kent County Council and the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, is one of six in Kent chosen for being shovel-ready and able to help the local economy to recover. A condition of the funding is that this work has to be completed by March 2022 and that more than 480 jobs are created for the local area over a ten year period. Already interest has been shown in the land by existing businesses. It is also hoped that space will be developed to provide studio accommodation for creative businesses as part of a later phase.
Councillor David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: "This is tremendous news and the icing on the cake for the New Romney Employment Hub. The council's economic development team has worked very hard to secure this funding which will enable land to be brought into use allowing businesses to both expand from existing premises or to provide space for those beginning new ventures."
Chair of SELEP's Kent and Medway Economic Partnership federated board, Geoff Miles said: "These funding decisions will provide new facilities to boost our creative and life sciences sectors, as well as develop much-needed workspace for the county's SMEs."
South East LEP Chair Christian Brodie added: "Our partners and local areas have worked hard to get this funding into the local economy, where it's urgently needed. We are working in line with central government's Build Back Better initiative and are confident that these projects will deliver jobs, housing and the best support for businesses. Investment in the south east extends to the rest of the country. When we thrive, the UK thrives."
Work on building a new business hub, which is stage one of the Mountfield Road, development, is to begin in December and is due for completion in Autumn 2021.
The £2 million business hub is a joint venture made possible through Folkestone & Hythe District Council securing a funding package with the East Kent Spatial Development Company (EKSDC) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's (NDA) socio-economic programme.
F&HDC and EKSDC are contributing equally to the development by each funding £735,000 of the cost. The NDA grant is meeting £500,000 of the cost of the construction of the centre and providing a further £205,238 to allow a business adviser to be based at the business hub for four years to support local businesses.
Date published: 24 November 2020