It’s all over the local news – the new Innovation Park at Rochester Airport is ploughing ahead. But what we should really focus on is the 1,300 jobs this will create. Because what do jobs mean? Prizes (well, income) for property investors.
The park is aiming to be the prime Medway location for high-quality technology, engineering and manufacturing companies. And with perfect positioning between London and the continent, it’s easy to see why it’s anticipated there will be so much interest. The added sweetener is that firms could benefit from business rate discounts of up to £55,000 annually for five years. These rate reductions are due to the Innovation Park Medway being part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone. Enterprise Zones are Government-designated areas focused on business and entrepreneurial growth. Each of the three Zones (the other two being Ebbsfleet Garden City and Kent Medical Campus) have a primary sector focus, supported by complementary specialisms and supply chain services. At the Innovation Park that is technology, engineering and manufacturing, for whom the reduced business rates and excellent rail and road links could be the perfect incentive to relocate.
I’ve read quite a few articles and documents about the Innovation Park and what I found really interesting is that the investors would be “vetted” to make sure their long term business plan was not only focused on financial incentives, but also growing the local economy. Sounds dreamy, I wonder how many passed the test?
The Innovation Park is a big site – approximately 100,000m2 – and it will no doubt attract a variety of companies and investors. The first residents moved in back in May, when the staff of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance relocated there from Marden. Their new office space was described as a “unique, bespoke and brand new modular building”, just what you might expect from a modern new build.
The official launch event happened last month and Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) reportedly told attendees that the site would complement the area’s existing economy, as well as its higher education provision. Medway has an ambitious vision to be a leading waterfront university city by 2035, so it’s no surprise that the higher education provision was mentioned. This of course, is even better news for property investors. Not only will the Innovation Park boost the economy and increase jobs exponentially, but if Medway can achieve this university city status, then student population may reach heights never seen before in Medway.
If anyone attended the launch or knows anymore about the scope of the new project, I’d love to hear from you. You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact me on LinkedIn or Facebook, or call me on 07944 726676.
By the way, Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council have drafted a masterplan for Innovation Park Medway, which they are consulting on from Monday 17 September until midday on Monday 29 October 2018. You can read the masterplan documents and complete their online survey, if you wish to give your views on the development.