Invest in Maidstone

A fantastic environment for businesses to grow and succeed.

We’ve got a strong vision for the future of Maidstone. Blending rural and urban living, with a dynamic multi-sector economy, excellent public services, and above all, high quality of life. We welcome any and all investment, entrepreneurial ventures, and start-up businesses that’ll help that vision materialise.

Here, you can learn about why it makes sense to invest in Maidstone, what we expect to see in the future, and where the current opportunities lie.

Why Maidstone?

Our adopted Economic Development Strategy sets out our ambitious plans to ensure Maidstone benefits from the economic recovery and delivers on jobs to fuel a growing economy sustainably.

  • Underpinning this overall vision are five key priorities around which our plan for future activities to realise Maidstone’s economic potential is framed.
  • Open for business. Maximising our economic role at the heart of Kent and a strong public sector base to create a positive and entrepreneurial environment in which businesses can grow and thrive
  • A greener, more productive economy. Diversifying our economic base and boosting productivity by growing high value activity, including existing strengths in life sciences and new opportunities for clean growth
  • A thriving rural economy. Realising the potential of our rural assets (such as sector strengths in viticulture and tourism) and overcoming barriers to growth through enhanced infrastructure and connectivity
  • Inclusive growth. Taking an inclusive approach to growth to ensure that all of our communities can benefit from economic success and prosperity
  • Destination Maidstone town centre. Re-imagining Maidstone’s town centre as a vibrant, mixed-use destination with a welcoming economy befitting a modern county town

The strategy will impact economic, social and environmental wellbeing for the whole of the borough. But it’s not the only factor that makes Maidstone the perfect location to invest in.

Designed to encourage entrepreneurial ventures

Maidstone Borough Council is committed to providing a dynamic, inspiring and highly supportive environment to establish the town as the place to start a business in the South East.

A key component of the Council’s package of support to start-up businesses is delivered through its Growth Accelerator, The Business Terrace, which provides a new generation of flexible workspace for businesses in Maidstone.

The Business Terrace acts as a focal point for the wider business community within the borough. Launched in September 2015, it’s a place where start-up businesses and entrepreneurs can collaborate comfortably in a relaxed, professional environment.

Since its launch, it’s hosted three of Kent’s “Top 30 under 30” entrepreneurs, two successful Dragon’s Den applicants, and more than 100 other innovative businesses in a variety of sectors.

Maidstone Borough Council provides unlimited one-to-one business support and advice, delivered by high-quality, full-time business advisors, alongside a comprehensive programme of events, seminars and workshops to help businesses to start, locate and grow within Maidstone.

The Business Terrace brings together like-minded individuals who influence, inspire and energise one-another. The format facilitates informal collaboration and networking, creating opportunities for start-up firms to grow and thrive. More than 600 people have been supported to start up or grow their business so far.

A prime spot for business relocation

Maidstone is open for business, with an excellent supply of high quality, affordable and flexible commercial premises, and numerous exciting new development sites. With office costs up to 60% lower than London, Maidstone is the logical choice for growing businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations.

The borough continues to attract significant investment with projects recently opened and planned totalling more than £300m

Maidstone benefits from a highly skilled workforce that generates more than £3billion in Gross Value Added, a figure that is growing at nearly 4% per year. Maidstone is home to some of the best education facilities in Kent providing a vital talent pool for local businesses and access to thousands of new graduates each year.

Of the 11 secondary schools based in the borough, Maidstone has five rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, more than any other town in Kent and a further four rated ‘Good’.

Mid Kent College has so far invested £40 million in its Maidstone Campus, offering an extensive range of academic learning and vocational training services. The universities of Greenwich, Kent and Canterbury, and Canterbury Christ Church are situated nearby.

Business in Maidstone can help you through the process, whether you are looking for apprentices, full or part time staff, or something more specialist. We can liaise with the local college, schools and recruitment agencies to let you get on with the day-to-day running of your business.

Opportunity areas

The council has identified opportunity areas in the town centre that have significant redevelopment potential but also have constraints, such as listed buildings on or around them.

These opportunity areas include:

Maidstone Borough Council believes these historic areas should be seen as an opportunity to provide some distinctive developments and is in the process of master planning the sites in preparation for future development.

Projects underway

Maidstone continues to attract significant investment, with projects recently launched and planned totalling more than £300m. These projects include:

Transport infrastructure

Maidstone Borough Council and are bringing forward ambitious plans to redevelop the area around Maidstone East Railway station.

Maidstone East redevelopment

Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council are bringing forward ambitious plans to redevelop the area around Maidstone East railway station, including the adjacent commuter car park and Cantium House. This multi-million-pound landmark regeneration project is crucial to transforming this key gateway to the County Town.

Maidstone Bus Station refurbishment

The proposed new look will modernise the area and help contribute to the vitality and viability of Maidstone by improving its overall image as a modern and well cared for place with excellent public transport facilities. MBC are currently holding a public consultation that will run until 17th September 2020, with work due to begin Autumn 2020.

If you would like to have your say on the new look bus station, please go here.

View background information and the scheme proposal.

Keep Maidstone moving

Maidstone is the place where several key routes, A20, A26, A229 and A249, meet and connect with 4 junctions of the M20. The Keep Maidstone Moving schemes aim to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution.

Currently there are 3 phases to the scheme.

  • Phase 1
    • A20 Coldharbour Roundabout
  • Phase 2 – A229 Loose Road corridor, includes:
    • Armstrong Road, Park Way and Sheals Crescent
    • Wheatsheaf junction
    • Cripple Street and Boughton Lane
  • Phase 3
    • Ashford Road and Willington Street
    • Sutton Road and Willington Street

Retail and leisure

Maidstone Borough Council is committed to enhancing the town centre to further improve the destination as a high-quality location for retail and leisure.

Public realm improvements

Maidstone Borough Council is committed to enhancing the town centre to further improve the destination as a high-quality location for retail and leisure. A major programme of works is underway to improve the public realm, giving the town centre a more pedestrian feel, to create a fantastic and accessible environment to live and work in.

As a result of the regeneration, the connectivity and aesthetics of Maidstone town centre will be enhanced, enabling Maidstone to maintain its place as one of the premier town centres in Kent. The project will deliver a distinctive, safe and high-quality place that befits a 21st Century County Town.

Lockmeadow refurbishment

Maidstone Borough Council recently secured the head lease of the complex in order to allow the Council to actively manage the centre in a bid to make it a key destination for leisure activities in the town centre and to support one of its strategic priorities to make Maidstone a Thriving Place. As part of that, the Council plans to improve and refresh the Complex to help attract and retain tenants, and to make the venue an attractive and compelling destination for residents and visitors.

The proposed improvements include redesigning and painting key features of the façade, removal of a gated car park entrance, and removal of the cattle market structure and car park railings. The overall effect will be to give the complex a more modern look, open up the surroundings, and link it to the adjoining Medway riverside.

 

Commercial

Maidstone is fast becoming the commercial hub of the South East. A range of developments will ensure the Borough can cater to the changing needs of modern business.  

Junction 6 – Abbey Court, New Office Units

A proposed development at Abbey Court will see a strategic site on land off Junction 6 of the M20 reach its potential with the development of five new office units.

The proposed scheme totals an area of 4,600m² and is located south of the M20 motorway at Junction 6, bounded by the A229 to the west, Boarley Lane to the east and the M20 motorway to the north. The development will make a significant contribution to Maidstone’s economy by delivering an attractive and modern working environment. The proposed industrial park has been put forward by BJF Connections, the current owners and occupiers of the land at Abbey Court. The new development will become the firm’s head office and will offer local employment opportunities to businesses looking to locate in the area, as well as boosting the town’s local economy.

Abbey Court will also provide significant economic benefits and high-quality employment opportunities to support the growth in housing across the town.

Junction 8 – Woodcut Farm, New Industrial Units

Clearbell Property Partners III LP (Clearbell) has acquired the site reviously held by Roxhill. Following the acquisition, Clearbell’s development and project management teams will seek to bring the development forward and embrace the latest green technology in their designs. The acquisition is a significant addition to Clearbell’s existing portfolio of multi-let industrial (MLI) assets and will join a 12.5-acre site in Thatcham, purchased in June last year.

Clearbell seeks to add additional sites to the portfolio to help combat the acute undersupply of industrial and logistics assets, both in the South East and throughout the UK.

 

Keep Maidstone moving

Maidstone is the place where several key routes, A20, A26, A229 and A249, meet and connect with 4 junctions of the M20. The Keep Maidstone Moving schemes aim to reduce congestion, travel times and pollution.

Currently there are 3 phases to the scheme.

  • Phase 1
    • A20 Coldharbour Roundabout
  • Phase 2 – A229 Loose Road corridor, includes:
    • Armstrong Road, Park Way and Sheals Crescent
    • Wheatsheaf junction
    • Cripple Street and Boughton Lane
  • Phase 3
    • Ashford Road and Willington Street
    • Sutton Road and Willington Street

Kent Medical Campus

A fully integrated centre of excellence for health, science and education. Kent Medical campus delivers flexible property solutions for businesses in the health and medical sector.

Where health, science, and education come together

Establishing itself as a fully integrated centre of excellence for health, science and education in the South East, Kent Medical Campus is able to deliver flexible, exciting and immediate high-end property solutions to occupiers seeking expansion or relocation opportunities in these dynamic priority sectors. Kent Medical Campus has the full backing of both Maidstone Borough Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Situated just off Junction 7 of the M20 in Maidstone, Kent Medical Campus is a 30-acre site designed to stimulate and support research-led health and life science businesses and clinical service providers, supported by universities and specialist training providers.

As a ‘live’ Enterprise Zone, businesses relocating to Kent Medical Campus can apply for business rate discounts worth up to £55,000 annually for five years (a maximum of £275,000 per business).

Cygnet Hospital

Purpose-built to meet the latest national specifications for improving mental health, the hospital will provide an important and much-needed service for patients in Kent.

Located on a two-acre plot, the £18 million facility provides services for patients suffering from a variety of mental health problems. Home to facilities for therapeutic and recreational activities, training, and administration, the facility brings a vital new service to the people of Kent, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and considerable investment to Maidstone. Cygnet Hospital further underlines Kent’s international reputation as a leader in the growing health, life sciences and education sectors.

KIMS Hospital

The largest independent hospital in Kent, the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS) was opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in 2014. Representing an investment of £90 million, KIMS provides safe, outstanding quality care for its patients. With 72 en-suite bedrooms and five operating theatres, KIMS provides state-of-the-art care in a range of specialisms, including orthopaedic surgery, cardiology, gynaecology, and general surgery. 

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