Business forum update
13 Feb 2020
Thanks to everyone who came along to the latest breakfast Business Forum, held in January. For those of you who couldn’t make it here’s a quick summary.
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John Foster, Head of Regeneration Economic Development at Maidstone Borough Council kicked the event off explaining how the council is now directly investing in the borough rather than just facilitating investment as it has been previously. How Maidstone has the largest population, the largest economy with more businesses and more jobs than anywhere in the county, largest retail centre outside of Bluewater and a thriving nightime economy, again one of the largest in Kent, making Maidstone the business capital of Kent.
He talked about the council’s investments; Maidstone East Station, refurbishing the bus station, the new innovation centre, four town centre development opportunity sites and the success of the Business Terrace, which started as five offices and a few hot desks and is now 23 offices, hotdesks and meeting rooms. With start up and survival rates some of the best in the country.
William Cornall Director of Regeneration and Place explained how the Local Plan works to deliver the government targets for housing across the Borough and the proposal for a garden community at Lenham.
Martyn Riley from KCC talked about the current and upcoming loans and grants available to businesses in Kent. Russell Boorman from KCC Highways explained in detail how eight new projects to improve traffic flow in Maidstone are open for consultation and how people can have their say. The ‘Keep Maidstone Moving’ projects aim to improve congestion within the town and help generate growth. A consultation is now open until 12 March, for six of the schemes and everyone is encouraged to have their say here
A representative from One Maidstone finished off with a roundup of the valuable work they are doing to keep the town centre safe and clean.