Published: Monday, 17th June 2019

Businesses and residents have the opportunity to have their say on the latest development plans of a new, innovative business park in Medway.

Innovation Park Medway is a prime development in North Kent and offers an exciting opportunity for businesses to grow. It is expected to become a magnet for high value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge intensive businesses.

The site at Rochester Airport, which forms part of the pioneering North Kent Enterprise Zone, offers up to 100,000m2 of high quality, innovative commercial space in a prime spot between London and the continent.

The site also crosses into Tonbridge and Malling, and both Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council (TMBC) have been working on Local Development Orders (LDOs) which set out the planning framework for the area and help bring forward development. They build on the Innovation Park Medway Masterplan to set out principles for development to allow developers and businesses to bring forward high quality development in the high-value technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge-intensive sectors.

On 5 March, Medway Council’s Cabinet approved a recommendation to consult on the Innovation Park Medway LDO and on Tuesday  4 June, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Planning and Transportation Advisory Board approved a recommendation to consult on the Innovation Park Medway LDO.

LDOs are used to help attract investment to an area and to support businesses by providing clarity for potential occupants about the expected quality of development.

Businesses which locate in Innovation Park Medway will be part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone community and have access to world-class research and development, as well as highly skilled talent through the four Medway based universities and two colleges. It also has the potential to offer state-of-the-art meeting and conference space, business facilities and opportunities for networking.

Innovation Park Medway will also offer an attractive business rate discount to those who locate to the site - up to £55,000 annually for five years and a maximum of £275,000 per business.

Helping businesses grow

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We understand how important it is to help businesses grow, not only for them, but for Medway’s future and Innovation Park Medway will create a high quality, commercial innovation space for a broad range of technology, engineering, manufacturing and knowledge-intensive businesses. The site also offers attractive business rates and gives businesses the opportunity to grow alongside successful companies.

“Medway is the biggest regeneration zone within the Thames Gateway and it is one of the most promising growth areas in the south-east. Medway’s economy is worth £5.17bn and 14,000 business are based in the area.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Medway and we committed to providing opportunities for people who live, work, study and visit the area.”

Fostering sustainable growth

Leader of Tonbridge & Malling Council, Cllr Nicolas Heslop said “The Borough Council is focussed on creating a strong, dynamic and inclusive economy that fosters sustainable growth in Tonbridge & Malling. The delivery of Innovation Park Medway is a key component in fostering a local economy where businesses are supported to innovate and thrive and our local population has access to quality jobs and skills development.”

The LDO consultation will begin on Monday 17 June in Medway and on Thursday 20 June in Tonbridge and Malling, ending on 19 July and 22 July respectively.

To have your say on the Innovation Park Medway LDO visit www.medway.gov.uk/ipm or www.tmbc.gov.uk on the Planning pages from 20 June or paper copies are available from Medway Council offices (Gun Wharf), Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council offices (Gibson Building), Innovation Centre Medway and Rochester Community Hub.

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