Romney Marsh Employment Hub
The development of a new £2 million business centre at Mountfield Road Industrial Estate in New Romney was completed in October 2021 and ready for the first businesses in January 2022. The business centre comprises flexible business accommodation, with the potential to create twelve separate units.
The project objective is to provide higher quality business accommodation and by unlocking employment land to diversify the local economy; together this will facilitate the creation of some 700 new jobs. Namely:
- Develop high-quality business accommodation by unlocking 6 hectares of employment land for circa 15,000 sq metres of commercial floorspace
- Develop a business/skills hub to meet demands of local growing enterprises, and
- Create/safeguard 620 jobs locally
This will help to mitigate the loss of more than 1000 jobs from the de-comissioning of Dungeness A and B nuclear power stations previously and anticipated over the next 20 years.
The undeveloped 6 hectares that requires an access road and servicing is expected to be capable of delivering up to 15,000 sq. metres of industrial space. To uplift the
employment offer locally, a 751sq. metre business/skills hub is proposed to create higher quality accommodation capable of meeting the demands of local growing enterprises (ie. ‘grow-on’ space for young businesses). This new development will foster future business expansion to improve employment opportunities and productivity in the Romney Marsh area. The hub will also set a new standard for the remainder of the estate
The new employment hub is the result of a joint venture between Folkestone & Hythe District Council and the East Kent Spatial Development Company, with support from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)/ Magnox socio-economic programme.
F&HDC and East Kent Spatial Development Company (EKSDC) are contributing equally to the development by each funding £735,000 of the cost and an additional £500,000 contribution from the Magnox Socio-economic fund.
In addition, £3.53 million of funding from the government’s Getting Building Fund (GBF) has been secured for a second phase to the Mountfield Road development. This will bring forward the remaining undeveloped part of the industrial estate to unlock plots which could potentially be for new or local businesses to build their own units.
This 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.
These GBF funds will enable a new road to be built and utilities installed on the five hectares of land. A condition of the funding is that this work has to be completed by March 2022 and it is expected to bring just under 500 jobs to the local area over the next ten years.