Maidstone Innovation Centre awarded ERDF grant

Maidstone Borough Council has announced that its planned Innovation Centre has been awarded £5.7m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-20.

The Innovation Centre scheduled to be open for business in summer 2021 and will be based at the Kent Medical Campus – a site identified in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan as an opportunity to capitalise on the development of the area to attract high value, knowledge intensive employment and business as a boost to the local economy.

The European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration.

Speaking of the announcement Cllr Martin Cox, Leader of MBC, said: “The grant funding is fantastic news and reflects Maidstone Borough Council’s continuing work to position the County town as the business capital of Kent, boost the local economy and provide higher value job opportunities for residents.

The new Innovation Centre will be a mixed -use med tech-based development providing flexible office space, facilities and business support for small and medium-sized enterprises working in the life science, healthcare and med-tech sectors. The Centre will act as a visible, engaging and vibrant business destination at the heart of the Kent Medical Campus and North Kent Enterprise Zone situated beside Junction 7 of the M20.

The Centre will provide 30,000sq foot of usable workspace and is expected to support around 270 jobs generating £120m of additionality to the economy over the next decade reinforcing the message that Maidstone is the Business Capital of Kent.

Part of the project to deliver the Centre has included the design and delivery of the MedTech Innovation Programme (M-IP), a business incubation and acceleration programme supporting entrepreneurs and innovators in the early stages of business development and growth. The business support programme is eligible to businesses across the South East Enterprise Partnership area and is funded by SELEP. Once constructed the business support programme will be run from the Innovation Centre.

To accelerate development of the Centre and to maximise opportunities for smaller businesses in health and life sciences, Maidstone Borough Council has worked closely in creating funding for the development and submitted an outline application to the ERDF in January 2018.

The project is part of The North Kent Enterprise Zone which includes Innovation Park Medway, and sites within Ebbsfleet Garden City.

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