Want to cut your rental costs by up to 80%, or your payroll by 30%? Those are just two of the reasons East Kent could be the destination for your business, whether you’re just starting up or looking to grow an existing company. Read on to see what else the area has to offer entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

Fuel for business growth

Grow for It opens the London Stock Exchange - Image by Steve Stills - Grow for It, East Kent’s campaign for business

If you’re looking to grow your business and take on new people, East Kent may have the answer. There are various opportunities for business funding available. These are shared below.

A flagship area for the Regional Growth Fund, the government’s £2.6bn national fund to support private sector job creation and new investment, East Kent is home to a unique business funding programme.

Kent County Council’s Expansion East Kent scheme offers 0% unsecured loans to businesses, with a total funding pot of £35m.

If you have ambitious expansion plans, and are looking to create jobs in the area, Expansion East Kent could be what you’ve been looking for. To qualify for a loan, you must:

  • Be a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not for profit business
  • Provide employment – either creating or safeguarding jobs in the East Kent area
  • Be able to provide an element of private sector investment with your business proposal; the Expansion East Kent scheme does not provide 100% funding. Private sector investment could take the form of your own resources, commercial loans or other types of investment
  • Demonstrate the need for financial support
  • Show that your business has good growth potential and can be self-sustaining by the completion of the investment
  • Prove that you are able to access other funding sources

Find out more about funding from the Expansion East Kent scheme, and see how businesses are already benefiting.

Alternative funding is available for small and micro business with the Marsh Million Business Loan Scheme. 0% interest loans are accessible for businesses with potential for growth in Romney Marsh. Find out more here.

As part of the Grow for It campaign, Kent County Council has entered into a partnership with School for Creative Startups offering 100 free places to creative startups in Kent on their course, which normally costs £3,000. See some of the businesses that have really benefited from this opportunity.

"Get inspired at the region’s wonderful cultural destinations - such as Turner Contemporary." Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Discovery Park – East Kent’s Enterprise Zone

East Kent’s Discovery Park is a Government Enterprise Zone. This is an area that supports both new and expanding businesses by offering incentives. Companies that establish in the park will benefit from:

  • Business rates relief
  • Simplified planning processes
  • Superfast broadband
  • Research and development tax credits
  • Being part of the East Coast Pharma hub

Find out more about Discovery Park and Government Enterprise Zones.