Windfarms in East Kent

London Stock Exchange declares East Kent open for businessLeader of KCC Paul Carter opens London Stock Exchange

Grow for It brought East Kent to London on Tuesday morning, with a showcase event at London Stock Exchange.

The campaign, which is lifting the lid on the business and investment opportunities available in East Kent, was being introduced to the London business community. Business Minister Michael Fallon addressed an audience of 120 investors, entrepreneurs and media, who heard what’s on offer for businesses in East Kent.

The day commenced at 8am with Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, officially opening the day’s trading at the Stock Exchange, alongside Marcus Stuttard, Head of AIM, London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing businesses.

He was joined by East Kent MPs, business beneficiaries of the Regional Growth Fund and East Kent entrepreneurs, prior to an event that paraded East Kent as a business destination to London investors and business figures.

The Business Minister told the gathered audience that, “East Kent is out in front as an area that is delivering on the potential of the Regional Growth Fund”, arguing that, “the region has the drive, resourcefulness and companies to thrive in the coming years.”

Paul Carter further declared East Kent “open for business”, commenting on the area’s significant business advantages and the necessity of unlocking its growth potential.

He was followed by Doug Richard, investor and founder of School for Startups, who paid tribute to East Kent’s potential as a hub for creative and digital businesses, something that was echoed by Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, who spoke of Folkestone’s potential to rival Brighton as a south-east centre for creative entrepreneurship.

Panel discussions, chaired respectively by Damian Collins and Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, featured the East Kent businesses that are benefiting from the Regional Growth Fund and the growth potential of the biotech sector, with the world-leading facilities at Discovery Park in Sandwich.

The day was also notable for the announcement of new recipients of Expansion East Kent funding - interest-free loans via the Regional Growth Fund. Businesses including South East Bottling, a joint venture to create a specialist bottling facility in Ramsgate, part-driven by London brewery Sambrooks, were awarded cheques by Paul Carter and Michael Fallon.