Maidstone road bid backed by Government
23rd October 2017
Maidstone is to receive a £4m boost to help reduce congestion and attract further businesses and jobs to Kent Medical Campus.
A bid for £4m to the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund, submitted by Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council, and backed by a significant financial contribution from Kent Medical Campus, has been accepted by the Department for Transport.
The money will fund the upgrading of the two roundabouts close to Junction 7 at Bearsted Road and New Cut Road, and help create new jobs at Kent Medical Campus, part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, and support residential development.
The successful Maidstone bid, plus others in Kent and Essex, was endorsed and championed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its role in generating economic growth for the area.
KCC cabinet member for highways Matthew Balfour said: “Capacity and traffic flow will be improved so that increased traffic from the Kent Medical Campus can be accommodated.
“This is a key employment site for the county and will create 3,000 highly skilled jobs, including specialised research and development – an area key to boosting productivity.”
Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, Cllr Fran Wilson, said: “This is a vote of confidence in our combined efforts to improve the area’s infrastructure and create new jobs at Kent Medical Campus, which is why we put £500,000 towards the project in order to unlock a further £4m from Government.”
The news was welcomed by Gary Watson of JLL, the property advisers for Kent Medical Campus, said: “The Campus is already attracting significant interest from companies and institutions eager to find a viable and attractive alternative to what’s on offer in London, and elsewhere in the South East.
“Our ability to offer a two-year turnaround from a company signing the deal to opening the door thanks to our outline planning permission and support of Maidstone Borough Council, is very attractive. The road improvements will increase the potential to create an academic, health and science-focused campus here in Kent.”
Kent Medical Campus, which has planning permission for 1,000,000ft2 of commercial property on the 30 acre site, was granted Enterprise Zone status earlier in the year by the Government.
As part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, Kent Medical Campus is able to provide financial incentives to companies choosing to invest there, and has already seen a significant rise in the number of enquiries.