Kent already benefits from fast rail services to the continent, contributing to high levels of interest from foreign investors. With the introduction of the high speed service, operated by Southeastern, in December, and the limited preview services starting on 29 June, the county will be even better connected for business. Ebbsfleet International will be just 17 minutes away from St Pancras International, while the journey to Ashford will take just 37 minutes.
According to Locate in Kent, the investment promotion agency for Kent and Medway, the county, as the closest UK location to the continent and now only minutes away from London, is in a prime position to attract significant interest from businesses looking to invest. Towns and cities in East Kent, including Canterbury, Folkestone and Ramsgate, previously well over an hour and 30 minutes away by train, will now be far more accessible via the high speed service – Canterbury will be 59 minutes away, Folkestone 57 minutes and Ramsgate, 80.Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent said: “There’s no doubt that high speed rail will boost the economy in Kent – with more businesses attracted to the county and residential properties in areas like north Kent, Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone becoming more accessible as well as offering great value for money.”
Towns like Ashford are gearing up for the start of the services with a new shopping centre, housing development and major regeneration of the town centre. Developers are also building new office and industrial space, like at Eureka Park, which is proving popular with investors despite the downturn.
Paul added: “Our active projects give a good indication of current interest in the county – there are almost 300 at the moment, which shows that despite the economic downturn, interest has not waned in Kent. The prospect of high speed rail has certainly helped Kent through the current economic climate.”
The new high speed services will open up whole new areas to Kent including north London and beyond. They will make the county much more accessible for businesses across the country, with Derby and Nottingham taking just over two hours, Sheffield 2 hours 37 minutes and Newcastle 3 hours 35 minutes all from Ebbsfleet International via St Pancras International/ King’s Cross.
For further information contact:
Locate in Kent
Tel: 01732 520724