On track for new in­vest­ment with rail link

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

HIGH lev­els of in­ter­est from for­eign in­vestors are fo­cused on Ash­ford and Shep­way due to im­proved rail links with Europe.

The in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion agency Lo­cate In Kent (LIK) says the county can look for­ward to con­tin­ued im­prove­ment of rail con­nec­tions fol­low­ing the launch of in­ter­na­tional rail ser­vices from Ebb­s­fleet.

Ash­ford, Mar­gate, Dover, Can­ter­bury and Gravesend are among towns likely to ben­e­fit as jour­ney times to the cap­i­tal are cut, mak­ing the rest of the coun­try more ac­ces­si­ble, too.

LIK fore­casts the new high­speed do­mes­tic rail ser­vices be­tween Kent and Lon­don later this year will gen­er­ate even more in­ter­est.

The agency has helped more than 500 com­pa­nies ex­pand or re­lo­cate in Kent, largely in the busi­ness ser­vices sec­tor, ICT and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of jobs have also been cre­ated in food and agri­cul­ture. De­spite the re­ces­sion, the Kent Prop­erty Mar­ket Re­port was pos­i­tive about the state of busi­ness in Kent, say­ing busi­ness park de­vel­op­ments have been pro­gress­ing well.

Prop­erty de­vel­oper

Mark Quinn, of Wil­son Quinn De­vel­op­ments and manag­ing di­rec­tor of Quinn Es­tates, ear­marked Folke­stone and Hythe, among other towns, as po­ten­tially ex­cel­lent places to buy prop­erty and de­velop in the fu­ture.

Mr Quinn said: “Kent has never re­ally sold it­self, yet it is bril­liantly linked with the whole of Europe just across the Chan­nel.

“It is a very cheap place to be based and an ex­cel­lent site from which to do busi­ness.

“It can of­fer good, skilled staff, a high qual­ity of life and very com­pet­i­tive prices.”

An LIK state­ment said: “Kent is well placed to cope with what­ever the fi­nan­cial mar­ket may bring, with the county of­fer­ing an ex­cel­lent cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to busi­nesses feel­ing the credit squeeze.”

South­east­ern’s high-speed trains are ready for action at Ash­ford

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