Jonathan Werran 01 May 2012

Kent offers interest-free loans to boost local economy

The Expansion East Kent programme will see the county council offering local firms in £35m in interest-free loans to boost the local economy and help create up to 5,000 new jobs.

Businesses based in Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet are eligible to apply to for cash under the scheme, which draws on cash from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. To avoid unnecessary burdens on local businesses, Kent council has agreed to cover the administration costs of the scheme.

Leader of Kent, Cllr Paul Carter, said the ambitious programme aimed to expand the area’s private sector business base: ‘We want to encourage applications from sectors where new investment is particularly important and can yield significant economic benefits, for example manufacturing, advanced engineering, tourism, life sciences and green-tech industries.

‘This significantly builds on our work to help market and promote the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone in Sandwich and will have an impact across the whole of East Kent.’

South Thanet MP, Laura Sandys, added: ‘By providing interest free loans, it is not a quick cash injection but a long term sustainable solution to ensure our local business community and jobs market thrives into the future. Securing the Regional Growth Fund is a huge victory – particularly for the Thanet and Sandwich corridor.’

Read more on the Expansion East Kent programme here.

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