The council has approved an Economic Development Strategy for 2023-2027, focusing on seven key themes to foster sustainable economic growth, benefiting our businesses, and positively impacting future generations. This strategy addresses the economic challenges in the local area.
The strategy is underpinned by the following key themes:
- Promoting the borough
- Supporting local business
- Land and premises
- A greener more productive economy
- A thriving rural economy
- An inclusive economy
- Vibrant town centres
The strategy also includes a number of specific initiatives such as:
- West Kent Business Support Programme – offering mentoring support and networking opportunities to local small businesses.
- Key Employment Sites implementation - highlighting projects such as the Green Technology Hub for Advanced Horticulture at East Malling.
- Green Business Grant Scheme - additional rounds of funding to support environmentally friendly businesses.
- West Kent Rural Grant Scheme - supporting the scheme for rural development initiatives.
- Digital Exclusion - partnership with Digital Kent to address digital exclusion in our communitites.
Cllr Robin Betts, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property said:
“Helping to develop an economy that is sustainable, resilient, inclusive and dynamic is crucial to meeting the challenges facing the local area, from tackling inequality to meeting the climate emergency. Success in delivering the strategy will require a partnership approach, and I firmly believe that our collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis sets us in good stead to rise to these challenges”