UK’s first sustainable business park to be built in Kent
Planning consent has been granted for the UK’s first sustainable business park to be built in Kent.
Plans to build the UK’s first sustainable business park have been given the go ahead in Kent. The £40 million construction project is part of an overarching £120 million scheme to regenerate an economically deprived part of the UK and will transform the old Betteshanger colliery into a hub for business, sustainability and education.
The scheme will combine business, ecotourism, and research and development sectors all on the one site and will provide a substantial boost to the local economy. It’s estimated that up to 1,100 jobs will be created as well as around 500 traineeships in green technologies.
Furthermore, the business centre will attract notable companies and investors to the area while providing a fertile environment for a new wave of business startups.
Hadlow College, the project founder, has chosen to use the public sector owned built environment specialist Scape to select a contractor and has given the green light to Willmott Dixon to start on the pre-construction work.
“This flagship project looks set to be a huge boost for the local economy and can become a model for other areas in the country which have been adversely affected by traditional industries moving away,” said Mark Robinson, group chief executive of Scape.
“Through creative thinking and hard work, Betteshanger can move boldly into the 21st century, making a more positive impact on the environment,” he added.
Phase one of the plans include the creation of a £7.5 million sustainable energy visitors centre and country park, followed by the business and commercial park, with both scheduled to be finished by Spring 2016.
For phase two, the plan is to build an education and enterprise campus complex. An extension of the country park and its facilities is still waiting to be approved.
The Betteshanger project will revive the ailing area by providing large scale regeneration, which will hopefully combat the fact that more traditional industries are moving away.
“The pioneering vision of Hadlow College to create an economic asset which will lead the UK in green technology and eco-tourism must be applauded. The Park includes innovative and ambitious design, so we’re really excited to play our part,” added Mr Robinson.