Caxtons was delighted to be a sponsor and host the January 2019 Ebbsfleet Executives Club meeting, held at the Kufflink Stadium, Ebbsfleet.

Mandy Bearne, Business Development Manager for Caxtons said: "There was a great turn out with around 80 business executives from the area, eager to come and hear the latest news from Ian Piper, Chief Executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and to learn about financial assistance for businesses that is available from KCC.

Ian reminded everyone that Ebbsfleet was the first new garden city to be designated in more than 100 years – but that this was a 21st century garden city (the first, Letchworth Garden City, was established in 1903 by the Garden City movement founder, Ebenezer Howard).

He explained that the Corporation had received £300m capital funding from government and the garden city area encompassed parts of Dartford and Gravesham, which was an excellent location – even though it brought with it challenges with existing infrastructure.

Before Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) was set up in 2016 there had been active development proposals for the area stretching back 20 years, but not much progress had been made.

The ambitious new garden city proposals includes 15,000 homes, 30,000 jobs, 7 new city parks and provision for health, education and community services plus a new city centre. Progress over the past 4 years has been made with 1,300 homes built and, detailed planning for a further 2,500. Everything is on target for the first school, pub and hotel to be completed this year plus 525 homes to be built in 2019 with more than over 700 planned for next year and so on until the full compliment of 15,000 is complete.
In addition, Berkeley Homes announced last year that

they will be preparing components for their modular homes from a brand new-build factory in the north of the area – already under way.

Furthermore, there are planned transport improvements at the A2 junction and other transport changes include enhancements to the Fastrack rapid bus system that will link the Garden City with Dartford, Gravesend and Bluewater. Residents will be encouraged to use the designated walking and cycling routes, as well as public transport – all of which will create a more healthy lifestyle choice and minimise car use.

Mandy said "One of the main messages I took away was that EDC is keen to avoid producing an enormous, anonymous housing estate but rather somewhere that people will want to move to, and enjoy living."

Sue Berdo and Martyn Riley from KCC then made a presentation on the range of loans and grants available to Kent businesses, which are managed by KCC and funded by government and, at the moment, the EU.

The last round of grants gave out £56.6m across 261 investments leveraging £88m, and thereby creating, or safeguarding 4,161 jobs.

They said that there was a range of new funds available or about to be launched including 0% loans of between £50-£500,000k as well as other smaller loans and grants.

Anyone interested should refer to www.kent.gov.uk/business/business-loans-and-funding.

Mandy concluded that it had been a really successful evening providing much hope for those who attended.

Co-sponsors and hosts included solicitors Gullands, chartered accountants Wilkins Kennedy and Ebbsfleet FC.

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