The £2 million New Romney Business Hub has been officially opened. The centre, in Mountfield Road, will bring a range of new business and job opportunities to the Romney Marsh.
Folkestone & Hythe District Council and East Kent Spatial Development Company (EKSDC) equally contributed to the development by each funding £735,000. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) socio-economic programme met £500,000 of the cost and provided a further £205,238 for an adviser to be based at the centre for the next four years to support local businesses.
The hub’s 14 rooms have been designed to provide flexible workspace for small businesses to grow, including new companies and those who might be operating online from home. The first businesses are due to move in early next year.
Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said the project was an excellent example of collaborative working, adding: “It is so exciting to see the hub become a reality. The workspace is fantastic and will be much sought after by businesses in the area and beyond.”
Cllr Patricia Rolfe, Chair of the Romney Marsh Partnership and the New Romney Coastal Community Team, said: “This is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to develop and improve the Marsh economy for this – and future – generations and is further evidence of the benefit of collaborative and strategic partnership engagement.”
Debbie Spalding, Chief Executive of EKSDC, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of this joint venture project which opens up employment opportunities to the Romney Marsh by providing high-quality office space to local businesses.”
Neil Smith, Economic Development Manager for the NDA, said: “We look forward to this hub becoming a focus for new business activity and economic growth in the area. We and Magnox are very happy to have been involved in its creation along with our partners.”
A new grant scheme utilising funds recovered from the Marsh Million of up to £248,641 has been designed by F&HDC to support businesses taking up space in the hub. Grants of up to £10,000 (or more in exceptional circumstances) are available for the fit-out of a bespoke design tailored to business needs, new furniture, office accessories and ICT equipment. Click here for further details and how to apply.
Opposite the hub, work is well underway on the construction of a new business park on the remaining five hectares of council-owned land on the estate and is due for completion in February next year.
F&HDC was awarded a £3.5 million Getting Building Fund award from central government in summer 2020 to service the site through a new access road and utilities. This will provide new places for local and new businesses to the area to develop their own units, bringing some 500 jobs over the next 10 years. The project has been supported by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent County Council and the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership.
Businesses interested in the space offered at the New Romney Business Hub can email email@example.com for more information.