The East Kent Growth Plan is jointly produced and agreed by the five local councils of Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet, and also Kent County Council. It sets out their economic priorities and how the partners will work together to unlock key opportunities for new homes, new jobs and new business investment.
The importance of Manston Airport, and the central island of Thanet, are recognised by the East Kent Growth Plan as key places, alongside Discovery Park, the port, marina and waterfront of Dover, Canterbury Knowledge City and Folkestone’s seafront and town centre, and others, to drive forward the region’s economy.
Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Manston Airport, said: “Having a clear strategy for developing the local economy, importantly one that works across the region as a whole, rather than being limited to district boundaries, is to be warmly welcomed.
“Identifying the strategy, the places for growth and how to support and fund it, will give investors the confidence that the area is moving forward together.
“The partners claim that ‘We’re open to the world. Open for business. We’re facing the future with confidence’. If those words are put into action, then the outlook for East Kent is certainly positive. And bringing the world to East Kent is just what Manston is about to start – with the launch of our twice daily service to and from Amsterdam – directly linking Kent with a world-wide airline network.”
The Growth Plan highlights maximising the benefits of High Speed One and exploiting the area’s aviation potential as a way of improving the area’s connectivity. The strategy is published as KLM prepares for the start of a twice-daily passenger service between Kent and Amsterdam and onwards to 130 global destinations via Manston from 2 April.
Charles Buchanan added: “With the UK eager to retain its role as a global aviation hub, it is pleasing to seethat the East Kent local authorities and KCC have recognised the role that Kent’s airports can play in delivering economic growth.”