Swanscombe firms in plan to create up to 1,000 jobs

PUBLISHED: 11:57 01 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:32 06 July 2016

The businesses plan to redevelop redundant land

The businesses plan to redevelop redundant land

© Roman Sigaev

The companies plan to push ahead with the redevelopment of vacant land

Up to 1,000 jobs could be created on the Swanscombe peninsula under plans being drawn up by landowners on the Northfleet Industrial Estates.

Businesses on the estates have been hit by the uncertainty surrounding the London Paramount development, which, if approved, would lead to the industrial estates being bulldozed.

Landowners are keen to maximise the site’s potential, however, and Dan Bramwell, a spokesman for local businesses, said there are now major doubts the theme park will go ahead.

“We have no confidence that London Paramount will even happen, especially since Brexit and the uncertainty in the financial markets,” he explained.

Northfleet Industrial Estate, Kent Kraft Industrial Estate and Manor Way Business Park currently cover about 40 acres and employ approximately 2,500 people directly and a further 2,750 indirectly.

By redeveloping seven acres of redundant land, the landowners believe they can create more space for businesses and employment opportunities.

“The estates are a network of integrated businesses, some with complex environmental challenges that cannot just be relocated,” Mr Bramwell said.

“It is very disappointing that neither Ebbsfleet Development Corporation nor London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) has shown any sort of pro-active engagement with their respective masterplanning teams to fully understand the workings of these estates.

“Thus the landowners and businesses have decided to reconfigure the existing estates to maximise the availability of local employment sites and opportunities.”

Mark Hull, owner of local firm Gainhold, said: “We have the land, the funding and the will to move forward at the earliest possible opportunity to enhance employment opportunities and that is why we are exploring how these estates can be enhanced.”

A spokesman for Ebbsfleet Development Corporation said: “We are committed to local business growth and we always welcome dialogue with local groups. We have held regular meetings with the Peninsula Management Group and have another scheduled next week where we expect to continue a dialogue about their position.”

A spokesman for LRCH commented: “We met with them earlier this week and it is not appropriate for us to comment on proposals we haven’t seen yet.”

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