The event marked the start of the construction of the new Innovation Centre which will be a mixed-use med tech-based development providing flexible office space, facilities and business support for small and medium-sized enterprises working in the life science, healthcare and med-tech sectors.
The breaking ground was assisted by Maidstone Borough Council Leader – Cllr Martin Cox, along with Mark Mitchener, managing director of Rydon Construction who were selected as the partner for the development in 2019.
Speaking at the ground-breaking Cllr Cox said: “This signifies a milestone for this exciting project in Maidstone and will contribute towards ‘Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure’. This outstanding building has taken just two years from the planning stage to where we are today. The Innovation Centre will encourage more people to start their med-tech businesses in Maidstone, ‘the business capital of Kent’.”
Maidstone Innovation Centre is scheduled to be open for business in summer 2021 and will act as a visible, engaging and vibrant business destination at the heart of the Kent Medical Campus and North Kent Enterprise Zone. Situated beside Junction 7 of the M20 - a site identified in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan as an opportunity to capitalise on the development of the area to attract high value, knowledge intensive employment and business as a boost to the local economy.
Mark Mitchener, managing director at Rydon Construction, added: “After much careful planning it is exciting to welcome our guests and partners to mark this milestone and progress the construction of the new Innovation Centre to the highest quality. We look forward to continuing our work with Maidstone Borough Council to ensure the scheme is an asset we can all be proud of.”
As part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, the Maidstone Innovation Centre will bring together businesses and organisations involved in finding solutions to complex healthcare issues and scientific research and development. It will provide 30,000sq foot of usable workspace and is expected to support around 270 jobs generating £120m to the economy over the next decade reinforcing the message that Maidstone is the Business Capital of Kent.
The Maidstone Innovation Centre is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20 and has previously received funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. Maidstone Borough Council is reinvesting over £5.2m in recovered business rates from the Enterprise Zone into the building.