A partnership between Kent’s inward investment agency, Locate in Kent, and the government body charged with attracting firms to the UK is proving to be a success.
Locate in Kent signed a memorandum of understanding with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in the autumn of 2011, in which the two organisations agreed to work together to identify businesses looking to relocate to the UK and which would find the county an ideal destination.
UKTI has staff stationed in UK government offices around the world and works with bodies in those countries to promote the UK’s business credentials.
Of the 83 international businesses Locate in Kent is currently working with, 29 have been flagged up by UKTI, compared with 11 from UKTI 12 months ago. In the overseas market, Locate in Kent is particularly targeting high value sectors such as life sciences, renewables and business services, and North America and near Europe.
“Early identification of businesses considering either relocating to the UK or launching UK-based operations is key to successfully converting leads into successes, which is why we felt it was so important to sign a formal agreement with UKTI,” said Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent.
“For our part, we have worked hard to open up channels of communication with UKTI’s representatives around the world, keeping them abreast of opportunities here in Kent and highlighting successes they can then use to illustrate Kent’s value to potential investors.
“To see a growing number of projects in the pipeline that have been brought to our attention by UKTI illustrates that our efforts have been, and continue to be, worthwhile. It is now up to us to convert as many of those prospects into success as we can.”
Nick Baird, Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment said: “Our relationships with local investment agencies like Locate in Kent are incredibly important to us in finding the best locations for overseas companies.
“When I visited Kent and the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone, and some of the companies based there, I was very impressed by the opportunities in the county for companies looking to establish UK operations.”