Issue details

12/02026 Incubator / Start Up Workspace Programme

To agree the proposed approach and next steps for the Incubator & Start up Workspace Programme set out below


The aim of the programme is to support the provision of incubator and start up workspace in key locations where district councils, partner organisations and the business community are able to demonstrate that there is clear evidence of need that is not being met by the private sector. Prospective projects will be assessed against a range of criteria that will include:

·        Workspace provision will be restricted to new and micro-businesses only.

·        There must be flexible occupancy terms for businesses, such as monthly ‘easy in-easy out’ licences.

·        Evidence that there is on hand business support services and advice from accredited providers.

·        A requirement that businesses move on to larger premises when they become successfully established.

·        Opportunities to utilise vacant premises owned by the public and private sectors.


A competitive bidding process will operate over two discrete stages, and all prospective bids will be considered by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste and the Director of Economic Development. The first stage will involve inviting prospective bidders to submit an Expression of Interest which includes a project outline, evidence of need and information about costs and expected impact. Shortlisted bids that meet the criteria would progress to the second (Full Bid) stage that would require the submission of detailed business plans.     


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 03/12/2012

Reason for urgency:

Decision due: Not before 5th Dec 2012 by Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development

Lead director: David Cockburn

Department: Strategic & Corporate Services

Contact: Dave Hughes, Head of Business Engagement and Economic Development tel: 01622 221942 e-mail:


Consultation on the Incubators / Start Ups Workspace Programme has taken place with the Kent districts and partner organisations such as Business Support Kent, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and the Kent Economic Board.                                                                                                                      

The proposed decision has been considered by the Economic Development Cabinet Committee in September 2012


The matter is referred to in the relevant Business Plan or Medium Term Capital Programme


The proposed schemes identified in the report to EDCC in September 2012 would affect elected Members representing divisions in Ashford, Gravesham, Maidstone, Shepway, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells districts. Potentially, depending on what other schemes might be brought forward, all Members could be affected by this proposed decision.



Financial implications: David Hughes Head of Business Engagement and Economic Development Economic Development 01622 221942

Legal implications: 12/02026

Equalities implications: Spending exceeds financial threshold of £1m