Issue details

Discovery Park Enterprise Zone, Sandwich. Growing Places Fund investment

This decision is related to the work of KMEP and SELEP


This decision is required so that Kent County Council can draw down Growing Places Fund in order that this can be made available to support development at Discovery Park Enterprises Zone.  A key decision is required as the County Council will incur expenditure of over £1 million.

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Sandwich;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 26/06/2013

Department: Strategic & Corporate Services

Contact: Tel: 01622 221312 e-mail: e-mail: Tel: 01622 221312.

Consultation process

In order to secure the GPF allocation and ensure that it is used effectively, it is proposed that:


a)        Kent County Council shall invite applications for loan finance of up to £4.6 million for infrastructure at Discovery Park. 


b)        Applications shall then be appraised and considered through the same process as that which is currently used to determine applications for loans from the Expansion East Kent programme. This means that any application will be required to submit a full business plan, be subject to independent appraisal and be considered by the Expansion East Kent Investment Advisory Board before a decision is made by KCC. The owners of the Discovery Park site are aware of this proposed process and we anticipate that an application will be forthcoming when the process is launched.


c)         In parallel with this process, KCC shall seek to enter into a loan agreement with Essex County Council as the Accountable Body for GPF which shall mean that, subject to the approval of the loan application:


KCC will receive funds quarterly in advance of need;

KCC shall be responsible for the allocation, use and monitoring of funds;

KCC shall seek to secure repayment of the loan from the final beneficiary. However, in the event that repayment cannot be secured, the Fund shall bear any loss;

KCC shall repay the Fund according to an agreed schedule (subject to funds being recovered from the final beneficiary);

KCC shall repay Fund all income derived from the loan (i.e. any interest gained on the loan to the final borrower), minus management costs incurred.


These terms have been discussed with Essex County Council and have received in-principle agreement. However, they will need to be formalised when an agreement to lend to a final borrower has been reached.



Start and finish dates of consultation.

Summer 2012 – March 2013


Date of publication of consultation outcomes and updated Equalities Impact Assessment

There is no separate consultation outcomes report. However, the discussion at the  South East LEP Board has been published at


Has the matter already been discussed by a Cabinet Committee? If not when will be it discussed by the Cabinet Committee and the date of the meeting

Yes. KCC’s approach to Growing Places Fund has been discussed by the Economic Development Cabinet Committee on 5 July 2012 and 21 September 2012 (although these discussions did not include the specific allocation of GPF investment to Discovery Park).


In addition, the proposed Decision will be discussed by ED Cabinet Committee on 14 June.


The Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee will consider a report on this decision on 2 December 2014.


Other consultation

Consultation on this proposal has taken place with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Board, which has endorsed the provisional allocation of £4.6 million from the Growing Places Fund for use at Discovery Park. Consultation has also taken place with Dover District Council. 


Is the matter referred to in your Business Plan or Medium Term Capital Programme?

Yes – Growing Places Fund investment is referred to in Economic Development Unit Divisional Business Plan 2013/14


Which Members and electoral Divisions are affected by this proposed decision? Is it All Members?

The development is located in Sandwich (Leyland Ridings). However, as the development of the Enterprise Zone is of strategic importance, all Members in East Kent may be affected by the Decision.



Financial implications: Ross Gill Economic Strategy and Policy Manager Economic and Spatial Development 01622 221312 07837 872705

Legal implications: 13/00034

Equalities implications: Financial criteria exceeded