Friday, 30 March 2012


Proposals from the council’s watchdog body about a joint venture that is seeking to develop two key sites in Thanet have been accepted by the council’s Cabinet.

They were asked by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel to look at the East Kent Opportunities (EKO) partnership, which is a joint venture between Thanet District Council and Kent County Council (KCC). It is working on developing two sites in the area, Manston Business Park, located near the airport and Eurokent, located between Westwood Cross and the Marlowe Academy.

Overview and Scrutiny heard a presentation from the Executive Officer of EKO, at their January meeting and made a total of four recommendations:

  1. To ask Cabinet representatives on the EKO Board to request a review of the EKO Business Plan as a matter of urgency
  2. To include in the Business Plan an exit strategy, which maximises the council’s return from the EKO partnership with KCC
  3. To lobby local MPs to ask the government to expand the Pfizer Enterprise Corridor to include both the Eurokent and Manston business parks
  4. To engage KCC in discussions to bring forward an urgent review of the EKO Members Agreement.

Cabinet last night (Thursday 29 April) agreed to all these recommendations and they will now be discussed with Kent County Council to establish a way forward. A revised Business Plan is currently being worked on. The council will also be speaking to the area’s MPs about lobbying with regards to enterprise zones.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are very grateful to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for thoroughly exploring this issue and bringing these recommendations to us. We need to ensure that EKO is delivering everything that we expect from it and our residents would expect nothing less from us. Equally, we need to do everything in our power to try to ensure that the government’s Regional Growth Fund money being allocated to help businesses is also made available in Thanet, as we cannot afford to lose out on this valuable funding stream.”

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