Discovery Park awarded £6m government grant to revamp buildings

Ambition is to create 3,000 jobs by 2017

The Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent, is one of 12 enterprise zones in the UK to be awarded money for new infrastructure. It will receive up to £6.05m for the refurbishment and fitting out of three empty buildings.

The idea is to turn the park - on the former Pfizer site - into prime economic land, attracting new businesses and jobs to the area. The park is already home to more than 60 companies, with 1,400 employees. The ambition is to create 3,000 jobs by 2017.

'Access to this funding gives us the green light to refurbish and redesign three buildings, which were originally meant for a single company,' said Discovery Park Managing Director Paul Barber. 'Once completed, the buildings will offer a range of offices and labs, conference space and meeting rooms. This investment in Discovery Park will particularly allow us to address demand in the growing life sciences sector.'

Discovery Park is one of the largest business parks in Europe and its specialist focus on science and technology is said to have allowed it to create a unique platform for emerging and established companies in the fields of biotechnology, life science, pharmaceuticals and research and development.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: 'Enterprise zones are at the centre of our long-term economic plans to build a stronger, more competitive business environment and a better future for Britain. This funding will give these areas the infrastructure they need to attract more investment, support the growth of local businesses and create jobs for hardworking people across the country.'

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