Enterprise Zone status, giving 5 years of tax breaks potentially worth £ 21,4 million, access to simplified planning rules and super-fast broadband for new businesses, has been awarded to the Pfizer site at Sandwich.
Chancellor George Osborne, Science Minister David Willetts and decentralisation Minister Greg Clark arrived in the town on Wednesday to announce that a bid for the zone by the local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), convering Essex, East Sussex, and Kent, had been successful.
Talking after a tour at Pfizer where he met lab scientists, Mr Osborne said: "This is unique because the site is not empty and it is not brownfield or waste ground. This is a world class building with world-leading medical facilities. We want to help to bring new companies to this site to continue using those facilities."
South Thanet MP, Laura Sandys, who attended the press briefing with the Ministers, said the announcement signalled "Government recognition of deprivation in the south east, and is a vote of confidence". Ms Sandys added " It is now incumbent on us to attract businesses. There are opportunities in rewables, pharmaceuticals, food science even aaerospace."