Study shows that the Kent Science Park has had no impact on Swales’ Knowledge Based Economy

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15 Jan 2011
The myth that the Kent Science Park would elevate the borough’s status in Kent to become the central focus of the knowledge based economy has finally been laid to rest in a study from Swale Borough Council. The Study which concedes that not only is Swale lagging significantly behind most other boroughs in Kent, also shows that in the period covered by the study Swale’s share actually reduced.

This clearly highlights the danger in focusing on a single employment site to deliver economic growth in this particular sector and shows just how blinded local politicians have become to the smoke and mirrors marketing promoted by the Park’s owners. It is a fact that two thirds of this employment sector resides outside of the Kent Science Park, so it’s not even the centre of such activities in Swale, let along Kent.

It is intriguing that the Study only evaluates the period to 2004, perhaps because comparative figures are not available beyond this point or perhaps because the results would most likely be even more shocking.

Based on figures provided by the Kent Science Park we know that since 2004 the growth last seven years is reputedly around 190 employees. This would barely register a percentage increment in the number of employees for the borough and in contrast to other boroughs is more than likely to show that Swale remains at the bottom of the league table.

Clearly we need to improve our position, but it’s also now been proved beyond doubt that the Kent Science Park isn’t a major player and we seriously need to evaluate a combination of rationalising the Parks existing potential along with alternative employment sites.