Is it worth betting our future on Vestas?

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04 Mar 2012
Fundamental aspects of Swale Borough Council’s Core Strategy are coming apart at the seams. The big gamble of relying on a couple of major developments to serve as the focal point for new employment prospects for the borough is starting to look like a very bad idea indeed.

First the large scale expansion of the Kent Science Park which received just 7% support from the public during the last consultation has been effectively shelved for the next 20 years, but still the Council continues their love affair and supports in principle the full scale expansion regardless of public opinion.

Vestas who are now bleating once more about pulling the plug are proving equally challenging, with not just the threat of those 2,000 jobs on the line, but the wider implications for housing and transport delivery also in the balance. For example the transport model assumes relief for the M2 junction 5 on the premise that less people will commute from Sheppey because they will be employed at the new Vestas facility.

Vestas who less than three years ago cut their workforce by 1,900 jobs, 425 of which involved the complete closure of two factors at the Isle of Wight and Southampton, don’t exactly have the kind of track record for maintaining long term growth that we might have hoped for. The more cynical might even suggest that the jobs will only last as long as the Government incentives do.

Perhaps we should call their bluff and gain some certainty about our future rather than relying on the whims of a company that blows hot and cold at regular intervals.