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As a Kent interior design company, we love being based in the Garden of England. With its beautiful countryside, sandy beaches, and close proximity to London and Europe, it really is a great place to work and live.

While we’re well accustomed to the benefits of living in Kent, it seems that many others from further afield are now realising the county’s potential too. According to research by Locate in Kent, who provide support and advice to businesses moving to the county, there was a 57 percent rise in London companies seeking property in Kent from July-September 2020. Additionally, there was a 15 percent hike in property enquiries from businesses across all UK regions.

For us, this growing interest in our county is great to see, and if you’re thinking about making a move to the Garden of England, this Q&A with Locate in Kent could help you to nail down a decision. At least, that’s what we hope! In the following Q&A, we talk about what makes Kent so attractive to businesses and investors, the rise of co-working, “DFLs” (people who have moved “down from London”), Kent’s creative community and more.

Have you noticed an increase in companies wanting to locate to Kent?

There’s always been strong interest in Kent because of its strengths as a location. Those stand out qualities include excellent transport links with both London and the capitals of Europe, the great and diverse quality of life enjoyed here and our thriving well established industries.  That has not changed.

The pandemic has accelerated trends around the way people work today, helped by improved digital technology. The growth of e-commerce has also driven a two-thirds increase in demand for logistics and distribution space over the last five years.  Demand for advanced manufacturing and the supply chain companies that support them is also on rise.

We’re supporting businesses looking to expand within Kent and also move to Kent. Although the pandemic delayed projects, the numbers are now coming through.  It’s a very exciting time.

We’re also working on several coworking spaces looking to expand into or within the region. We expect this sector will continue to grow as businesses adapt and learn from their experience of the last two years, especially in terms of office space and commercial property.

Related: The Post-Covid Office Space – 5 Future Predictions

Are most of your enquiries from London?

Our enquiries are from all over. We are working with London firms looking to relocate, Kent firms looking to expand or relocate within the region and businesses overseas including interest from India, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong.

To see more of what’s going on in Kent, take a look at some stunning local office interior design projects here

What makes Kent an attractive county to businesses and investors in commercial property?

We have a healthy pipeline of firms wanting to come to Kent and Medway because of the easy and fast access to London by train, but also to mainland Europe.

A talented workforce, lower operating costs and a great quality of life also make Kent a great place to build a thriving business.

What makes Kent an attractive county for employees looking to relocate?

It’s not just one thing. This is such a diverse region and people will have their own reasons whether it’s the lower cost of living relative to London, job opportunities of all skills and levels of pay to being able to live in bustling vibrant towns, quaint villages in stunning countryside or by the sea.

Kent’s coastline was recently voted one of the best regions to visit in 2022 by Lonely Planet, and deservedly so. It really is as stunning as they say.  It has great rural spaces as well, contributing to a great quality of life.

On top of that its proximity to London (17 minutes on the High Speed from Ebbsfleet International), favourable house prices, thriving creative communities, an excellent food and drink scene, and great schools contribute to it being a brilliant place to live.

We’re seeing lots of talk about “DFLs” (people moving “down from London”). How is this contributing to Kent’s renewal?

Kent has always had a shifting and diverse population, and the proximity of London certainly contributes to that. While it tends to be used in a derogatory sense, people choosing to relocate from the capital have the potential to add to the skills and talent available to businesses in the county, boosting the economy that can then lead to further investment and a better quality of life for all.

What is also interesting two years on from the start of the pandemic is an increase in interest in coworking spaces as a third space between home and the office, for those who have historically commuted to London. The thriving visitor economy in Kent is also a pull, especially with the trend for domestic holidays here to stay and you’ll often hear of people coming out to Kent for day trips, with relocation at the back of their mind.

Read also: Five Cool Coworking Spaces in Kent


Should landlords be looking for opportunities for changing vacant space in to coworking offices?

Offices and workplaces remain important for certain functions, as a place to bring people together, to meet the needs of clients and customers, to problem solve and brainstorm the best ideas. The concept of what the best model will be in future is evolving at a pace. Where we will end up is still anyone’s guess.

It is fair to say that coworking and flex space remain in high demand from operators, investors and tenants. It is certainly a time to be looking for opportunities for the right space in the right place.

It’s not just about converting an empty space though. A better option may be to enter into a joint venture with an experienced operator. There is a lot to consider including who is going to manage the space. We know that successful co-working and flex spaces have a great community manager behind them.

Locate in Kent is speaking to several operators seeking opportunities, so if you are looking at the future use of a space, we can make relevant introductions and support your project. We also have a commercial property portal on our website – – that lists sites available now.

If you’re opening a co-working office in Kent, find out how Rap Interiors’ can help here.

Why do you think co-working is attractive to businesses at the moment?

Coworking offers a range of benefits – flexibility, a community of like-minded people and collaboration opportunities for freelancers, start ups and established companies big and small.

Many companies have completed or are in the process of reviewing how they use their office space going forward. There’s no sign yet of a return to the old normal. Coworking spaces provide a location for a core team with the flexibility of hot desking for employees based primarily out of the office.

They offer a third space to employees who have historically commuted to London, but now want a space outside their home to work, offering a now proven solution to the changing requirements of both employees and employers.

Related: How to Create an Enticing Coworking Space

We've seen more modern companies moving towards a "hub-and-spoke" model, with one central office hub and smaller spokes—or satellite offices—for employees. Has this played a part in attracting London businesses? 

It’s too early to say how this model will play out and whether other models will rise to prominence. There was a lot of talk about this at the beginning of the pandemic. London – and local businesses are still working through their workplace plans. To firms weighing up their future requirements, coworking spaces can provide a good interim solution. However, more than that they are thriving places to work and collaborate, and the growth of the sector in Kent acts as a pull factor.

Do you offer any other services that may be of benefit to potential businesses looking to relocate?

Locate in Kent works closely with companies looking to relocate into Kent or grow within Kent. Eligible Kent-based companies can benefit from 12 hours of free business support helping them to both land and thrive in Kent. Companies looking to Kent from overseas can benefit from an enhanced ‘Soft Landing’ package to make the experience of establishing their business in Kent smoother.

We also have a property portal on our website at that lists all the available office and commercial space in Kent.

We employ advisors who can provide further information including on strategic sites that are coming up for development that may be of interest. You can also sign up to property alerts to keep up to date with recently added properties that match your search criteria.

Like the image above? Check out the Blends for Friends project here

What workplace features and benefits are businesses currently looking for?

It depends on the requirements of the business but flexibility is key with good secure Wi-fi to manage video and voice calls, more space for their money allowing them to maintain remaining Covid protocols. Town centre locations are also back in vogue with excellent amenities close to hand – from transport links and local parks to good coffee.

Like the image above? Check out the Simpsons Wine Estate project here

It looks like Kent is becoming increasingly “creative” – particularly in Margate and Folkestone. Has this given the areas a boost?

Kent has always been home to a thriving creative community, and we know how the creative sector is key to economic development – just look at the transformation of Folkestone through the work of Creative Folkestone. There’s a huge amount of creative production taking place across the Thames Estuary, under the banner of the Creative Estuary which is shining a light on the huge contribution the sector makes to the region. This has also opened up opportunities for more investment. Creative industries play an important part in placemaking and there are supply chain opportunities to the sector, so all of Kent benefits.

Thank You for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Kent! As for ourselves, we’re delighted to see so many exciting developments in the county that we know and love. From creative communities to the rising popularity of coworking and hub and spoke, it’s clear to see that Kent has plenty to offer to businesses in the county and further afield.

Are You Thinking About Moving to Kent?

If you are considering moving to Kent, then make sure you check out the Locate in Kent website for information on funding, commercial property, local recruitment and much more. You can also stay connected by signing up to the latest Locate in Kent news here.

If you’re setting up a business in Kent, then Rap Interiors can help! Our Kent interior designers can help you to create a workspace that will put your business on the road to success. Whether you need a cutting-edge coworking office space design, an office interior to attract the brightest local talent, or move management support, our 30+ years of experience means we can deliver.

Please fill out the enquiry form below to get the ball rolling with your project.

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