Start your Business in Ashford, the startup capital of KentPosted on 11 November 2020
Ashford’s reputation as the best business location to start a business has been confirmed by data by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Companies House.
Ashford, the Start Up capital of Kent
The Centre for Entrepreneurs and Companies House identified that Ashford had the most startups in Kent in 2019, with 1,635 startups based in the borough last year.
“Ashford is the place for entrepreneurs to thrive,” Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, explains. “The borough offers cheaper business rates than London, excellent digital connectivity, good value flexible office and industrial space, and the bonus of being right in the middle of some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK.”
With all this in its favour, it’s not surprising that Ashford had twice the rate of new startups than London in 2019. And, with a 9.5% increase in company formations in 2020 according to the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Companies House, Ashford is best placed to continue seeing a growth in startups year-on-year.
Discover why Ashford is the place for business in Kent, and where to get advice, if you’re looking to start your own business.
Within easy reach of London
With London accessible in under 38 minutes via train and access to the M20, Ashford is one of the best-connected towns in Kent. This means businesses can easily get to London when they need to meet with clients in person, whilst enjoying cheaper property costs and lower business rates, an essential factor when you’re looking to make the most of your money as you start your own company.
From reducing costs to better quality of life, Ashford makes sense for startups which can get so much more for their money here without compromising on connectivity.Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council
“Now more than ever, businesses – particularly startups – are seeing the benefits of being located outside of London,” explained Cllr Clarkson. “From reducing costs to better quality of life, Ashford makes sense for startups which can get so much more for their money here without compromising on connectivity. I often hear businesses say that it’s even quicker for them to meet clients in Central London from their Ashford base than if they were located in and around London.”
State-of-the-art commercial office space
From hot-desking to renting flexible office space in one of Ashford’s newest office buildings, startups will find the space they need to grow their business without London’s expensive costs.
Spaces for startups include:
The Coachworks: in the heart of the Commercial Quarter and next to the International Station, the Coachworks is perfect for businesses looking for small studio space or a hot desk in a central location. This thriving hub is home to some of the county’s most creative businesses!
BizSpace: Ashford’s newest office block, BizSpace’s Cobalt Building is located at Eureka Business Park, next to the M20. It features more than 70 offices, ranging from 170 to 424 sq. Ft, available to rent on a flexible, three-month rolling license agreement.
Regus: Another town centre location, Regus Ashford offers co-working as well fully serviced office space available when you need it.
Kent Space: With a range of individual and fully serviced offices available on flexible terms, Kent Space Ashford is another key location for startups in Ashford.
Use Ashford Borough Council’s property search to explore commercial, industrial and retail space in Ashford.
“Startups will find the space they need in Ashford to build and grow their business,” Cllr Clarkson said. “We have developed a complete commercial eco-system in the borough, where startups can thrive and expand. Once they’ve outgrown their initial premises, other Ashford commercial spaces including Connect 38, Eureka Business Park or the commercial space in the upcoming Ashford International Studios complex will allow them to grow to their full potential.”
For more information about co-working and flexible office space, get in touch with our Economic Development team.
We have developed a complete commercial eco-system in the borough, where startups can thrive and expand.Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council
Startup Business Support in Ashford
Get the right business advice to start up your business
Ashford Borough Council works with Kent and Medway Growth Hub to provide business support and advice to startups. From discussing your initial business ideas to creating your business plan and establishing your business, Kent and Medway Growth Hub’s advisors can support Ashford startups every step of the way.
“We have a duty to help local businesses grow in the borough. Working closely with Kent and Medway Growth Hub and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, we give businesses the support they need to thrive in Ashford.” says Cllr Clarkson.
Get in touch with Kent and Medway Growth Hub to discuss your business idea with their expert team.
Access to Loans and Funding
Access to the right funding, whether business grants or loans, is an essential step for new businesses. When you get in touch with Kent and Medway Growth Hub, you will be able to access tailored funding advice, as well as support to apply for loans and grants.
Business Community and Networking in Ashford
On top of getting tailored business advice from Kent and Medway Growth Hub, startup owners can also rely on Ashford’s supportive business community.
Monthly digital meetups and Craftship Enterprise CIC’s creative business community, are just two ways that Ashford startups can benefit from the collaborative and entrepreneurial environment found here.
Access to talent
Ashford has the right talent for your business within its skilled workforce and options to work with Ashford College to develop the skills your business needs to grow.
“There’s been a rise in people looking to live and work outside of London. This means that there is a great pool of potential workers in Ashford, keen to work flexibly,” explains Cllr Clarkson. “We are also working closely with the local college to grow a pipeline of the right talent in the area and deliver the skills businesses need to thrive in the borough.”
We have a duty to help local businesses grow in the borough. Working closely with Kent and Medway Growth Hub and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, we give businesses the support they need to thrive in Ashford.Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council
Business Success Stories in Ashford
Home to highly successful businesses, from world-leading winemakers Chapel Down and Gusbourne, to innovative digital companies PageSuite and SixPorts, Ashford has helped many businesses start up and thrive.
Amongst Ashford’s most inspiring startup stories, Space Between and Six Two have made the most of their Ashford base to gain free support from Ashford Borough Council, including by joining the Scale Up Ashford programme, helping grow their turnover and employ more people locally.
Read their business success stories now and come and join us here.