Once the playground for Londoners and the aristocracy, the Isle of Thanet is making a big come back and regularly appears in media polls for top holiday destinations.
A recent economic survey measured visitor numbers and the value of tourism to the area:
(The volume and value of tourism in Thanet – Cambridge Model Economic Impact Study 2015)
As the country’s property prices reach record highs, it has become ever more important to make your money go further. This is where Thanet (East Kent) really comes into its own, with office rents up to 80% lower than in London and 60% lower than in the rest of the Southeast. Combined with house prices that are up to 23% cheaper than elsewhere in the South East, Thanet makes a very attractive proposition to anyone looking to relocate or start a new business.
With its 19 miles of sandy coastline, seven Blue Flag, three Seaside Award bays, and the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in Britain, living on the Isle of Thanet gives you access to an environment that has huge physical and mental well-being properties. The gently sloping beaches are ideal for swimming and walking, and the golden sands provide endless fun for the family. Beach huts and chalets are available for hire seasonally, weekly and daily.
For nature lovers, the coastline of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate is internationally important for some of its marine and bird life, and also has nationally important environmental features, which include the chalk geology and topography, cliff top chalk grassland supporting rare plants and insects, waders and breeding birds, seals and other marine life.
The area has an architecturally stunning range of buildings, from Georgian terraces through to Victorian villas and Bauhaus seaside homes, with some 2500 of them listed – the largest concentration of listed structures in the south east of England. You can buy a house in a sweeping Georgian or Regency terrace, with views over the sea. If you prefer a rural village location, you can find anything from a cute cottage to a grand mansion in one of the villages that dot the area.
The area’s built assets are also ideal for conversion into character holiday accommodation, or indeed into a creative workspace or an office with a difference. The size and quality of property and land available at accessible prices means that you could achieve your dream of a healthy work/life balance.
With some of the lowest property costs in Kent and the South East, Thanet can offer affordable commercial and industrial property options for businesses of varying scales – from excellent development sites, with dual carriageway access to the M2 and M25, to high quality ‘soft landing’ space with on-site business support.
The diversity of Thanet has much to offer; the three main towns of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate each have a distinctive character, offering heritage, culture (galleries, museums, theatres), and high street shopping, where big brands sit side by side with independent retailers. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air too, from walking and cycling to water sports, such as sailing, surfing, kayaking and kite-surfing. There are five beautiful golf courses, two of which overlook the sea, and skate parks and adventure playgrounds for younger ones.
This, together with good quality housing stock, impressive grammar schools, a beautiful natural environment, a fast evolving tourism industry, inspiring and growing creative and cultural sectors, and proximity to London and continental Europe, all combine to make Thanet a great place to live, work and play.
With its growing focus on tourism, investment into major attractions such as Turner Contemporary and Dreamland, and burgeoning creative and cultural sectors, Thanet is attracting imaginative entrepreneurs, who are breathing excitement and energy into an area that is ripe for development.
The high-speed rail service, which has already reduced travel times to London and promises to reduce these even further, and the recently improved road networks keep Thanet well connected. Its location on the east coast of Kent, from just 75 minutes from central London, 50 minutes from Dover and Ashford International, and half an hour from Canterbury (train journey), make it ideally positioned to benefit from a less stressful living and working environment, whilst having easy access to the capital, as well as to continental Europe.
There is strong support for business growth from both the public and private sectors, with the Destination Management Plan already encouraging excellent collaborative working. There is a drive within the council to encourage inward investment and provide support for new businesses, and there are various opportunities available for business funding.