This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Manston Enterprise Zone'.



 
 
 
Discovery Park Enterprise Zone 
Business Case – Consideration of Enterprise Zone asks relating to 
incentives or extensions  
 
 
Purpose 
  The Business Case is used to obtain commitment and approval by senior management within 
the Department for proposals which have either funding requests or future cost implications.  
  All such decisions need to be backed by a robust Business Case. However, the amount of 
work and detail put in to a Business Case should be proportionate to the scale of the project 
or programme, and the expenditure involved. 
 
Notes  
  Business Case will be assessed on a case by case basis. Inviting and assessing business 
cases does provide any commitment that a proposal will be successful. 
  Business cases should be submitted no later than Friday 24th October.  Enterprise Zones 
should work with their EZ lead in DCLG to develop the case.  
  Only those Enterprise Zones that made a formal request for a change to their Zone through 
their LEPs Strategic Economic Plan, may submit a case at this point. Cases should be for 
changes to the incentives on existing sites (i.e. applying to have an Enhanced Capital 
Allowance instead of a Business Rates Discount) or for extensions to the geography of Zones. 
Cases for extensions to the timescales for incentives or for removal of reduction of existing 
sites will not be considered. 
  Cases should be submitted by the Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of their Enterprise 
Zone. 
  Cases should be submitted to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
FULL BUSINESS CASE OUTLINE 
Proposal name  
Discovery Park: Proposal for extension of Enterprise Zone to include 
Manston and Betteshanger.  
Context and strategic case 
Rationale for 
1.1. Introduction 
government 
Discovery Park at Sandwich, Kent, is one of England’s most successful 
intervention 
Enterprise Zones. Recent developments on nearby sites offer the potential 
 
for complementary development, building on this success to overcome some 
of the long term challenges that have faced the East Kent economy.  
Last year, DCLG invited submissions for extensions to existing Enterprise 
Zones, and in the Chancellor’s budget statement, it was noted that the 
Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park could be extended, subject to a full 
business case.  
This proposal therefore sets out the case for the extension of the existing 
Enterprise Zone at Sandwich, Kent to include three neighbouring sites, 
shown on the map in Annex 2:  
  Extension 1: Manston Business Park 
  Extension 2: Manston Airport 
  Extension 3: Betteshanger Business Park 
Combined with Discovery Park, these three locations form a major 
commercial growth location. Discovery Park’s successful focus on a 
knowledge-led hub for life science and related businesses complement a 
growing SME-driven manufacturing base at Manston Business Park; longer 
term aviation-related (and potentially advanced manufacturing and other 
additional) uses at Manston Airport and a cluster of environmental 
technology activities at Betteshanger.  
 
1.2. 
The case for intervention 
East Kent has historically been characterised by low productivity, relatively 
high unemployment and a historic dependency on lower value sectors. The 
area has also faced major economic challenges, in particular the significant 
reduction of Pfizer’s activities in Sandwich and, more recently, the closure of 
Manston Airport. Generally, land values are relatively low, and despite 
extensive employment land, quality commercial property has traditionally 
been slow to bring forward.  
However, significant improvements in infrastructure (especially the 
development of High Speed One and the completion of the East Kent Access 
road network) have improved East Kent’s economic outlook and private 
investment has followed. Since Pfizer’s partial exit, Discovery Park 
Enterprise Zone has proved that there is demand for high quality business 
space from high value employers. Consequently, a single-purpose site has 
been successfully transformed into a hub for over 100 research-focused 
SMEs, supported by a significant educational presence. With commercial 
interest rising, there is an opportunity to extend this success to Manston and 
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Betteshanger, to the north and south of Discovery Park, creating a powerful 
growth hub at the centre of the East Kent economy.  
 
1.3. 
The existing Enterprise Zone at Discovery Park 
The existing Discovery Park Enterprise Zone is an 89 hectare site located to 
the north of Sandwich. For many years, the site was a major pharmaceutical 
and research and development centre owned by Pfizer, with an extensive 
stock of high quality scientific R&D facilities. Following Pfizer’s decision to 
exit the site in 2011 with the loss of over 2,400 jobs, Discovery Park was 
designated as an Enterprise Zone. The following year, the site was sold to 
Discovery Park Ltd (DPL) for mixed use development, to include significant 
scientific R&D occupiers. Part of the site was leased-back to Pfizer who had 
agreed to retain some of their operations on the site, saving some 600 jobs. 
The Enterprise Zone offers five-year business rate discounts and businesses 
on the site also benefit from flexible lease terms offered by Discovery Park 
Ltd, access to interest-free loans and equity investment from the Regional 
Growth Fund-backed Expansion East Kent programme and a significant 
technical and vocational training presence on site offered by East Kent 
College.  
Discovery Park Enterprise Zone has been highly successful. At the end of 
2011, only one company (Pfizer) was located on the site, employing 600 
people – 1,800 having been made redundant. Today, 110 companies 
operate from the site, with a further 10 firms currently in the process of 
locating onto the site. At present, 2,000 people are directly employed at 
Discovery Park and the number is expected to rise to 2,500 by the end of 
2015. 
For commercial development in the vicinity, this success has had three 
consequences:  
  First, it has demonstrated demand and driven investor interest on 
neighbouring sites, especially Manston Business Park (see below);  
  Second, it has meant that DPL has been unable to accommodate a 
number of enquiries, especially where these relate to manufacturing 
uses;  
  Third, the growth of the market for space for growing R&D-intensive small 
businesses is starting to increase demand for lower-cost start-up 
premises which could ‘grow into’ space offered at Discovery Park itself.  
These factors provide the rationale for the expansion of the Enterprise Zone.  
 
Planning status 
Dover District Council adopted a Local Development Order for the site in 
March 2013, with the current draft master plan envisaging the creation of 
3,000 jobs by 2017 in scientific R&D, general office, manufacturing and 
energy, with associated residential, retail and leisure uses.  
Alongside the Local Development Order, Dover District Council has 
maintained a very positive approach to growth at Discovery Park through the 
planning process. In particular, the Council has granted consent for:  
a)  A foodstore and associated development (application DOV/13/00783); 
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and 
b)  The redevelopment of the site to include demolition, change of use, 
provision of new commercial uses and associated site preparation and 
infrastructure works (application DOV/14/00058) 
The granting of consent to both of these applications will ensure the 
comprehensive, sustainable development of Discovery Park in addition to the 
existing buildings inherited from Pfizer, and will ensure that the positive 
momentum built up since Enterprise Zone designation was granted is 
maintained. 
 
1.4. 
The proposed extension to Manston Business Park 
Manston Business Park is an allocated business site directly accessible from 
the A299 dual carriageway. Some 29 hectares of the site have been 
developed and it currently accommodates 35 businesses and around 1,000 
jobs and is owned by East Kent Opportunities LLP (a joint venture between 
Kent County Council and Thanet District Council) and by China Gateway.  
Complementary to the opportunities at the Airport site, Manston Business 
Park is suitable for engineering, storage and distribution uses. Commercial 
demand has increased recently: over 2,800 sq. m built has been built out 
over the past 18 months, including 49 small business units in two separate 
developments. This will be supplemented by a further 1,000 sq. m to be 
delivered over the next year, including an additional 14 small business units.  
However, significant capacity remains (just under 46 hectares), with scope 
for the Park to potentially accommodate a further 2,000 jobs within existing 
infrastructure. 
 
1.5. 
The proposed extension to Manston Airport 
Manston Airport closed as an operational airport in May 2014 with the direct 
loss of 144 jobs. The total site covers approximately 300 hectares, including 
land previously used for direct airport operations and for a limited amount of 
additional commercial use.   
The future use of the Airport site will be determined through Thanet District 
Council’s Local Plan process. The draft Preferred Option Local Plan indicates 
that “a consideration… should be the retention, development and expansion 
of the Airport and aviation operations where supported by a feasibility study 
and a viable business plan… while exploring alternative options… for mixed-
use development”. 
Since September 2014, the site has been owned by a consortium, including 
two of the owners of Discovery Park. The new owners of the site have 
extensive experience, both at Discovery Park and at Wynyard Park in 
Teesside, in bringing forward highly successful commercial developments 
and have a clear interest in ensuring complementarity with Discovery Park.  
The new owners have an aspiration for the site to be developed as a mixed-
use scheme incorporating a major advanced manufacturing park, to include 
significant research and training facilities. They suggest that this is a logical 
extension of Discovery Park where the relative lack of manufacturing space 
is hindering the attraction and retention of companies in that sector. These 
proposals have been submitted to Thanet District Council for consideration 
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through the Local Plan process.  
 
1.6. 
The proposed extension to Betteshanger Business Park 
Betteshanger Business Park is located off the A258 between Sandwich and 
Deal.  The Business Park was formerly occupied by Betteshanger Colliery 
and was laid out as a serviced site by SEEDA and the Homes and 
Communities Agency, alongside an adjacent country park. However, 
reflecting weak demand in East Kent and the difficulty in marketing former 
coalfield sites, commercial interest has been slow to come forward. However, 
the Business Park is now in the ownership of the Hadlow Group, one of the 
UK’s leading land-based educational institutions, providing a new opportunity 
for a more clearly focused approach to development. 
Hadlow Group envisages that Betteshanger Business Park will focus on 
growing businesses linked with the Group’s educational and research 
specialisms. Specifically, this will target sustainable power development 
(linked with the energy centre now being delivered on the adjacent country 
park) and food technology (linked with Hadlow’s core food sector specialism), 
along with the delivery of standard commercial space for let. In the short 
term, Hadlow will provide access to training and business support to tenants, 
with the intention of building a further and higher education facility 
accommodating around 400 students in the longer term. Focused on smaller 
units and with business and training support offered on site, Betteshanger 
offers scope for early stage and start-up businesses which could later take 
space at Discovery Park. 
Within the master plan for Betteshanger Business Park, there is scope for 
13,500 sq. m commercial space, of which 5,500 sq. m will be delivered by 
2018.  
The Business Park has a long standing allocation for employment use for 
many years and is a high priority within Dover District Council’s economic 
strategy. It was previously granted outline planning consent for a mix of B1, 
B2 and B8 uses and a new outline application will be submitted later in 2015. 
 
1.7. 
Strategic infrastructure provision 
Discovery Park, Manston Business Park, Manston Airport and Betteshanger 
are all well served by new road infrastructure. The East Kent Access road 
scheme opened in 2012, providing direct dual carriageway access from 
Discovery Park and Manston to the motorway network, while work has 
commenced on the Westwood Relief Strategy, providing improved 
connections to Broadstairs and Ramsgate. 
Betteshanger Business Park is located immediately off the A258 near Deal, 
with new access infrastructure in place.   
All three sites also benefit from proximity to High Speed One rail services. 
Direct HS1 services already run from Ramsgate, Sandwich and Deal and 
work is underway to improve line speeds. Funding has also been confirmed 
to deliver a new parkway station to serve the existing Discovery Park 
Enterprise Zone and new developments at Manston, and the new station will 
open in 2019.  
 
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1.8. 
Complementarity between the existing Enterprise Zone and the 
proposed extension 

The existing Discovery Park Enterprise Zone offers a world-class science 
park location. As envisaged in the original Enterprise Zone business case, 
most development at Discovery Park will consist of B1a (office) and B1b 
(R&D) uses, with an element of B1c (light industrial) and B2 (general 
industrial) use, alongside complementary residential and leisure uses 
outlined above. Discovery Park will retain this high-value, knowledge-
intensive sectoral focus.  
It is envisaged that the extensions to Manston and Betteshanger will be 
complementary, rather than competitive, with the existing Zone. 
At Manston Business Park, the initial focus will be on accelerating demand 
for and B2 and B1c industrial floorspace, especially in the manufacturing 
sector, in addition to some distribution use. This reflects actual demand at 
Manston as well as the requirements of potential occupiers expressing an 
interest in B8, B2 and B1c uses at Discovery Park, but which cannot be 
appropriately accommodated on site. Based on recent occupation, it is 
envisaged that the majority of businesses will be SMEs.  
At Betteshanger, the focus of activity will be on SMEs within the food and 
renewable energy sectors, reflecting Hadlow College’s areas of specialism 
and the master plan for the site, with the business park also including units  
suitable for start-ups and early stage businesses with the potential to take up 
space at Discovery Park in the future. 
At Manston Airport, future use of the site will be determined through Thanet 
District Council’s Local Plan process. Advanced manufacturing and/or 
aviation use will clearly be non-competitive with the existing offer at 
Discovery Park, while the shared ownership between the Airport and 
Discovery Park provides a strong incentive to complementarity.  
  
1.9. 
Aims and outcomes 
Strategic aims 
This proposal to extend the Enterprise Zone aims to create a significant 
cluster of complementary economic activity in East Kent building on the 
success of Discovery Park, creating new employment and economic 
opportunity.  
Quantifiable outcomes 
By extending the Enterprise Zone, we aim to create 265 jobs as a result of 
additional development brought forward due to the Enterprise Zone business 
rate incentive by 2023/24, not including development on the Manston Airport 
site. 
 
1.10.  Specific Enterprise Zone request 
In extending the Enterprise Zone, we seek the application of 100% business 
rate discounts to Manston Business Park, Manston Airport and Betteshanger 
Business Park on the same terms as the discounts available to occupiers at 
Discovery Park. 
We are not seeking any change to the terms on which business rate 
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discounts are offered at Discovery Park: consistent with the current 
arrangements at Discovery Park, it is essential that the business rate 
discounts regime will have no detrimental impact on the business rates 
baselines of either Dover District Council or Thanet District Council and that 
the status quo will be maintained.  
It is assumed that the redefined Enterprise Zone will be set out in revisions to 
the red area of the ‘Maps referred to in the Non-Domestic Rating (Rates 
Retention) Regs 2013’. This means that all the hereditaments in the 
expanded Enterprise Zone – both existing and new – will be ‘Case B’ 
hereditaments. There will be no ‘blue area’ in the expanded Enterprise Zone 
and no Case A hereditaments. However, reflecting recent selective 
demolitions at Discovery Park, Dover District Council requests that DCLG 
reviews Dover’s business rates baseline.  
At this stage, we are not seeking enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) or any 
other measures which would incur an exchequer cost. However, the 
Treasury has previously stated in respect of the existing Discovery Park 
Enterprise Zone that should ECAs provide a significant incentive to a larger 
occupier, it would be prepared to consider the application of ECAs in the 
future. Given that the existing and expanded Enterprise Zone is within an 
Assisted Area, the offer of ECAs would be viable, although we do not 
anticipate a requirement in the short term.  
 
Current situation 
2.1.     Jobs and businesses 
 
At present, there are 110 businesses located at the existing Discovery Park 
Enterprise Zone, employing approximately 2,000 people. This includes a 
number of larger pharmaceutical businesses (including Pfizer, Mylan and 
Peakdale Molecular) as well as a larger number of SMEs, both in R&D and 
other sectors.  
Reflecting Discovery Park’s growing reputation, recent months have seen an 
increase in enquiries from overseas and projects have been secured from 
the USA, India and Australia. In the 12 months to March 2015, the district of 
Dover was the most successful in Kent in attracting overseas investors, 
being the chosen location for 10 of the 46 companies attracted to the county 
during that period by Locate in Kent. 8 of those 10 companies have located 
at Discovery Park. 
 
2.2.     Incentives currently available 
There are currently three main incentives offered by the public sector to 
support business growth at Discovery Park:  
  Business rate discounts, available to a maximum of £275,000 per 
business over a five year period.  
  Direct interest-free loan and equity finance offered by the Regional 
Growth Fund-supported Expansion East Kent programme. So far, six 
businesses based at Discovery Park have secured £2.4 million in 
Expansion East Kent finance, enabling them to lever a further £5.3 million 
from the private sector and securing 221 jobs.  
Expansion East Kent funding is also available on the proposed extension 
at Manston and Betteshanger. The entire extended Zone is located within 
the East Kent Assisted Area, enabling a higher level of support to 
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business than would otherwise be the case.  
  Simplified planning, through the Local Development Order adopted by 
Dover District Council. The Order effectively grants planning permission 
for certain uses, minor developments and demolitions, enabling 
businesses to adapt their premises without seeking planning permission. 
Given the recent closure of Manston as an operational airport, there is 
further work to do in determining planning policy for the Manston Airport 
site. However, significant experience has been gained both by Dover 
District Council and Discovery Park Ltd in the preparation of the Local 
Development Order: this has already been shared with neighbouring 
authorities in East Kent and will be used to support Thanet District 
Council in preparing a LDO for all or part of the former Manston Airport 
and Business Park area, should this prove to be the most effective 
planning route Dover District Council’s experience in progressing the 
LDO at Discovery Park will also be used in developing a simplified 
planning regime at Betteshanger.  
This incentive package will be retained and expanded as part of the 
Discovery Park and Manston Growth Deal proposed in the Strategic 
Economic Plan.  
 
2.3.    Governance and management 
The existing Discovery Park Enterprise Zone is co-ordinated by an Enterprise 
Zone Board. This is chaired by the Leader of Dover District Council, and 
includes representatives of Discovery Park Ltd., Kent County Council, Locate 
in Kent (the county’s inward investment agency) and DCLG. The Board aims 
to support the delivery of employment and business growth within the 
Enterprise Zone, ensuring that marketing and promotion efforts are co-
ordinated, incentive packages are joined up and that all key statutory bodies 
are aware of and can respond positively to the growth of Discovery Park.  
The Enterprise Zone Board was established in 2012 and has proved both 
stable and effective. It is proposed that with the extension of the Enterprise 
Zone, the Board is expanded to include representation from Thanet District 
Council and the owners of the Betteshanger and Manston extensions.  
The lead officer contact for Discovery Park Enterprise Zone and the main 
liaison officer with DCLG and the LEP is the Head of Inward Investment at 
Dover District Council. In respect of the expanded Zone, this role will be 
supported by  the Head of Built Environment at Thanet District Council as the 
lead officer for matters relating to sites in Thanet. 
 
Objectives 
3.1.    Overall objectives 
 
See also Section 1.6 above. 
The extension of the Enterprise Zone aims to accelerate the development of 
Manston and Betteshanger by providing Government support and an 
additional financial incentive alongside new private sector investment.  
 
3.2.    Specific objectives 
Specifically, the Enterprise Zone extension aims to:  
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  Deliver 11,000 sq. m of net additional floorspace by the end of 2017/18 
as a result of Enterprise Zone designation;  
  Support the creation of 265 jobs by 2023/24 as a direct result of this 
additional floorspace); 
  Support the creation of a further 2,300 jobs through further development 
over the next ten years to 2025/26 
 
Economic Case  
Exchequer cost 
4.1.     Overall Treasury cost 
(£) / Tax 
The maximum cost to Treasury will be £4,322,500 to 2023/24.  
Implications 
 
 
4.2.     Assumptions 
This estimate is based on the following assumptions:  
a)  The only substantive cost to Treasury is the costs of business rate 
discounts to a maximum value of £275,000 per business over five years. 
We do not anticipate at this stage any additional infrastructure costs to be 
borne by central Government, other than those already committed.  While 
there may be a case for enhanced capital allowances at both the existing 
Discovery Park and the extension to Manston within the existing window 
to 2018, we do not anticipate that the costs associated with this would 
exceed the costs of the business rate discounts.  
b)  Based on current estimated business requirements, around 11,000 sq. m 
additional floorspace is likely to be brought forward at Manston Business 
Park, Manston Airport and Betteshanger by 2017/18. We have assumed 
that this will be the final year in which new occupiers will be able to take 
advantage of the five year business rate discount window.  
c)  An analysis has then been undertaken of the typical size of properties 
and their rateable values. This assumes that delivery during the 
Enterprise Zone discount period is B2 (general industrial) and B1c (light 
industrial) use, reflecting current take-up at Manston Business Park and 
planned delivery at Betteshanger. Based on current plans and existing 
patterns of take-up, we assume that most occupiers will be smaller 
businesses and are unlikely to claim the full £55,000 rates discount.  
d)  It is assumed that take-up of business space at Manston Airport will be 
modest during the business rates discount period, and restricted to the 
re-use of existing properties on the site. In the longer term, we have not 
made any assumptions of job growth on the site, pending determination 
of the likely mix of uses through the Local Plan process.  
 
Impact and 
The impact of Enterprise Zone extension will be seen through both direct 
Benefits  
quantifiable and indirect benefits.  
 
5.1.  Direct quantifiable benefits 
In line with the objectives set out above, the Enterprise Zone extension will 
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deliver additional floorspace and job creation benefits.  
a)  Additional commercial floorspace 
Overall, the full Enterprise Zone extension (including Manston Airport, 
Manston Business Park and Betteshanger) could accommodate around 
300,000 sq m of commercial floorspace (including potential aviation capacity 
at the Airport). 
Enterprise Zone designation will help to bring the delivery of this commercial 
development forward, both through the marketing advantages that EZ 
designation brings and through the provision of temporary business rate 
discounts, which will provide a powerful incentive to occupiers to take 
advantage of additional space in the short to medium term.  
By the end of 2017/18 (the last date at which businesses are able to claim 
the rates discount), we estimate delivery of an additional 11,000 sqm, made 
up of:  
  4,000 sq m of new floorspace coming forward at Manston Business Park 
in 2015/16 and 2016/17. The past 18 months have seen the build out of 
2,800 sq m of floorspace at Manston Business Park: the incentives 
offered by Enterprise Zone designation (and the higher profile given to 
the area) are likely to mean an increased rate of delivery.  
  The delivery of the first phase of development at Betteshanger (5,500 sq 
m small business and incubator space according to the Betteshanger 
master plan);  
  1,500 sq m business space at Manston Airport, assuming the re-use of 
existing facilities. 
b) Additional employment 
A study carried out for the Enterprise Zone by Wessex Economics in 2014 
estimated that the then Manston Airport and Manston Business Park 
combined could ultimately accommodate around 5,000 jobs. However, these 
will be delivered over a long period, and will depend on the mix of uses at the 
Airport.  
Assuming that Enterprise Zone designation has the effect of accelerating 
development as outlined above, it is estimated that 265 jobs will be created 
on the extended EZ area by 2023/24. This estimate is based on standard job 
densities for the likely mix of development.  
Estimates of deadweight, displacement and optimism bias have been 
incorporated into the DCLG spreadsheet in Annex 1. These have been made 
using standard discount factors to adjust the gross jobs estimates based on 
floorspace. However, these adjustments are likely to make the estimates 
highly conservative. In particular, the standard regional displacement factor 
may underestimate the extent of market failure in East Kent; where quality, 
serviced commercial land has been made available (for example at Manston 
Business Park), the market has responded positively. However, low values 
have hampered the market’s ability to deliver, and in the case of Manston 
Business Park, long term investment by the public sector has been essential 
to the viability of commercial development. 
c) Land value uplift 
Commercial development on the Manston Airport site may lead to  land value 
uplift. The amount paid by the new owners for the site is commercially 
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confidential, although given the circumstances of the sale, it is possible that 
the purchase of the site will have been below the going rate for commercial 
land in East Kent. However, it should be noted that historically commercial 
property development has struggled to be economically viable in East Kent 
and the designation of this site as an Enterprise Zone will help to address 
that issue, rather than lead to any windfall gain for the site owners. 
Betteshanger Business Park has been the beneficiary of significant 
Government investment, with around £20 million invested by SEEDA and the 
Homes and Communities Agency in site remediation and infrastructure 
(including the creation of the adjacent Fowlmead country park). However, 
land values remain low, with relatively low rental values deterring commercial 
investment. With the anchor presence of Hadlow College and an incentive 
package for new occupiers, demand, and consequently land values, is likely 
to rise considerably.  
As development proceeds, there will obviously be an increase in business 
rate receipts on both Enterprise Zone extension areas (although it should be 
noted that the former airport incurred a significant business rates liability). 
Consistent with the position on the existing Enterprise Zone, we are not 
seeking special Enterprise Zone business rate retention measures, so 
Government stands to benefit directly from the increase in business rates 
payable over time.  
 
5.2.    Indirect benefits 
In addition to quantifiable commercial floorspace and jobs outputs, the 
extension of the Enterprise Zone will have a wider impact on the East Kent 
economy by strengthening the wider Sandwich Corridor and adding value to 
the existing offer at Discovery Park. Both the existing and proposed extended 
EZ sites benefit from shared strategic infrastructure and successive 
strategies (including the South East Strategic Economic Plan) have identified 
the value of a stronger ‘critical mass’ of commercial development to make 
best use of existing infrastructure investment.  
 
6.1.    Timing additionality 
Additionality 
 
In the absence of Enterprise Zone extension, it is anticipated that 
development at both Manston and Betteshanger will take much longer to 
come forward.  
 
The timing additionality effect works in two ways:  
 
  First, the time-limited nature of the business rate discount provides an 
incentive for occupiers to take up space earlier than they might otherwise 
have done; this is likely to be most significant around 2017/18, before the 
window of opportunity closes for businesses to take advantage of the 
maximum five year rate relief period.  
 
  Second, the non-financial aspects of Enterprise Zone designation (in 
particular Government backing, the commitment to simplified planning 
and a coordinated approach to marketing) will be significant in the first 
few years of development at Manston Airport (regardless of its eventual 
use mix), helping to change investor perceptions ahead of the majority of 
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commercial build-out. Likewise, Enterprise Zone designation at 
Betteshanger will help to raise the profile of the business park as a 
nationally-supported growth location. 
In the first two years of business rates relief being available, occupation of 
new premises will be focused on Manston Business Park and Betteshanger, 
with occupation on the Airport site likely to proceed in the longer term.  
 
6.2.    Scale additionality 
It is anticipated that scale additionality will be less significant, given the plans  
of all three owners on the extension sites to achieve full economic utilisation. 
All three owners have track records in patient, long term development.  
However, the stock of employment land in East Kent is significant, and the 
addition of the Manston Airport site represents a substantial increase. 
Without support from the public sector – through the wider package of 
incentive and promotion measures set out above as well as through 
Enterprise Zone designation – it is possible that the scale of the extended 
Zone’s employment potential will not be reached.  
Commercial Case 
Commercial 
7.1.     Overview 
rationale 
The commercial rationale for the Enterprise Zone extension proposal is 
three-fold:  
 
  First, it is important to note that Discovery Park is owned and is being 
developed by commercial interests. Key partners in Discovery Park are 
also involved in the consortium that has bought Manston Airport and are 
promoting development, and the Hadlow Group has a strong track record 
in commercial development. This is a private sector-led scheme.  
  Second, given the overlap of ownership between Discovery Park and the 
Airport, the owners will be working to maximise development revenues 
through a complementary, rather than competitive approach to 
development.  
  Third, the area covered by the extension has been mapped to ensure 
both early delivery of floorspace and jobs, while providing confidence to 
support longer term development.  
  Finally, the incentive measures proposed are designed to be simple and 
attractive to a large range of potential occupiers.  
 
7.2.     Commercial rationale for the mix of uses 
The mix of uses anticipated for the extended Zone at Manston Business Park 
and Betteshanger is different from that in place and planned at Discovery 
Park. It is anticipated that Manston Business Park will take manufacturing 
and engineering-related activities, consistent with take-up on the Business 
Park to date, and supporting existing East Kent businesses in expanding. 
Betteshanger will focus on food and energy technologies, reflecting Hadlow’s 
areas of expertise (although there is likely to be a link between the offer at 
Betteshanger and that at Discovery Park, with the latter offering longer-term 
move-on space for small businesses initially established at Betteshanger. 
Across the combined Enterprise Zone, we therefore aim to create a broader 
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commercial offer which is new to the sub-regional economy.  
This proposed mix is consistent with the analysis of sectoral opportunities set 
out in the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan, which 
along with life sciences (currently accommodated at Discovery Park), a 
strong emphasis is placed on manufacturing, engineering and land-based 
industry. 
The credibility of the complementary offer across Discovery Park and the 
Manston extension is enhanced by the fact that the Manston Airport and 
Discovery Park sites share partial ownership. Clearly, it will not be in the 
interests of the owners of Discovery Park (or the Enterprise Zone Board) to 
forego investment that could enhance the value of the Park, although the 
future use of the Airport has yet to be determined.  
 
7.3.      Commercial rationale for the proposed extension area 
In considering the extension of the Enterprise Zone, consideration was given 
to a number of options. At Manston, these included the designation of the 
Manston Airport and Business Park sites without Betteshanger. We have 
included all three extensions since they are all complementary to Discovery 
Park, could all benefit from Enterprise Zone designation and ensure that all 
the primary locations for business growth in the Sandwich Corridor are 
covered by Enterprise Zone designation, reducing the risk of localised 
displacement.  
 
7.4.       Commercial rationale for the incentive mix 
The ask of Government through Enterprise Zone extension is focused on 
business rates discounts to a maximum of £55,000 per year over five years. 
This is a simple and clear incentive, which has already proved to be 
successful at Discovery Park and which is accessible to businesses in all 
sectors. It is anticipated that it will be especially relevant in the short term, 
given the potential for smaller business units to be developed at Manston 
Business Park and at Betteshanger. 
 
 
ANNEXES 
Annex 1: Cost and benefit profile (Excel spreadsheet) 
Annex 2: Location map 
Annex 3: Response to DCLG queries 
Annex 4: Letters of support 
 
FURTHER INFORMATION 
 
Discovery Park: www.discovery-park.co.uk  
East Kent Opportunities (Manston Business Park): www.ekopportunities.com 
Betteshanger Sustainable Parks: www.betteshangerparks.co.uk  
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