Minister Impressed and Encouraged by Kent Science Park

Thames Gateway Minister Bob Neill said he was impressed and encouraged by Kent Science Park’s recession-defying business growth during a visit to the specialist Sittingbourne site.

Kent Science Park (KSP) bosses told the Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst how the Park’s 61 business now collectively employ more than 1,300 people – up from just 870 five years ago.

Speaking after the Swale tour on Tuesday, May 1, which also saw Mr Neill stop off in Sittingbounre High Street, he said: “Kent Science Park is clearly a centre of scientific excellence and a key centre of employment for the area. KSP’s year-on-year increase in employees bode well for the entire North Kent corridor.”

Mr Neill was given a taste of the range of world-leading research currently being undertaken by KSP’s cluster of companies engaged in fields as diverse as life sciences, high-tech engineering, environmental, ICT and medical technology.

He was shown inside Vivacta’s laboratory, where the company’s scientists are developing a revolutionary technology platform for rapid, quantitative, high-performance point-of-care diagnostic tests. The life-saving equipment can be used to deliver extremely sensitive and accurate results equivalent to laboratory testing close to the patient within 10 minutes.

The Minister also toured the Kent Science Resource Centre, a dedicated, state-of-the-art teaching facility providing Foundation Degree courses in laboratory skills and further education for the life science industry.

Mr Neill said: “Vivacta’s revolutionary work could have huge implications for the NHS, helping to save thousands of lives each year. It is vital that we encourage companies like Vivacta to continue to thrive and also support the next generation of scientists.”

James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, said: “I was honoured to be able to give the Minister a glimpse of the groundbreaking work being undertaken at Kent Science Park everyday. It is incredibly rewarding to hear how impressed Mr Neill is with our efforts to support local businesses and encourage job growth in the area.

“We endeavour to continue this work through redeveloping and expanding the Park. Central to this goal is the proposed link road connecting the M2 to the A2, which the Minister was very interested in.”

Andrew Bowles, Leader of Swale Borough Council, said: “We were pleased to welcome the Thames Gateway Minister to Swale as it presented us with the opportunity to showcase our success stories, such as Kent Science Park, as well as our ongoing redevelopment and regeneration projects.”

Photo:Kent Science Park Director James Speck, Thames Gateway Minister Bob Neill and Vivacta CEO Tim Carter.

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