The Project Area - Kent
Positioned between the markets of London and Europe, Kent is the closest UK location to continental Europe, offering access to over 530 million consumers within a 24 hour drive. The region offers great value housing, good schools and four universities, a wealth of culture and history, thriving communities with parks and open spaces.
Kent is a commercial business hub with high-speed rail links to the capital and continent. Rail links enable you to travel to St. Pancras, London in 17 minutes from Ebbsfleet International and 37 minutes from Ashford International, or to Brussels, Lille or Paris in less than two hours. Office costs are up to 60% lower and operational costs around 35-65% lower than London.
Kent has a wide range of available business parks, development land, office and industrial property suitable for all requirements.
Kent is well connected with fast motorway access to London and the rest of the UK, access to major international airports – London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and seven major ports, including Dover and rail links to the continent with Eurostar and Eurotunnel.
The Project Area - East Flanders
Flanders is the northern part of Belgium. Institutionally it is the federal state of Belgium that contains the Dutch-speaking population. Flanders has over 6 million inhabitants, who make up around 58% of the Belgian population. They live in an area covering 40% of the Belgian national territory.
East Flanders is one of the five provinces of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders (clockwise from the North) with the Netherlands and in Belgium with the provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant (both in Flanders), Hainaut (Wallonia) and West Flanders (Flanders).
It has an area of 2.982 km², and is home to 1.4 million people. With 472 inhabitants per km², it is one of the most densely populated areas of Europe. East Flanders lies close to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Flanders, and at the same time the political decision-making centre of the European Union. The capital and largest city of the East Flanders province, Ghent has 237,250 inhabitants and hosts 72.000 students studying at one of the 5 Higher Education Institutes in the city.
East Flanders has two sea ports: the port of Ghent and the Waaslandhaven, which is the growth zone of the port of Antwerp. The Ghent-Terneuzen canal connects the port of Ghent with the Westerschelde and the North Sea. Various domestic and international inland waterway connections are accessible via the River Schelde, the River Leie and the Ringvaart.
The province has a solid industrial tradition : textiles, steel industry, automotive and dredging. It is now also particularly strong in new industries like biotechnology, environmental technology, ICT and medical technology.
On an international level, the province has close contacts and strong collaborations with the Chinese province of Hebei. It has also established a Flemish Economic Office in Ho-Chi-Minh city (Vietnam).
The Project Area - West Flanders
The province is an autonomous level of government along with other levels such as the Federal State, the regions and the communities. The Province of West Flanders employs approximately 1,000 people and is active in various policy areas: tourism, sports, culture, economy, agriculture, education, welfare, environment, infrastructure, regional development, external relations and safety.
Globalisation is making the world smaller every day and the Province of West Flanders responds to this trend through a dynamic international policy. Besides the close co-operation with its neighbouring regions in the North of France, Zeeland and South-East England, the Province also fosters projects and interesting exchanges with its twin regions in Romania, Hungary and Poland.
Furthermore, in 2000 the Province of West Flanders signed a treaty of friendship with the Chinese province of Zhejiang. This treaty mainly focuses on sustainable economics and education, striving to increase the international aspect of West Flanders’ economy and academic network.
The Project Area - the SW of the Netherlands
The southwest of the Netherlands (Western Brabant and Zeeland) is a region of great potential. Over 100,000 companies are situated in this region. The strongest point is the strategic location. In 40 minutes you can reach the main ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. In 1 hour you can reach the large airports of Amsterdam and Brussels. Furthermore, the southwest of the Netherlands is situated conveniently near important economic areas such as the Belgian cities Antwerp and Zeebrugge and the German Ruhr area. Some 300 million consumers live within a range of 500 km. The southwest of the Netherlands has over a million inhabitants. Important cities within the region are Breda, Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, Middelburg, Vlissingen and Terneuzen
The Project Area – Hauts de France
Nord-Pas de Calais (part of the Hauts de France region) shares a maritime border with Kent in the UK and a land border with Flanders, Belgium. The region has a range of excellent transport links and is home to a population of approximately 6 million. The region combines the “Départements” of Nord and Pas de Calais as well as Somme, Aisne and Oise and is ideally situated in the ‘heart of Europe’ between London, Paris and Brussels. Nord-Pas de Calais has built on its rich industrial and mining heritage to become a dynamic region for modern business with key strengths in automotive manufacturing and high tech industries.