Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Green hub proposed for East Kent

Plans for Betteshanger Sustainable Parks in Dover district, which aims to transform the former mining colliery by creating a hub for green enterprises and technologies, have been unveiled by Hadlow College.

The £40 million proposals for the 277-acre site include a laboratory for green technologies, bringing together business, education, mining heritage, sustainable energy and rural tourism.

Work will be carried out in three phases, comprising:

  1. Betteshanger Sustainable Business and Commerce Park – a bespoke green technologies enterprise complex - will make available 6,700m2 of low carbon buildings for companies in food security, environmental technology and green business to act as a catalyst for creating new markets, technologies and products.
  2. A sustainable education centre covering environmental and countryside programmes, climate change, sustainability, agro ecology and agronomy production in phase one, with further opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate researchers.

  3. A new eco-tourism visitor destination in the Betteshanger Sustainable Energy and Mining Heritage Park, to showcase mining heritage and sustainable energy production in a landscape laboratory. The park will provide life-long learning, retail, gardens, external public spaces and events.
The £40m scheme is backed by £11m of public sector investment (of which £6m is confirmed) and £29m support from private investors (in principal subject to planning).

The scheme is led by Hadlow College Group working with the Homes and Communities Agency, Dover District Council, East Kent Spatial Development Company and private sector partners. Nationally, the initiative has support from the Departments for Communities and Local Government and for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Industrial Coalfields and Coastal Communities Alliances, Kent MPs and Kent County Council. The college is working with architect Sheppard Robson on the project. 

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