Betteshanger Sustainable Parks will be an outstanding new commercial, educational and visitor destination. It is a unique economic and social regeneration project that will transform East Kent.
The £30 million scheme will drive regeneration of the site and the area, combining sustainable business and commerce, education and sustainable energy and tourism. The project will not only preserve and celebrate the history and heritage of the site, but also deliver jobs and provide educational opportunities.
The project will include:
- A new Visitor Centre with café/restaurant and conference facilities
- The Kent Mining Museum (2017)
- A 6,000m2 Business Incubation Hub on the Business Park for fledgling businesses, particularly for green technology companies and businesses connected with the food and drink industry, health and well-being and life sciences (2018)
- An Education Centre will be developed on the Business Park focusing on commercial horticulture, agro-ecology and nature conservation (2019/20)
The scheme, one of three top priorities for Dover District, is led by Hadlow College Group. The College took ownership of the colliery site in July 2013. The project started on site in April 2014 Throughout the process, Hadlow College has worked extensively with the Homes and Community Agency, Dover District Council and private sector partners to access a significant combination of public/private sector investment.
The first phase is underpinned by £5m public funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, a coastal community fund award of £2.5m, and £750k from the East Kent Spatial Development Company. The scheme has widespread support at national, local, regional and local level including the Departments for Communities & Local Government and Business, Innovation and Skills, Industrial Coalfields and Coastal Communities Alliances, Kent MPs, Kent County Council, East Kent enterprise zone (Discovery Park) and the wider coastal communities, including the East Kent mining communities.
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