A once-in-a-generation opportunity
Dover District and East Kent continue to experience high levels of unemployment, a low skills profile and an over reliance on public sector employment. There is a significant need for strategic investment and development in the local area. One of the largest brownfield sites in Kent, Betteshanger has stood derelict since the closure of the Colliery in 1989.
The history of the Betteshanger site, and the neighbouring Kent coalfields, have strong emotional connections for the people of East Kent, and the site has a deep-rooted sense of place and ownership by the community. Once a thriving coal mine, providing thousands of jobs in the local area, Betteshanger was the last mine in Kent to close.
Betteshanger Sustainable Parks will create a new economic identity and profile for East Kent against a backdrop of substantial deprivation. It will create opportunity and a new sense of aspiration, bringing much needed inward investment and jobs to the area. It will support future generations, providing jobs, new skills and training programmes as well as opportunities to improve health and well-being.
The opportunities provided by Betteshanger will aid the UK’s diversification into future growth industries. It will deliver exemplary sustainable and economically advantageous outcomes for the whole of Kent and it will position Kent’s global brand in green technology industries, nationally and globally.
Betteshanger will develop a new profile for Kent as the first UK destination to connect past energy heritage (coal mining) and the new energies of the future.
Betteshanger has been designed to provide integrated sustainable green living and working conditions for individuals, companies and communities. The project will:
- Demonstrate real life solutions for lifestyle transformation through green technology applications
- Promote sustainable lifestyle choices focussing on the links between food, health and well-being; and their relationship to Sustainable Land Management, conservation and use
- Provide a landmark regional and national example of mining heritage and future energy provision in an acclaimed eco-tourism destination maximising UK and European visitor potential to East Kent.
- Promote measurable and effective sustainable construction in all buildings.
- Inspire a new sense of place and civic pride, widespread community involvement supporting economic innovation, enterprise and investment.