The biggest news in the constituency this week is the unveiling of plans for a £2 billion regeneration project on the Swanscombe Peninsula, creating some 27,000 jobs in the local area.
There is no doubt that an investment on this scale has the potential to transform our local economy and I am very keen to see local residents reap the advantages. Part of the project includes a training academy which will help to ensure that local people will be able to benefit from some of the skilled positions this development will offer. The developer has already outlined plans for providing apprenticeships and opportunities should be available to local people for jobs in positions from front line service provision to senior management.
I was also pleased to see that the new complex will have an emphasis on British and in particular, Kentish character. Hopefully the park’s proximity to Ebbsfleet International Station will reverse the trend of British holidaymakers heading to Disneyland and draw in the crowds from the continent.
In such difficult economic times, I am pleased that in Dartford we have so many initiatives taking off at the same time. Bluewater is expanding; the Eastern Quarry finally has the go ahead and the Portas bid has been awarded. The combination of these projects with the latest announcement from Paramount demonstrates that things are beginning to look up. It is an exciting time for Dartford and in the next few years Dartford and the surrounding area could see itself becoming not just a thriving market town but an international tourist destination.