Doing Business in Sevenoaks
The Sevenoaks district spans an area of 142 square miles in West Kent and borders Greater London, making it a prime area for businesses across a large number of sectors. As one would expect, the principle town of the district goes by the same name and it is here that we will concentrate on today.
Sevenoaks: An overview
As with so many of the other towns that surround it, Sevenoaks was once a thriving market town and certain aspects of this tradition still remain. Named after the oak trees of Knole Park, Sevenoaks is perfectly situated in terms of business accessibility; Central London is only 21 miles away and the town is well connected by both road and rail.
Sevenoaks has a population of 29,506 according to the last census conducted back in 2011, but what it lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in spirit. Many of the residents here commute into the capital, but there is also a decent business presence here as well, with various sectors well represented, especially across the wider district.
As with much of the region, Sevenoaks business is experiencing an extremely vibrant economy driven by a highly skilled residential workforce. However, as mentioned briefly above, much of the community does commute elsewhere to work, although there are growing numbers of local businesses springing up in and around the town. This shift is being replicated across the region, and it is thought to be driven by many companies’ desire to escape the capital’s ever-growing rental prices for office space.
Industries represented in Sevenoaks tend to be mainly service led, with finance and business services the main protagonists in the area. Retail, too, is a key driver in Sevenoaks’s economic output. There have been new developments made on the High Street, although the overall size of the town does restrict its retail growth prospects somewhat.
As one would expect from what is largely regarded as a commuter town, Sevenoaks is very well served by transport links. Two railway stations serve the town itself, with a further two stations just outside the boundary lines. Sevenoaks’s main station is part of the South Eastern Main Line which connects this part of West Kent to the heart of the capital. Services run into both Charing Cross Station and Blackfriars Station, giving the residents of Sevenoaks easy access to both the West End and the City.
The road network surrounding Sevenoaks is good, too. The A21 now connects the town to the infamous M25 at Junction 5, providing locals with easy routes to the whole of the United Kingdom – traffic permitting!
Business in Sevenoaks
While the majority of its residents work outside of the town’s boundary lines, there is scope for business growth in and around the Sevenoaks region. Sevenoaks District Council has been quite proactive of late, spending money regularly on a wide range of improvements that aim to make the area more attractive to organisations both big and small.
There is also a growing support network for anyone looking to start a business in the West Kent area, and Sevenoaks has secured a partnership with Virgin StartUp to provide local companies with startup loans between £5,000 and £25,000. If successful, applicants to the scheme will not only receive vital funding that will help them get through those all-important early days, they’ll also be designated a mentor who has the relevant business experience to guide them through their initial startup phase as well.
Networking in the area is also growing as more and more local business appear and join the fray. The National Alliance of Business Owners provide great opportunities to small business owners as does the local Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. This accredited chamber can also help businesses with one-on-one business advice as well as mentoring and coaching, meaning that you are never on your own when starting up a business in Sevenoaks.
Whatever sector you are in, Sevenoaks holds great prospects for you and your business. Its location and highly skilled population are perfectly suited to anyone looking to either start a business in the West Kent area or relocate their existing organisation without losing those all-important ties to the capital.