Dover District Council is heralding 2018 as a year of new openings and opportunities across the Dover District. The year starts with a premiere as the much anticipated Cineworld six-screen, 900 seat multiplex cinema opens on Friday, 2 February at the St James leisure and retail development in Dover town centre.
The £53m development by Bond City, owned and funded by Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, provides a host of reasons for people to visit Dover town centre and includes new restaurants and cafes, popular high street brands, including M&S and Next, 24-hour gym, and a 108-bed Travelodge hotel.
Later in 2018 the TradeMarq trade park opens at Whitfield including a new Lokn’Store self-storage facility, Subway, and trade units for Eurocell Plastics and Action Carpets. Construction continues apace on the new £26m Dover District Leisure Centre which opens in early 2019.
Work is also set to continue throughout 2018 on the Port of Dover’s £250m Dover Western Docks Revival, along with major housebuilding programmes in Aylesham, Whitfield, and at Buckland Mill and Connaught Barracks in Dover.
In the Spring of 2018, a new £8m Visitor Centre opens at the Betteshanger Country Park, near Deal. The culmination of a major regeneration programme by Hadlow College and Dover District Council to bring new investment to the former East Kent coalfield site, the Visitor Centre incorporates the Kent Mining Museum offering a unique insight into the history of the former East Kent coalfield as well as a glimpse into the energy of the future.
Work also begins in March on a £500,000 refurbishment of Deal Pier to mark its 60th anniversary, including resurfacing, new seating, and structural repairs. By the summer, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the renewed pier.
Energy of the future is also a feature for Sandwich in 2018 as the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone goes green with the opening of a £160m combined heat and power plant. The new facility will generate enough sustainable energy to power the entire park and to sell back to the National Grid. Plans are also underway at Discovery Park to develop a further 50,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space and 60,000 sq. ft. of new office space at what is already one of the leading science and technology business parks in Europe.
Cllr Keith Morris, Leader of Dover District Council, said: "2018 is going to be an exciting year right across the district with new openings, opportunities, and jobs for local people. The delivery of these major investments is already encouraging others to take a fresh look at what we have to offer in Dover, Deal and Sandwich. This is the year we put the district firmly on the map as open for business, tourism and as a great place to live. We can all play our part in 2018 by talking up what we have to offer."