What’s the best location for pubs for lease in Kent?

kent map wiki

With its beautiful seaside villages and historical sites, the county of Kent can be a charming location for leasing a pub. Not sure about leasing a pub? Have a look at our guide on pubs for lease, tenancy or freehold.

However, as Kent covers such a large area, it’s worth finding out more about the different districts before you put pen to paper on buying a public house.

In this article we will summarise all the main hotspots for buying a pub in the area. Then at the end we will provide links to the latest listings for pubs for lease in Kent.

Read on to discover more about the following areas:

1. Ashford     2. Canterbury     3. Dartford    4. Dover    5. Gravesham

6. Maidstone    7. Sevenoaks    8. Shepway    9. Swale    10. Thanet

11. Tonbridge & Malling    12. Tunbridge Wells

First though, a summary of Kent itself…

The Canterbury Cathedral, Leeds Castle and White Cliffs of Dover are but a few of the well-known tourist destinations in this county.

One of the bigger retail draws of Kent is the new Bluewater shopping centre – a huge retail and leisure centre offering over 330 stores, 40 cafes, bars and restaurants.

Aside from this you have the Shepherd Neame Brewery, Howletts Wild Animal Park, the historic dockyards in Chatham and more.

But what are the current market conditions like in the county?

The county of Kent as a whole seems to be a better place to start a new business than in the past.

But some of the data is mixed…

So, we have unemployment rates and out of work benefits going down, and the average weekly wage showing a steady increase.

Yet, productivity (as measured by Gross Value Added per person – GVA) and three year business survival rates are down.

Kent Online news recently revealed that the number of new companies launched in 2014 marked a large increase compared to previous years. Medway saw the largest growth of new companies with 1888. Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, and Dartford also saw dramatic increases in new companies registered last year.

Such figures suggest a growing confidence in Kent as a location to launch a new business.

More information about Kent’s economy and demographic make-up can be found in this local Government report.

Let’s take a closer area-by-area look…

1. Ashford: an area of rapid growth

Because of its central proximity to London and the English Channel, Ashford has experienced a rapid growth with 5000 new homes and 4000 new jobs in just the past few years. Employment rates are up and so are the average weekly salaries.

Ashford had experienced the highest population growth in Kent between 2001 and 2011, according to Census data.

In short: Ashford is looking like a good place to start searching for a pub to lease.

Read more about Ashford’s growing economy.

2. City of Canterbury: more than a historic city

The City of Canterbury is a larger district which contains the historic cathedral city of the same name. Canterbury itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is consistently one of the UK’s most visited cities by tourists.

In the wider district there is a pretty even mix between retail and manufacturing industries.

The good news is the percentage of those claiming out of work and unemployment benefits are down. The bad news is the 3 year business survival rate and the average weekly salaries are also down.

Find out more about the Canterbury economy.

3. Dartford: a place of ambition

Dartford has been earmarked as one of the Government’s key growth zones within the Thames gateway. 20,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs are being targeted for the borough over the next 25 years.

With a £94 million remodelling of the Town Centre and a new 4000 capacity football stadium at Princes Park, the borough of Dartford is already seeing new growth throughout the area.

The annual salary here (GVA – Gross Value Added) is almost £10,000 more than the average GVA for Kent. And though the weekly earnings may have dipped slightly, it is still the highest in the county.

Find out more at the Dartford Council website.

4. Dover: a mixed economic picture

Dover is not only home to the famous White Cliffs of Dover, but it is also home to some very high-end shopping areas near the Dover marina as well as on the High street.

Recent years have seen positive signs in most of the key economic indicators. This is very much in line with general national trends.

The employment rate and 3 year business-survival rate are up from the previous two years.

However, the GVA is a great deal below the average at £12,890. There are pockets of deprivation in some of the inner city areas which still need to be addressed.

For closer scrutiny of Dover’s economy, check out the Council’s 2014 report.

5. Gravesham: life on the Thames

The Thames River has always been a central part of life in Gravesham and continues to affect the industries and economy of the area today.

It is considered to be one of the more beautiful areas of Kent. It has won awards from the Countryside Commission for its stunning natural vistas.

The area is growing and new strategies have been created to boost the economy in the Town Centre.

You will find the employment rate is up and so is the GVA. Though in comparison to other counties, the GVA is low at £12,161 per head. This is largely explained by the prevalence of low-skilled employment, particularly within manufacturing.

You can find more information regarding the economic health of the borough here.

Or read more about the town centre planning strategy.

6. Maidstone: coming back from the recession

Maidstone has some good and bad news. The good news is that there are more new businesses being created now and surviving the 3 year survival term than before.

The population is growing and the area is seeing possible expansion with investors coming forward with new development proposals. The GVA is also higher than average.

The bad news is that it has a higher percentage of the population claiming out of work benefits as the recession seemed to hit this area harder than others.

Find out more about Maidstone’s economic strategy.

7. Sevenoaks: a successful local economy

The Sevenoaks area has many benefits for starting a business. Offering a successful tourist industry combined with a highly skilled workforce, Sevenoaks is a profitable and well-rounded district.

Sevenoaks performed well through the recession, with commercial vacancies in the town centre some of the lowest in the country. Their business survival rates continue to be higher than the county and national averages at 64.3%.

Sevenoaks is looking like a prime location for leasing a pub in Kent.

Read out more good news from the council’s economic strategy document.

8. Shepway: the signs are good

Shepway offers unique business opportunities due to its location between Europe and London.

With the London Ashford Airport and home to the Channel tunnel, this district is a good place to think about leasing a pub.

Employment is on the up, earnings are increasing, and jobs have been forecast to grow more quickly than the South East average.

There is one reason for caution, though, as statistically speaking, this area has a lower business survival rate than almost any other district in Kent.

Other than that all the economic indicators are good. As this council strategy document reveals in more detail.

9. Swale: a well balanced economy

Historically speaking, Swale’s economy has been based mainly on manufacturing, port activities and agriculture. But in the last 25 years, they have seen a strong influx of small and medium-size retail and service industries.

With easy transport access and prime location between London and the Channel Ports, Swale has great potential for future businesses.

The unemployment rate is down and the 3-year business survival rate is up. The GVA is about £3000 lower than the Kent average, but the weekly salary continues to go up.

Read the corporate plan for Swale.

10. Thanet: struggle and hope

Situated on the coast, Thanet is a quiet community with a larger retirement age population than the county average. The main industries include agriculture and shipping.

The natural beauty of the area is a great draw to locals and tourists alike. Unfortunately, the area was hit hard in the recession and is still struggling to come back from that.

It has a low GVA at £13,778 and its employment and 3 year business survival rate are also down from previous two years. The council is working to bring in new investors, but as of now, this area still endeavours to bring itself out of the recession.

Such endeavour is reflected in Thanet Council’s grandly named Critical Pathway One document.

11. Tonbridge & Malling: steady and strong

With a £2.62 million fund to improve the High Street area, the future for Tonbridge and Malling looks good.

Employment has seen a steady increase and it’s economy weathered the recession better than most.

Interestingly, it has a relatively weak manufacturing and retail sector compared to the national average. Instead, it’s business services, construction and other related sectors which lead the way.

Tonbridge and Malling’s future economic forecast can be accessed here.

12. Tunbridge Wells: royally recommended

With three major shopping centres, Royal Tunbridge Wells is one of the more profitable areas if you are searching for pubs for lease in Kent.

The Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, The Pantiles and Camden Road all offer unique and interesting shopping experiences.

Tunbridge Wells is only 35 miles south of London and is easily connected with road, rail links and more. The median weekly earnings and GVA per head are both higher than the national average.

The 3-year Business survival rate is at 64% and continues to climb. With its connectivity and successful economy, this district comes recommended for starting a new business.

Find out more about Tunbridge Wells’ economic and cultural strategy.

Pubs for lease in Kent

**Coming soon…** We will publish a list of price ranges for leasing or renting a pub in Kent.

For now here are some popular links for pubs for lease in Kent with some of the major pub companies: