Marlowe Innovation Centre
The Marlowe Innovation Centre is owned and run by Friends of the Folkestone Academy, an endowment fund and registered charity. It opened in August 2008 and was quickly fully subscribed.
The centre provides 48 offices and light industrial units for small, innovative businesses, hot-desks and a virtual office service for over thirty other small businesses, offering a business address, mail forwarding, telephone line and telephone answering service. There is a staffed reception, round the clock access, high speed fibre-optic broadband, two meeting rooms, regular training events for local businesses and a networking café with free refreshments. All surpluses from the market rents that are charged to tenants go to the Friends of the Folkestone Academy for the benefit of students of the Academy. The centre also provides mentoring, CV building, interview skills and work experience for local school students.
An extension was completed in May 2014 that doubled the original capacity of the centre. Having been one of the original core funders of the centre, with a grant of £465,000 in 2008 and other contributions from Kent County Council, East Kent Partnership, Thanet District Council and the European Regional Development Fund, RDHCT was a major contributor to the cost of the extension, providing £650,000, with the remaining £350,000 coming from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.