New Locate in Kent CEO appointed

Locate in Kent, the official inward investment promotion agency for the Kent and Medway region, has announced the appointment of Nick Fenton as CEO.

Nick has extensive property sector experience, including 16 years at director level at Wimpey Construction/ Wimpey Homes, including latterly as area managing director of Wimpey Homes (West London) and a further seven years as area managing director with Barratt Developments and Ward Homes in Kent.

Nick then moved on to work with a number of SME developers and agencies and establish his own property consultancy business.

Nick will be taking the helm of Locate in Kent, a well-established and successful organisation that has helped over 12,500 businesses to grow or expand in the county since 1997 and supported the creation and retention of over 80,000 jobs, with a significant pipeline going forward.

David Brooks-Wilson, chairman of Locate in Kent, said: “Nick is someone who knows what it takes to build success in Kent. With his property industry know-how, commercial acumen and excellent connections with both the private and public sectors, he is the perfect choice to be our next CEO.

“He likes to work with others to find solutions, challenging in support of the requirements of the districts, Medway and the county, supporting the excellent people we already have across the region. He is an ideal fit for Locate in Kent and just as importantly for those looking to develop or invest in the region.

“I look forward to working with Nick closely in his role as we seek to continue our mission to support the county, Medway and the districts, in attracting more business investment and jobs to the region over the coming years and improving our skills agenda.”

Nick has been a non-executive director with Locate in Kent since joining the board in 2009 as chairman of the Kent Housing and Development Group. This group plays an important role in linking developers, agents, and land and property owners with public sector partners, including Kent County Council, Medway Council, district councils, Homes England, Natural England, The Environment Agency and other various agencies. 

Nick was also the chair of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SELEP) Housing and Development Group, now rebadged as the South East Housing and Development Group, and has assisted in setting up similar groups across other areas.

His experience in delivering infrastructure, and residential and commercial property development has been built on a successful career spanning more than 45 years. This has ranged from senior positions with household-named developers to running his own property services consultancy business at a director level for 35 years. 

Nick has also worked closely with small and medium-sized developers to help them grow and answer local housing needs.

As interim director for infrastructure with Ebbsfleet Garden City, Nick supported the early delivery of utility infrastructure with his no-nonsense approach. This helped to unlock the phased development of this landmark garden city, the first in 100 years, that will ultimately deliver £3.9 billion of investment for the region and 15,000 new homes.

Nick continues to sit on the board of the Kent Nature Partnership, as well as the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Strategy (SAMMS) board in North Kent, representing the views of the property development sector on important environmental issues such as achieving nutrient neutrality, Biodiversity Net Gain, wildlife protection, etc, and frequently supports more sustainable construction methods. 

He is an avid supporter of the environment and encourages closer working relationships between these two sectors. He is also an integral board member of the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, as well as sitting on the board of the Kent and Medway Business Advisory Group.

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