Thanet Earth have announced that they have made a profit for the first time and that demand for their produce is exceeding supply, as they have only built three of the planned seven huge greenhouses I would think we can expect the construction of another one soon. To put this in context, the made a loss of £5m the previous year, however in the trading year to April 2011 they made a profit of about a quarter of a million.
It does seem to me to be a great shame that this food factory that doesn’t use soil, takes its water from the water mains (apart from the rain collected from the roof) and produces liquid waste that has to go into the main sewer – in other words it could be built on a brownfield site – is built and will expand on prime agricultural land. It is however very fortunate that they were not allowed to pump water from the Thanet aquifer or drain their liquid waste into the ground or Pegwell Bay.
It is difficult to say how much Thanet Earth benefits the local economy or the environment, but at least it is now making a profit.
The other main business expansion in Thanet recently is the Marks and Spencer at Westwood Cross, what they have done here is to double the size of the shop by adding a second floor. This creates 70 jobs, which as far as I can see are part time and full time for local people and reduce local unemployment.
Once again though we have M&S at WC at a terrible cost to our town centres what the difference in the number of jobs would be between one big shop at WC and two smaller ones in Ramsgate and Margate I don’t really know.
There is of course a fine balance between what large companies are allowed to do in terms of damage to the local community and damage to the environment, and how they benefit the local community.
Whatever the answer to this one there is no doubt that for us as a family, buying a pair of trousers from M&S involves a motorised journey that is harmful to the environment.
I think another big problem here is how much money stays in the area, by this I mean if the higher paid, executive staff are living and spending their money outside Thanet and the majority of the company profit is going out of the area, we need to be careful in weighing the balances.
I know that this is partly down to the nasty modern world and it is not so very long ago that most people working in provincial towns lived in them too. I do wonder if the higher paid local government paid staff lived in the towns they are supposed to serve how much better things would be.