FH: stories | Daniel Kennedy, Progress Creative

When a creative agency has Hilton, Disney and Dreamworks on their client list, they must have done something right. And for Progress’ founder and CEO Daniel Kennedy, the right thing was coming home.

Born in Folkestone and raised in Romney Marsh, Daniel forged his marketing career in London, Scotland and Kent before taking the plunge to set up his own agency in 2009.

“When we bought a flat in Folkestone, establishing my business here was the logical choice. I’d seen what was happening in the Creative Quarter and how they were supporting businesses. I started at a co-working space in Tontine Street; I was the first tenant!”

10 years on, Progress has expanded to a 12-strong team with international big hitters EMI, Hilton and Disney on the books, as well as local businesses Rocksalt, Alpaca Annie, Abbeywell Vets, Creative Folkestone and Folkestone Harbour Arm.

It seems that their seaside location is an unforeseen bonus.

“Nearly every client has been enchanted by the sea and the notion of having fish and chips at the harbour when they come to visit us.”

“Geography has become less important; we don’t need a desk space in London to impress people. It has taken a while, but it feels like Folkestone is at a tipping point. Good businesses are bedding in, there is a stronger infrastructure and connectivity is fantastic – I can be in London in an hour to meet a client.”

Daniel also credits Folkestone’s fast rail links with bringing more international clients and young creatives keen forge their career here to Progress’ door.

“Folkestone is reversing the trend of people moving away from Kent to work in London. There are so many opportunities for ambitious people here. We’re not a sleepy seaside town – we’ve the potential to be the next Shoreditch.”

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