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issue 5 2013

95% morTgages available

2013

Leading sustainable developments

medway making history

Two fantastic new Countryside Properties developments

medway making history

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Waves of change Peel’s Chatham Waters gathers pace Art start Medway’s burgeoning creative industries Made in Medway The business gurus driving growth A rate of knots Historic links fuel future development


education extra V I C T O R Y

P I E R

Strood Academy was created in 2009 following the closure of our predecessor schools. The academy is sponsored by the University for the Creative Arts, with Medway Council as co-sponsor. Sponsored academies were created to raise aspirations and academic results by using the expertise of the sponsors along with experienced and successful school leaders. Over the past three years our academy has transformed the educational opportunities and outcomes for girls and boys in Strood. The improvement in academic performance has been driven by a talented and committed workforce, the hard work of our students, and support from parents and our community. Our new buildings in Carnation Road were designed in partnership with Nicholas Hare and built by BAM as our main contractor at a cost of £26 million. They opened in September 2012 with the remaining external play and sports facilities to be completed by Easter 2013. The buildings reflect our education vision of creating a mature and purposeful educational environment where children of all abilities can learn and thrive. The academy is led by Richard Hart (Principal) and Kim Gunn (Head of School). Both were recruited following a highly successful period of leadership and outstanding Ofsted judgements at another Medway school. They have assembled a strong leadership team which has worked closely with our experienced governing body to bring about remarkable improvement and a secure financial footing in a short period of time. To find out more about Strood Academy please visit www.stroodacademy.org and browse our online prospectus or contact us by post, email or telephone:

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01634 565 000

www.victorypier.co.uk

Strood Academy Carnation Road Strood Kent ME2 2SX Tel: 01634 717121 Email: info@stroodacademy.org

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contents issue#05_spring ‘13

medway 1 Executive editor: Siobhán Crozier Editor: Lucy Purdy Head of design: Rachael Schofield Contributing editor: Sarah Herbert Designer: Kate Harkus Reporter: James Wood Head of business development: Paul Gussar Business development manager: Dan Leyland Production assistants: Emily Corrigan Doyle Emma Gasson Office manager: Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox Printed by: Bishops Printers Images: The Peel Group, Chatham Waters, Locate in Kent, MRC Photo, Countryside Properties, E.ON, Medway Council, Peel, UCA, © Rikard Osterlund, James Brittain, Daniel Turner, Thomas Cogley, Michael Walter/ Troika, Medway Business Awards, Rochester Airport Published by: 375 Kennington Lane London SE11 5QY T: 020 7978 6840 For Medway Council

Gun Wharf Dock Road Chatham Kent ME4 4TR 01634 331323 Director of regeneration, culture and community, Medway Council Robin Cooper robin.cooper@medway.gov.uk Subscriptions and feedback: medway1.com © 3Fox International Limited 2013. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written p ­ ermission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly f­orbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no r­ esponsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this ­magazine are not ­necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited or Medway Council.

10 05 News

Updates on development schemes and what’s happening around Medway.

10 Chatham Waters

A detailed look at Peel’s sweeping project to transform Chatham’s docks.

17 Connectivity

Medway’s transport improvements continue apace.

22 Map

What’s happening, where, in regeneration, at a glance.

17

25 Projects

A round-up of Medway’s main developments.

34 Culture

Medway’s infectious creative buzz.

40 Markets

Vital statistics – facts and figures about Medway.

43 Military pride

How its naval history is one of Medway’s greatest assets.

48 Made in Medway

34

How Medway start-ups are helped to grow into thriving, successful companies.

43

48


Perfect Partners Open for business mhs homes is a unique and innovative housing provider with over 8000 homes. We are committed to the regeneration and growth of Medway and are looking for partners to help us deliver our development ambitions.

To discuss opportunities call one of us now.... • Emma Riddington, Head of Development - 079210 57996 • Gary Clark, Operations Director - 07921 537805 • Ashley Hook, Chief Executive - 07793 807434 email: contactus@mhs.org.uk Or write to: mhs homes, Broadside, Leviathan Way, Chatham, Kent ME4 4LL www.mhshomes.co.uk


news medway 1

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An artist’s impression of Chatham Waters.

£650 million Chatham Waters plan receives the government go-ahead A huge development bringing hundreds of homes, a hotel, a supermarket and a conference and events centre to the banks of the River Medway – not to mention jobs – has been shown the green light by the government and Medway Council. 
 The ambitious Chatham Waters project at Chatham Docks in Gillingham was approved by the secretary of state in September 2012 and is set to create almost 3,500 new jobs. Some £650 million will be invested in the 10.5-hectare site for the mixed-use

development, transforming 177,000sq m in all. Offices, education facilities, an EventCity conference centre and hotel will be built alongside 950 apartments, townhouses and a supermarket. There will also be a civic square lined by large, sweeping parkland boulevards. Construction company Peel Land and Property will build Chatham Waters and already own the land at Chatham Docks. The firm was behind Glasgow Harbour, the Liverpool and Wirral Waters schemes as well as the huge Trafford Centre shopping centre in

Manchester and MediaCityUK at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester. James Whittaker, development director at Peel, said: “The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost. We will now continue preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site this year.” Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers said the decision was a “major step forward”. • See page 10 for more.

“The plan will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost” James Whittaker, development director, Peel

Maritime plan among largest 100 projects Countryside Properties’ £1.1 billion Chatham Maritime scheme has been named the 13th biggest regeneration project in this year’s Regeneration and Renewal magazine’s Top 100 listing. The project, regenerating much of the area’s historic dockyards, was ranked before multimillion schemes including the regeneration of Basildon town centre and Greenwich Millennium Village. Countryside are currently marketing their Maritime Riverside Quarter development on the beautiful St Mary’s Island in Chatham.


news

news

Strood Academy’s new building.

Plan to relocate station closer to Rochester town

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Medway’s first multimillion pound academy proudly opens its doors The first of Medway’s flagship academy builds was completed last summer, on time and on budget. The doors of Strood Academy’s old building closed for the last time as its new £26 million home opened – the first new secondary school in Medway for more than 40 years. The new building on Carnation Road in Strood covers more than 14,000sq m and took 18 months to build. It houses six science laboratories, library and seminar spaces, a sixth form centre, dance and drama studios and eight IT suites which will benefit members of the local community as

well as its 1,500 students.
It also boasts a 60kW wind turbine – the first at a school in Medway – which will generate up to 17% of the academy’s electricity requirements, as well as an all-weather sports pitch, science courtyard and an outside performance area. Building contractor BAM Construction, which is also working on the building projects at Brompton Academy and Bishop of Rochester Academy, worked with Medway Council to get students involved throughout. Strood Academy has been rated in the top 10% of projects across the UK by the industry-wide

Considerate Constructors Scheme. Sponsored by Medway Council and the University of the Creative Arts, the academy specialises in mathematics, business and enterprise. It is the first of Medway’s three new academy builds to be finished, with work well under way at the Bishop of Rochester Academy, Chatham, and Brompton Academy in Gillingham, both of which are due to open in September 2013. Principal Richard Hart, said the building would inspire future generations of young people “to achieve great things in Strood”.

A £26 million plan to relocate Rochester rail station 500m closer to the town centre is being considered by Medway Council. A 30% increase in the number of rail passengers is predicted as Rochester’s regeneration gathers pace. The high-speed train service makes it easy for commuters to travel to London and the redevelopment of Rochester Riverside is also a factor. The new station, on part of Corporation Street car park, was announced by Network Rail in a £37.5 billion UK-wide investment package. The plan – if approved – would deliver a new station with improved facilities and extended platforms, allowing trains carrying 12 carriages rather than the current 10 to stop at Rochester, creating space for more passengers. The station would also provide better integration with buses, cycles and shorter walking times for most of the commuters who use it. Work on the station is proposed to start in winter 2014 and expected to be completed by winter 2015. Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers said: “If this proposal gets the go-ahead it will lead to a new, better train station which will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers.”

Pioneering Medway sailor immortalised in Sadler’s Wells play The story of William Adams, a maritime navigator and sailor from Gillingham thought to be the first Englishman to reach Japan, arrived on stage in a new play at Sadler’s Wells, directed by Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Gregory Doran. It told the story of Adams, who was

known in Japanese as Miura Anjin, being washed ashore in Japan before finding himself the trusted adviser to the powerful Shogun Tokugawa. The play then explored how Anjin is drawn into a clash of cultures and power struggle, with war threatening all around. Celebrated Japanese actor

Masachika Ichimura starred alongside Stephen Boxer, Yuki Furukawa and a cast from Japan and the UK. A monument to Adams is in Watling Street, Gillingham, and he is also the subject of an annual festival there. Masachika Ichimura as Ieyasu and Stephen Boxer as Anjin in Anjin at Sadler’s Wells.


[ news ]

Rochester Airport’s future A scheme to secure the long-term, profitable future of Rochester Airport and provide up to 1,000 local jobs has been backed by Medway Council’s cabinet. Rochester Airport, established in 1933, is owned by the council and has been run by Rochester Airport Limited on five-year leases for the past 12 years. But many of the buildings and facilities at the site date back to the 1930s and are reaching the end of their useful life. The council submitted proposals to go out to tender for a new operator to run a revamped airport on a 25-year lease. In December 2012, the cabinet backed the move. The winning bidder will take forward plans to close two current grass runways on site and replace them with a new grass and a parallel paved runway. The grass runway will allow the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) to continue to use the site for heritage aircraft and open days. It would

Rochester Cathedral scoops £3.6 million lottery boost Rochester Cathedral has been awarded £3.6 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions project. This will be added to £1.3 million raised by the Cathedral Development Trust from charitable trusts including The Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust. The project will use the cathedral’s nationally significant archives, which are currently largely inaccessible, as a catalyst for the development of exhibitions and workshops in the crypt and library.

The architecturally impressive spaces will be opened up. The Textus Roffensis, older and considered by some to be a more significant document than the Magna Carta, is currently locked away for safety in the archives of Medway Council. The project is set to make the Textus “the jewel in the crown of an imaginative and dynamic treasury”. 
 Mark Beach, the dean of Rochester, said: “This will enable us to display our treasures in a way that will both preserve them and share them with our visitors.”


not lead to the site becoming a full-scale commercial passenger-carrying airport. A new operator would also be expected to work with the private sector and the council to invest in the site to improve its facilities, public access and the heritage offer available. Part of the former runway – around 12 hectares near to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate – would also become available for hi-tech business, science or technology development. This would lead to new land released for job creation – with the potential to eventually create up to 1,000 new, skilled jobs. The changes are also geared towards attracting more visitors to the area by positioning it as a new aviation heritage attraction. The council will now draw up a masterplan, detailing its future vision for the airport and the role it will play in Medway’s economy.

Business is booming in revitalised Rochester Company growth in Rochester reached record levels in the third quarter of 2012, according to figures released earlier this year by business data company Duport. The firm said that, between July and September last year, Rochester’s company register increased by 62 – up from 52 during the same period in 2011. Duport said that while company growth in Rochester had “dipped sharply” in

the third quarter of 2009, it had been growing ever since and was now higher than any other third-quarter figures on record for the town.
Duport.co.uk managing director Peter Valaitis said the growth figures were evidence of Rochester’s successful regeneration.
 “The record level of net company growth in Rochester suggests the town is gathering momentum as the country

moves out of recession,” he said.

 “The new companies that are springing up shows that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, which is a good sign for the year ahead.” Business Support Kent (BSK-CIC) is based in Rochester High Street and offers business advice, support to start-ups, planning, training and access to grants.

The team has helped 20,000 companies since it was set up 16 years ago, their help leading businesses to secure £40 million of investment across the region to support their growth plans, creating about 400 jobs at the same time. “There is a feeling of confidence and buoyancy from businesses now,” said CEO Jane Ollis. • See page 48 for more.

07

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A masterplan on Rochester Airport will be drawn up.


news

news in brief £1 million job scheme

A £1 million investment pot to bring jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for people in Medway has been created by Medway Council. The money will be invested over the next three years in helping long term unemployed people hold down jobs in Medway and also to help their new employers develop their workforce. project, IMPRESS,iswas selected by Much ofThe Medway’s regeneration based around its riverside following the success of cross-border Chatham Maritime. the European Interrag IVA co-operation programme, which is co-financed by ERDF. It will include workforce development, HR guidance, access to a network of like-minded businesses and a gateway to Medway Council’s business development services.

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Medway Park hosts British Fencing event for the first time Young fencers got their chance to shine in Medway this February as the annual Cadet and Junior GB Championships were held in Medway Park. British Fencing selected the venue for the first time this year and said they were thrilled to be working with Medway. Some 700 competitors aged between 13-17 took to the park. British Fencing’s media officer Karim Bashir said: “Holding this event in Medway allows us to present our fantastic sport at the highest domestic level to an audience that may not have had a chance to see fencing up close before.”

£20m boost for Thames Gateway businesses Businesses in the Thames Gateway will receive a £20 million funding boost to support new investment and jobs across north Kent and Thurrock. Ministers announced in October that TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is one of 130 schemes nationally to benefit from the government’s £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund. TIGER will offer interest-free loans to businesses investing in new products and services, with the aim of unlocking additional private sector finance. The scheme was secured following

a bid to the fund by the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership which was supported by local businesses. Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, said: “This clearly shows we continue to be a place where businesses are welcome and can grow with confidence. “We look forward to helping as many local businesses as possible benefit from this funding so that it can create more local jobs in the shortest possible period of time.” 
 The TIGER scheme will be up and running in April 2013.

The funding will support new investment and jobs across north Kent and Thurrock

Council cuts red tape to benefit local businesses

Investment by Medway Council to create jobs and apprenticeships in the region

Medway companies received a boost after Medway Council cut “unnecessary” red tape to offer contracts to dozens of small local firms. The move comes after the council asked the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to point out what prevents small and medium local firms applying for contracts with them. The business group said red tape and serial form filling were barriers to many. Now, 20 contracts worth £10.1 million from the council’s adult social care department have been awarded to local firms. Roger House, regional chairman for FSB in Kent and Medway, said: “Local businesses are not just part of the community, they are the local community, providing goods and services; generating jobs, opportunity and prosperity.“

20

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls visits Medway traders

£1m

Apprenticeships to be subsidised in partnership with Jobcentre Plus

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, visited Medway in January to talk about the issues which face small, start-up businesses all across the country. He discussed his views on how to build an economy which helps micro and small businesses, and visited traders, including the owners of family-run Vintage Dove in Elm Court Village, Gillingham. Medway has a slightly higher proportion of ‘young’ businesses than nationally at 16%.


Where do regeneration finance professionals go for information and advice? SOCINVEST.CO.UK SocInvest.co.uk provides an enhanced news and information service to regeneration funding and finance professionals. The site is accompanied by a weekly email news service sent to 16,000 subscribers FREE every Thursday. The site provides news and analysis of all the latest issues affecting: / Private and affordable housing finance / Council property joint ventures / Enterprise zones / Institutional investment in infrastructure / Sources of European funding / Government policy and regeneration initiatives The site also contains an intelligence section linking to all the latest publications affecting the sector, plus special reports on in-depth topics from SocInvest Thought Leaders.

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[ chatham waters]

sea change Unfolding over a vast area of Medway’s historic docks and costing more than your average prime London landmark, Peel’s new development is of epic proportions. It is set to transform entire swathes of Medway and create up to 3,500 jobs in the process. Noella Pio Kivlehan takes a look at Chatham Waters

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T

LEFT: An artist’s impression of Chatham Waters.

he development is set to be one of the UK’s largest regeneration programmes over the next few years. At £650 million and taking shape across 10.5 hectares, Peel Holdings’ ambitious plan to turn part of Chatham Docks into a leading mixed-use site will cost one and a half times that of London’s newest iconic building, the Shard, which opened to the public in February. But, just as the 95-storey Shard has changed the capital’s skyline, so too will the 177,000sq m Chatham Waters scheme transform Chatham. With a population of more than 70,000, Chatham – famous for its historical Royal dockside – is the hub of the Medway towns. But closure of the docks in 1984 meant the loss of jobs and left hundreds of hectares available for development once more. There has already been regeneration and Chatham Waters, designed by 5Plus Architects, is set to add to that when construction begins this year with the two-phase scheme. When complete, it will include up to 950 apartments, shops and river fronting leisure, 40,000sq m of offices, student flats, a 200-bed hotel, multi-storey car park, extension to the university campus at Chatham Maritime and a riverside walk. And it will be anchored by an Asda supermarket – the retail giant has signed up to take

continued overleaf

»


RIGHT: MediaCityUK, Peel’s development in Salford. BELOW: Chatham Waters, a huge regeneration scheme in Medway.

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Chatham Waters timeline • 1984 The dockyard (former naval dockyard) closes • 2005 Peel takes ownership of Chatham Docks through a takeover of Mersey Docks • October 2011 Peel submits planning application • May 2012 Medway Council approves the plans • September 2012 Secretary of state Eric Pickles approves the plans • 2 013 Development to start on the first phase – four hectares which will include the supermarket, pub, restaurant and hotel • 2015 and beyond Phase two – the remaining 16 acres, to include EventCity, are leased out until mid-2015, after which development will begin. The second phase is also expected to include commercial, residential and more retail development

7,250sq m. Asda are not hiding their glee at being involved with the scheme. A spokesman says: “Asda are delighted to be part of the new development at Chatham [Waters] – the redevelopment represents a significant investment in this part of Medway and will bring not only physical regeneration to this community, but also economic and social regeneration. “Our specific plans for a new store will help to anchor the wider scheme, guaranteeing footfall, creating jobs and

“Chatham Waters will breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost”


providing the community with access to low priced goods.” It will also feature an “EventCity”– a new exhibition and event space which Peel hopes will attract visitors to Chatham and benefit the wider area (see panel). For Peel, the site’s potential was easy to grasp. James Whittaker, the company’s development director, says: “The land was being underutilised so the joint expertise within Peel Ports and Peel Property helped to maintain the port operations whilst releasing land for development to help to invest in the port infrastructure (refurbished lock gates). Chatham Waters will regenerate and breathe new life into a significant area of the dockland and give the region a real economic boost.” Creating jobs in an area that has suffered since the docks’ closure – Peel hopes there will be as many as 3,500 – »

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Case study: MediaCityUK, Salford It is, to all intents and purposes, Mecca for media and the creative industries. As the purpose-built hub of the latest technology and design, MediaCityUK – developed by the Peel Group with phase one finished in 2011 – is the sought-after home of media stalwarts the BBC and ITV as well as the iconic British soap Coronation Street. The BBC has already moved 2,300 staff to MediaCityUK in Salford, with a further 1,000 staff plus BBC3 moving in 2015. ITV Granada relocated to the scheme last year while a new production centre for Coronation Street is being built on Trafford Wharf, next to Imperial War Museum North. The 15-hectare development is not only home to media organisations. The £650 million phase one at Salford Quays on the banks of Manchester ship canal, is the base of the University of Salford and more than 80 businesses. Peel calls MediaCityUK a “bespoke community which features one of the biggest HD studio complexes in Europe; commercial offices; 378 apartments; a brand new hotel and a spectacular waterfront public piazza.” Peel says: “MediaCityUK hosts one of the most advanced communications networks in the world, designed and managed by BT Business and delivered through 20 million metres of fibre.” For Peel, getting the tenant mix right was vital to the scheme’s success. Paul Newman, director of communications, says: “It’s essential to have the right balance of enterprises, both small and large. We are delighted to have major corporates such as the BBC, ITV and Satellite Information Services Ltd located at MediaCityUK as this attracts many smaller businesses to the complex. “We now have more than 80 small creative and digital businesses here ranging from games developers, PR companies and marketing agencies to film producers and TV production companies.”

As this was just phase one, Newman believes MediaCityUK can keep on changing and developing. He says: “Although phase one was developed over 37 acres, Peel has other land holdings and business assets across 200 acres of Salford Quays and the surrounding area. Plans are now being developed for future phases of MediaCityUK over the next 20 years or so.”


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RIGHT: Chatham Waters. FAR RIGHT: EventCity – a major new exhibition hall is planned for Medway.

is a clear priority of the plan. Whittaker says: “The mix of uses will help regenerate this area of Medway and create jobs. The mix also creates activity during all parts of the day which will be fundamental to a number of businesses.” Peel’s plans also add to and enhance the regeneration that has already taken place since the dockyard’s closure. This includes the creation of the Universities at Medway campus, the transformation of St Mary’s Island and the dockyard itself. The development of Chatham

Waters supports policy objectives for Medway Council and the wider Thames Gateway region as well as Medway Council’s objectives in its Local Development Framework. “This kind of mixed-use scheme... is the way forward,” says Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers, who adds: “It’s about creating new communities with great facilities on their doorstep”. Chambers says the plans are a major step forward for the regeneration of Medway and they are a “clear indication

of how the area is growing and continuing to attract significant investment from developers and businesses”. He adds: “The council works hard to bring investment into the area and this development has real potential to continue Medway‘s transformation... It’s a case of watch this space.” Speaking in September 2012 when Chatham Waters received final planning permission, Whittaker pledged that Peel would continue to evolve the scheme’s plans, while working with the council and

the residents of Chatham “to ensure we deliver a scheme the community is proud of. We will also start preparing detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site in 2013”. Jon Matthews, director at 5Plus Architects, says the site presented a “unique challenge”. “It sits partly within the buffer zone of a proposed world heritage zone, next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Ramsar (wetland conservation) sites; next to a medieval dockyard and within a


[ chatham waters]

Chatham Waters’ EventCity Developer Peel has made no secret of the fact that its main aim with the 177,000sq m Chatham Waters was to create jobs and attract people to not only Chatham, but to Medway. And one way of doing this was to build a new exhibition hall called EventCity. “The majority of the development has the benefit of a waterfront and we are seeking to develop an EventCity to hold large events and conferences that will be a huge attraction,” says James Whittaker, Peel’s development director. The 9,500sq m hall is based on Peel’s first EventCity exhibition space at The Trafford Centre in Manchester. Peel say that Manchester: “Has had a very successful first year holding events such as numerous consumer shows, trade fairs and live entertainment events, including the Manchester X Factor auditions for two years running.”

significant flood risk zone”, he says. Despite some reported fears that such a big development could take business away from the centre of Chatham, the scheme has proved popular with the majority of residents. Peel’s public consultation, before submitting plans in 2011, showed 90% of people supported the scheme and 95% believed it would boost the area. Not only does Chatham Waters have public support and council backing, but the government is also keen. A decision in September 2012 by

secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, not to call in the scheme, was seen as positive move. Whittaker believes the smooth sailing across Pickles’ desk proved that Peel got its plans spot on. Chambers also welcomed the move, saying: “We were pleased with his decision as it prevented a hold-up of the regeneration of this area.” Peel is fast becoming known as an expert at delivering schemes such as Chatham Waters due to past involvement in Castlefield Basin in Manchester and Gloucester Quays. The company owns huge swathes of land on other prominent waterfronts such as the Manchester Ship Canal, Bridgewater Canal and River Clyde among others. One of its most recent, high-profile developments, MediaCityUK in Salford, opened in 2010, and is home to the BBC and ITV as well as a number of retail and leisure operators and the University of Salford. Whittaker says lessons have been learned from MediaCityUK, but he stresses that Chatham Waters is not a duplicate of the Salford project. “We have learned that quality and quantity of sustainable buildings and public realm are key in making the scheme attractive for occupiers to consider the location, together with ensuring the site is well served through the infrastructure.” However, he adds: “We are not creating a MediaCity but perhaps a location for digital/internet occupiers. A possible name for the scheme is InternetCity.” Clearly, schemes of this size do not come without problems. Given the tough economic outlook still facing businesses in the UK and Europe, Whittaker admits funding “is the main challenge”. Ultimately, in developing Chatham Waters, Peel would like to leave behind a legacy scheme that will be copied by councils and developers alike. When asked if he would like to see Chatham Waters become a blueprint for future schemes, Whittaker is very clear: “Yes, definitely.” M

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“The mix of uses will help regenerate this area of Medway and create jobs. The mix also creates activity during all parts of the day”


M

edway’s multi-billion-pound regeneration programme is taking shape with the granting of a planning application for Temple Waterfront and the submission of a planning application at nearby Vantage Point, which adjoins the Medway boundary. Surplus land at both sites is to be used for innovative thinking and the delivery of high quality restoration with new homes, businesses and the creation of new employment opportunities. Lafarge Tarmac, who jointly own the 21-hectare Temple Waterfront site with Medway Council and Morgan Timber, have gained outline planning permission for up to 600 homes and 15,000 sq metres of employment space, creating up to 250 jobs. Proposed community services include shops, services and public transport. The site’s waterfront will be opened to the public for the first time in over one hundred years. Wildlife habitats will be protected and enhanced.

At nearby Vantage Point in the Borough of Tonbridge & Malling, Lafarge Tarmac’s proposals are for high quality light industrial business designs reflecting the gateway status of the 4.11 hectare site, and will do much to enhance the appearance of the area as well as provide much needed employment and increased opportunities for the local community.

We are determined to put derelict land in the area to good use and both Temple Waterfront and Vantage Point demonstrate a real vision for innovative regeneration. Temple Waterfront, with its links to the M2 and superb views across the river to Rochester’s castle and cathedral has massive potential and Medway Council, Lafarge Tarmac and Morgan Timber are determined to see that potential realised. With Vantage Point, our planning application will enhance the look and profile of the whole area.

DaviD SimmS Land and planning director, Lafarge Cement

Lafarge Tarmac Portland House Bickenhill Lane Solihull Birmingham B37 7BQ www.lafargetarmac.com Tel: 0845 812 6400 Fax: 0845 812 6200


[ connectivity]

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Great Connections After HS1 sealed Medway’s commuting credentials, the transport improvements keep on coming. It’s good news on the rails, better for bikes and by air too. It’s go, go, go in this linked-in corner of Medway, Kent, discovers David Gray

M

edway’s excellent transport connections go back a long way. Watling Street, the ancient road between London and Dover, passes through Rochester, which is just 30 miles from the capital, and is of historical importance as the lowest

bridging point of the River Medway. Chaucer’s pilgrims travelled along Watling Street, close to today’s M2/A2 route, which traverses Medway and links to the M25 and national motorway network. Rochester’s rail connections go back to 1860 and the line built by the London,

HS1 slashed journey times from Medway to London and made it a prime spot for London commuters.

Chatham and Dover Railway company. Today, the Medway Viaduct carries the High Speed 1 (HS1) trains travelling at 300 km per hour from St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel. These stop at Ebbsfleet International station, which serves Medway and North Kent and opened in 2007, and take just 17 minutes to whizz across the eastern reaches of the capital and smoothly into St Pancras. Medway’s strategic location within the Thames Gateway regeneration area means there is both increasing demand for travel and continuing major investment in the local transport infrastructure.

Besides the superb HS1 rail link and the recent widening of the M2 motorway, there is also the new Chatham Waterfront bus station and the Medway Tunnel, now owned by Medway Council. This, the first immersed tube tunnel built in England, is a major boost to the regeneration of the Rochester and Chatham riverfronts, including the historic dockyard. All these transport improvements help to diversify Medway’s economic base and greatly improve connectivity for local services and manufacturing. The road links are also vital for the important energy and port facilities located on the Hoo Peninsula. »


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“Medway’s strategic location within the Thames Gateway regeneration area means there is... continuing major investment in the local transport infrastructure”

ABOVE: Map showing Medway’s links. BELOW: Chatham bus station.

National government has provided substantial backing for Medway’s new transport infrastructure. Apart from the major road and rail links, this includes funding for the Chatham bus station, improvements at Gillingham train station, changing Chatham’s traffic system and £13 million spent on bus infrastructure and priority measures. There has also been national backing for Medway’s new Urban Traffic Management and Control Centre, which went live in 2012. Medway Council, meanwhile, brought into effect its third Local Transport Plan in 2011. This provides a long-term Medway Transport Strategy until 2026, alongside

the first three-year implementation plan for specific improvements. Results already include the opening of Chatham Waterfront bus station in October 2011, the first phase upgrading of the Medway Tunnel and the operational launch of the Urban Traffic Centre. The Waterfront bus station now handles 1,100 bus services each week, and about 60,000 passengers. Rail fares may be going up and commuters in the south-east are justifiably aggrieved at many aspects of the cost of today’s train travel, but Medway’s rail connections have not only got much better but are also set to continue improving.

Ebbsfleet has brought Medway the strategic advantage of high-speed rail travel to central London and Europe. The link to Stratford proved very useful during the Olympic Games and it also gives Medway easy access to what has become a major interchange on London’s tube and rail networks. Besides the new high-speed route, Medway has main line connections to London termini at Charing Cross, Waterloo and London Bridge (via Dartford) and Victoria (via Bromley South). The area is very well served with stations: Chatham; Rochester; Gillingham; Rainham and Strood on the main lines, as well as


[ connectivity]

LEFT: Medway tunnel links Strood with Chatham. RIGHT: The Quays at Chatham Maritime built by Ardmore Construction.

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Cuxton and Halling on the Medway Valley Line that links Strood to Maidstone and Tonbridge. The Docklands Light Railway is also easily accessible from interchanges at Lewisham and Greenwich. The most recent good news for Medway’s train travellers came in January 2013 with the proposal by Network Rail to transform Rochester Station, possibly by as soon as the end of 2015. Plans are being submitted to Medway Council to build a new station on the Corporation Street car park site, together with a subway to provide a much more efficient link to the town centre. The new station would have improved facilities

and, crucially, platforms will allow longer (12-carriage) trains to stop there. There would also be greatly improved integration between train and bus services. This plan involves £26 million of investment by Network Rail and the decision has been taken principally because of Medway’s growing population and increasing rail travel. As the regeneration of Medway – Rochester in particular – continues, both Network Rail and Medway Council expect train passengers to rise in number by a further 30% over the next few years. Plans have been afoot for some time to improve Rochester Station, but »


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“Rochester, like the rest of Medway, is benefiting from regeneration and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from”

TOP: Rochester Riverside, an exciting development in the Thames Gateway. ABOVE: Up to 1,000 jobs could be created at Rochester Airport.

this new scheme represents a quantum leap forward in providing a faster, more frequent and reliable service from London to Medway and beyond. Council leader Rodney Chambers firmly backs the plan and is clear on why it is important: “Rochester, like the rest of Medway, is benefiting from regeneration and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from. This will not only improve the service but make sure it grows with future demand and result in the station moving closer to the centre of Rochester and the places that visitors come to.” Sustainable transport in the 21st century requires much better facilities for cycling and Medway is making great strides in providing these. The National Cycle Network’s Route 1 goes through the area and has a key junction in Rochester.

Medway Council submitted a £210,000 bid to the Department of Transport in October 2012 for improving this junction at Dock Road and Wood Street. Throughout the borough, more than 110 km of new cycle routes have already been installed and as many as 12,000 bicycle movements are being recorded each week. Rochester Airport, established in 1933, is now set on the road to a long and profitable future, bringing commercial aviation to the area and up to 1,000 jobs. Medway Council, owner of the airport, submitted proposals in December 2012 to go out to tender for a new 25-year lease for a commercial operator. The priorities for regenerating the airport are to replace older, run-down buildings and install a new paved runway alongside a parallel grass one. While it will not become a full-scale commercial passenger facility,

the new Rochester Airport will handle small, modern aircraft from the paved runway and heritage aircraft from the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society from the grass runway. The scheme will also free up 12 hectares to develop a business, science and technology park, with great potential for skilled employment. Rochester grew as a town from bridging the River Medway and making use of the waterway as a transport route. It is fitting, therefore, that the regeneration of Rochester Riverside should combine major transport improvements with housing and other developments at this historic waterfront location. Apart from the prospect of a new Rochester station, there is already a new road on to the site and, at the end of 2012, Medway Council approved an additional £4.4 million for the next phase of essential infrastructure for the Riverside. The scheme includes a 1.55-mile waterfront walk and cycleway, multi-storey car and coach park, improved bus access and links to Rochester’s historic city centre. The first housing development at Rochester Riverside is for Hyde Group, one of the biggest housing associations in the south-east, and was due for occupation in March 2013. This £8.75 million scheme, built by Denne and part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, provides a 41-bed “extra care” home and 32 flats for rent and shared ownership. Its completion, along with all infrastructure works, marks the successful delivery of the first phase of Rochester Riverside. M


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Mott MacDonald

Global skills, local expertise

Services provided to Medway Council include: ■ Highways design ■ Bridge and building structure design ■ Building services design ■ Communications technology ■ Cost consultancy ■ Environment and ecology assessments ■ Geotechnics ■ Transport modelling

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Aerial Photography by Bryan Gulliver. www.thearco.co.uk

For over six years, Mott MacDonald has been working in partnership with Medway Council, helping to realise their regeneration vision for Medway. From the spacious bus station in Chatham that includes the latest public transport communication technology, to the sweeping alignment of the 250m steel girder bridge on the Hoo Peninsula, we have delivered a range of innovative projects starting at planning applications through to final design.

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Pump House

page 26

Rochester Riverside page 26

Rochester Station page 29

Chatham Waterfront page 25


Isle of Grain

[ site map ]

page 30

Kingsnorth

23

Victory Pier page 28

medway 1

page 30

medway on the map Projects under way across Medway’s main regeneration sites, plus what is planned and what has been delivered


Supporting our customers for 100 years Morgan Timber has been selling top quality timber in the Medway area since 1910. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers from our current location as part of the Temple Waterfront Development. • • • • •

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[ projects ]

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Chatham Waterfront

John Lyall Architects’ regeneration scheme for Chatham’s waterfront – awarded planning permission in April 2011 – has moved a step forward. The mixed-use project on land owned by Medway Council and A2Dominion will comprise 111 private and affordable apartments and 7,488sq m of commercial space. The development will redefine the skyline of Chatham when seen across the river from Rochester, integrate the public waterfront with the town centre and kick-start the regeneration of the wider area.

The project was passed unanimously, having received widespread approval from the planning committee. Councillors remarked that the scheme was “fresh and forward looking” as well as being “vibrant”, and said that it will “assist considerably in the regeneration” of the town. The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has awarded £2.9 million to Medway Council to de-risk the site. It is also returning the town’s pier to working order and also putting up a large cinema screen in front of the town’s pumping station, as well as protecting the site from flooding.

continued overleaf

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Pump House

Chatham Maritime’s magnificent, riverside Grade II-listed former pump house now has planning permission for conversion into a number of leisure uses, such as a wedding or conference venue, bar or restaurant. Just south of the Chatham Maritime Marina Lock, the ornate 1,440sq m building was originally built in 1873 to house the steam pumps used to drain the naval dry docks. Unused since 1984, it had become derelict and suffered severe cracking thanks to its perilous foundations: one end was built on 18m of stone and concrete, with the other on a complex network of timber piles. In a £150,000 project, which won an ICE Engineering Excellence award, engineers Campbell Reith underpinned the building and repaired the brickwork. Inside, the building comprises two main double-height halls, with several ancillary rooms, while outside it looks over Upnor Castle, an Elizabethan fort on the other side of the River Medway. It is part of a wider regeneration area owned by the Homes and Communities Agency. This now includes the Dockside Shopping Centre, a luxury marina, Odeon Cinema, Dickens World visitor attraction, restaurants and bars, the Universities at Medway campus and 1,650 new homes, with a further 400 in the pipeline at St Mary’s Island. Planning permission for change of use was granted in August 2011.

Rochester Riverside

Three new residential buildings by Hyde Housing are due to open in 2013, bringing life back to Rochester Riverside. The first, Nymph House, offers six two-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments for rent. Next door is the 41-apartment Bellerophon House, offering supported living for people over 55 years. The scheme offers residents round-the-clock care, two lifts, personal


[ projects ]

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alarm systems and health monitoring equipment, catering for all levels of care needs. The final element is Royal Oak House, a development of 24 high quality one and two-bedroom apartments, available through shared ownership. Each home comes with an allocated parking space and balcony. Debbie Small, director of Hyde New Homes, said: “Rochester Riverside provides a great opportunity for

first-time buyers to own a home in a great location and to enjoy really fantastic lifestyles.” A £4.4 million government grant will continue the access road and de-risk the site for further development, which will ultimately comprise 2,000 homes, hotels, shops, offices, bars and restaurants, two public parks, a primary school and the river walkway and cycle path that opened in 2008.

continued overleaf

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Victory Pier

Berkeley is celebrating the success of its development Victory Pier in the 2012 Medway Culture and Design Awards. The waterside development in Gillingham received a highly commended award in the competitive New Build category. The awards, organised by Medway Council, were presented at a ceremony in December to celebrate Medway’s excellence in arts, culture, design and heritage, as well as identifying outstanding achievements and contributions to the area. Victory Pier received glowing praise from the judges, who said: “This scheme is of iconic importance to Medway and has attracted a great deal of recognition. It occupies a strategically important site showing really high quality design and finish throughout.” The award-winning development has been hugely influential in regenerating the eight-hectare site overlooking the River Medway into a vibrant waterside community. When complete the waterfront village will include 775 new homes, a variety of shops and restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and new marina-style moorings. Berkeley managing director, Matthew Biddle, said: “We are delighted that Victory Pier was highly commended, the category covered all building types built in the past two years, so the competition was strong. We are immensely proud of this recognition and our commitment to the regeneration of the area.” Already 20 homes have been reserved off-plan in the latest phase, Marina Heights, which in total comprises 87 suites, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Prices start from £114,950 for a Manhattan suite, from £129,950 for a one-bedroom apartment, two-bedroom apartments are from £174,950 and three-bedroom apartments start at £260,000. Marina Heights is due for completion in February 2014.


[ projects ]

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Rochester Station

The current Rochester station is set around elevated rails, making it awkward to reach, with no disabled access and limited parking. To address these problems, Network Rail is proposing to move the station approximately 500m to Corporation Street. The move will also enable longer, 12-car trains to stop at the station, and allow for the projected 30% growth in passenger numbers. It also supports the regeneration of the Rochester area, provides better integration with buses and cycles, as well as a shorter walk for the majority of commuters. The station will have better facilities, including car parking and will also be closer to the main town centre. The cost of the development – including a new subway link with the Riverside development area, three 12-car platforms, and a new loop to facilitate freight operation – is estimated at £26 million. A planning application will be submitted in summer 2013, with works on the site due to begin towards the end of the year, if approved, and completion due in winter 2015. An extended and refurbished Gillingham station, with more circulation space, a new glass entrance and cycle storage facilities, opened in 2012, at a cost of £2.6 million.

continued overleaf

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Isle of Grain

E.ON’s new gas-fired power station opened at the end of September 2012, generating enough electricity for one million customers. Converted from an inefficient, oil-fired power station, the new £500 million, three-unit combined cycle gas turbine is also one of Europe’s largest CHP (Combined Heat and Power) suppliers, increasing the plant efficiency from 58% to around 73%. To generate the electricity, air is compressed and mixed with natural gas and burned in the gas turbine. Hot exhaust flows over turbine blades to induce electricity from an attached generator. The exhaust is then used to boil water to produce high-pressure steam and is transformed by another turbine into more electricity. The remaining steam enters the CHP circuit and is transferred to the

neighbouring National Grid liquefied natural gas plant, where it is used to heat the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and turn it into a useable form. As it can transfer up to 350MW of heat energy, the reduction in energy needed by the LNG terminal reduces its carbon dioxide by up to 300,000 tonnes per year. E.ON took care to minimise its effect on the environment. The 36-ha site is home to nesting pairs of barn owls and peregrine falcons, along with the usual summertime visitors such as swallows, house martins and other species. It is also home to a colony of pipistrelle bats, a large badger sett, water voles, grass snakes and marsh frogs, as well as insects such as dragonflies, damselflies and a colony of small tortoiseshell butterflies. The development is thought to have created more than 1,000 construction jobs.

Kingsnorth

This 46-ha, £170 million logistics park south of the Hoo Peninsula, is now ready to receive 180,000sq m of industrial or distribution business, with the capacity for a single 108,000sq m unit – the only one in the south-east. The site is close to the M2, with easy access to the M25 and within a tier 3 ‘grant for business’ assisted area.


[ projects ]

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Developer Goodman has spent £20 million on infrastructure, on and off site, to improve access and make plots ready for development, as well as completing wildlife areas. The site is immediately adjacent to the Medway Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA). Outline permission exists for the units, which range from 1,800 to 108,000sq m

and which will feature the latest eco initiatives, have a minimum ‘very good’ BREEAM rating, and a construction time of between six and nine months. Goodman owns, develops and manages industrial property around the world, and has developed more than 929,030sq m of industrial space in the UK and Europe, while its landbank in the UK is more than 200 hectares alone.


Invest in Medway Medway is at the heart of a rapidly growing business innovation corridor between London and continental Europe. It is a growth city, developing strategically located regeneration sites for major employment investment and housing. We offer exceptional educational and cultural facilities, superb business support services and competitive land values - all set in a stunning maritime environment with world-class heritage and excellent transport connections. Support for your business Medway is the natural home for high value businesses. We provide micro / small business workspace, interest-free loans up to ÂŁ2million, start-up grants, free business advice, employer

Š Christopher Radcliffe

resourcing services and innovation vouchers.

www.investinmedway.co.uk 01634 338177 business.support@medway.gov.uk


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22


A Design for Life medway 1

34

Fast becoming a hotbed of creative industries, Medway’s burgeoning cultural scene unites the area’s maritime history with the modern. The result is a rich and exciting mix of people, projects and products. Pamela Buxton discovers more

F

ourteen years ago, product design student Paivi Seppala came to Medway from Finland on a three-month study exchange. She never went back. She is among the many who succumb to what Paivi has dubbed the “Medway magnet”, an infectious force which has persuaded an entire cluster of people from the artistic and creative industries to study and work in the area. “There is something about Medway with its mix of five towns that is unique. It has so much heritage, and so much to inspire and excite the cultural sector,” says Seppala, who now runs Rochester-based creative consultancy Poppana. “Ten years ago, the arts scene was very underground. Now it’s started to bubble up and become a very active, artist-led environment.” Much of the creative activity is focused on Rochester and Chatham with new, high-spec studios in Chatham Dockyard providing space for up-and-coming creative businesses. There are pockets of creative activity around the Rochester and Chatham high street – including studios in the former Featherstones buildings in Rochester – as well as a large population of art and design students. The University for the Creative Arts is based in Rochester and

Talent: Students from the University of Creative Arts work away from their base at the historic Chatham Dockyard.

the University of Kent’s 300 music, fine arts and creative events students work their magic from Chatham Dockyard. “Medway is a really striving, up-and-coming creative quarter in the south-east,” says Medway Council visual arts development officer Caren Stafford. “There is a real sense of ‘doing’ here, a certain creative buzz about it,” adds Gary

Weston, of Rochester creative consultancy Spaghetti Weston and co-owner with Seppala of LV21, a new floating arts venue at Gillingham Pier, (featured on the cover of this edition of Medway1). “There’s a real community of creative individuals and organisations and although it seems quite disparate, there’s a lot of collaboration.”


[ culture]

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So why Medway? Although it is still within easy reach of London, Medway offers far more affordable residential and commercial accommodation and has a distinctive waterside character. It is also en route from the capital to coastal art attractions such as Turner Contemporary at Margate as well as the continent. The council is keen that the area is

somewhere creatives can thrive and in doing so, contribute to the economic prosperity of the area rather than move elsewhere to build their businesses. “We’ve been working extremely hard with local organisations, creative industries, individuals, higher education and arts providers to really embed the infrastructure needed to create the right

conditions for the arts scene and creative industries to flourish,” says Stafford. One of the biggest issues for creative people, especially graduates, is affordable workspace. As part of the EU-funded Recreate initiative to support economic regeneration through creative enterprises, Medway Council has been turning empty shops into artists’ studios and ‘incubator’

spaces on the high street between Rochester and Chatham, providing new space for creative activity while regenerating the high street. One of the most significant is Sun Pier House in Rochester which will provide studios for 14 artists, plus cafe, retail and exhibition space in a redundant office building. Renovation is due to finish next year.

»


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ABOVE AND LEFT: More than 200 artists were involved in Fuse Arts Festival 2012 which transformed Medway’s streets and open spaces with scores of free events.

“There’s a strong arts culture here and we’re trying to tap into it and connect with it as much as we can. It’s about sowing the seeds” Already, students from the university have exhibited there. “There is a need for affordable studios. We want to engage students and show them they don’t have to leave,” says arts programmer Heather Burgess, one of the prime movers behind the Sun Pier House initiative and also founder of the Medway

Open Studios and Art Festival. To help encourage more students to stay on after graduating, the University of Kent is working hard to embed its Medway students in the local creative culture at a grass roots level. The university moved to Chatham Dockyard three years ago and sees itself as part of the dockyard’s

continuing creative life, having just invested £1 million in new welding and casting facilities and thus continuing the dock’s historic focus on craft and materials. “There’s a strong arts culture here and we’re trying to tap into it and connect with it as much as we can,” says visual arts lecturer Tim Meacham, referring to

cultural heritage such as the Medway Poets, punk performance poets of the late 1970s, and Billy Childish, co-founder of the Stuckist Art Group in 1999. The university also has links with local schools and organises other outreach activities. “It’s about establishing links and sowing the seeds,” says Meacham.


[ culture]

“There’s a real community of creative individuals and organisations here in Medway and, although it seems quite disparate, there’s a lot of collaboration”

Students have been working with the Kent Architecture Centre, also based in Chatham Dockyard, on its place-making project which explores how architects and makers can shape the spaces they live in – the current project considers interventions at Chatham Bus Station. To further support local artists, the council has set up a free resource at Rochester Art Gallery on the high street where artists and students can use the reference library, practical resources and technical facilities, and find out about issues such as insurance and liability. The council also supports the Connect peer support and mentoring network for local professional artists. “We’re trying to plug the gap between education/self-taught and being professional,” says Stafford. Nucleus also provides a retail showcase for local artists on the high street and runs an arts centre in Chatham with artists’ studios, a gallery and a cafe, close to another cluster of artists’ workspaces, West End Studios. While Rochester and Chatham are the artistic hubs of the area, there is also a new art venture in Gillingham in the form of LV21, the vintage Kent lightship turned cultural venue which aims to unite traditional maritime heritage with different art forms, explains Seppala. “Gary and I developed LV21 because we both feel passionately about the area. Heritage is such a strong player in Medway but we felt it wasn’t being utilised creatively. We hope to reach river users and the wider community,” she says. While there is no shortage of creative talent in Medway, there is scope for more and broader public engagement. In recognition of this, a consortium of small Medway and Swale arts organisations have recently secured £1.4 million of funding from the Arts Council’s Creative People and Places fund to develop new »

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ABOVE: Medway students have been involved in the ambitious Eastgate House project.

Eastgate House Immortalised in two Dickens novels, Eastgate House on Rochester High Street is to be restored and opened to the public following the award of a £1.3 million Heritage Lottery Grant. Medway Council is contributing a further £700,000 to the £2.1 million project, which is part of the authority’s plans to support cultural tourism in the area. The work, which will start this year and be completed by 2015, will allow the 16th century house to be fully opened to the public. Students from the University of Kent have been staging exhibitions in the building and are, together with academic staff, and local creative professionals, advising on the development of the house into a gallery and arts centre. As well the Grade I-listed Eastgate House, the site includes the Swiss-style Dickens Chalet, which the author Charles Dickens often used for writing and was moved from Gad’s Hill and installed in the grounds in the 1920s. Eastgate House featured in The Pickwick Papers as Westgate and in The Mystery of Edwin Drood as the Nun’s House. Dickens’ work is celebrated in the council’s annual Dickens festival.


“Fuse is a very visible, exciting, large-scale festival. We’re trying to bring together a sense of the richness of the different towns” medway 1

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TOP LEFT: Rochester Art Gallery. ABOVE & LEFT: Artists’ studios in Chatham. RIGHT: Medway folk act Duotone on board LV21.

Medway arts festivals and events calendar • Dickens Festival 31 May, 1, 2 June, 2013 • Fuse Medway Festival 14-16 June, 2013 • Medway Open Studios & Art Festival 13-21 July, 2013 • Rochester Castle Concerts 17-20 July, 2013 • Will Adams Festival 14 September, 2013 • 51:zeroº Voyager Film, video and digital media festival, October 2013

cultural activities over the next two years. “Medway has a lot to offer but our audiences don’t necessarily know what’s available, or don’t think it’s for them. So, rather than simply offering them something, we’re encouraging audiences to take ownership and let creative people know what they want,” says Seppala (LV21 is part of the consortium). By using arts to bring about community engagement, she hopes the grant will “expose people to new and innovative people and places”. This work will be developed in collaboration with the local authorities and supplement the many existing arts festivals such as Fuse, an outdoor weekend festival run by Medway Council across several locations. “It’s a very visible, exciting, large-scale festival. We’re trying to bring together a sense of the richness of the different towns,” says Stafford. Newer arts events include Medway Open Studios and the 51:zeroº Voyager – film, video and digital media arts festival, which both started last year (see box). Heather Burgess started Medway Open Studios two years ago in order to raise the profile of the creative scene among local people who didn’t realise the wealth of creative activity going on in their area. Last year between 70 and 100 artists took part across 15 venues. “So much is happening in Medway but a lot of people don’t know about it. My aim was to show off what we’ve got and help people realise what is there,” she says. The council is also supporting the development of cultural tourism in the area, and has recently secured a Heritage Lottery Grant to develop and conserve Eastgate House, an Elizabethan townhouse in Rochester, as a heritage and cultural venue (see previous page). Dickens and Will Adams festivals also draw on Medway’s cultural heritage, the latter celebrating the Gillingham-born, Elizabethan seafarer’s adventures in Japan, where he was called Miura Anjin. Despite all this activity, there is still scope to attract far more participation both locally and by visitors. The hope is that initiatives such as Recreate and Creative People & Places will nurture creative activity and help make even more use of the cultural sector to show what is vibrant and exciting about Medway’s cultural scene. M


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Medway and beyond for over 25 years

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Medway by numbers Facts and figures about Medway’s businesses, investment in regeneration, its economy and its rich history

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Chatham Waters is expected to generate

£1 billion of private investment and up to 3,500 permanent jobs

Medway has more than 200 parks and open green spaces covering 1,900 hectares Medway has a slightly higher proportion of ‘young’ businesses than nationally, with

16% of businesses younger than two years, compared to 15% nationally

Construction

Medway’s largest sector accounts for

1/5 of businesses

In 2011 the median annual household income in Medway was

£31,400 compared to the national average of £29,000 In Hempstead and Wigmore, Cuxton and Halling wards, incomes are £44,800 and £40,900 on average

Peel’s Chatham Waters scheme has the potential to deliver about 176,000sq m of floorspace

Today, Chatham Dock handles more than

1m tonnes of cargo a year


[ markets]

The walls of Rochester Castle, one of the best-preserved examples of Norman architecture in England, are

12ft thick in places

Fort Amherst in Chatham is Britain’s largest Napoleonic fortress

41

The average cost of a 3-bedroom terraced property in Medway rose by

4.25% (£157,182 to £163,869) between April 10/March 11 and April 11/March 12

Small

IS beautiful

About 50% of all UK startups succeed, however, last year in Medway

76% 85% of businesses in Medway employ fewer than five staff

of new businesses flourished

medway 1

Other sectors which are proportionally larger in Medway than nationally are transport and storage, production, health, and food services


Investing in Communities

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ASDA is committed to investing in Medway and surrounding communities, and continues to seek new investment opportunities. For more information about ASDA’s commitment to Medway please contact Oliver Jones at Oliver.Jones@asda.co.uk or call 07772 227 053


[ military pride]

military precision By the time Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne, the River Medway was fast becoming the main base of England’s navy. Now, its naval history is one of Medway’s greatest assets, providing both a source of past pride as well as an inspiration for future development, as Henry Ellis discovers

Chatham Dockyard is enjoying an economic resurgence.

almost exclusively from the local area. But three decades later, the hulking relics of 400 years of proud naval history, which saw Chatham wave off legendary British explorers and all-conquering naval warships, have become happy bedfellows with a reinvigorated Medway. Now businesses are queuing up to set up shop in the area, which is becoming one of the UK’s most remarkable success

stories in recent years. Flanked by the 70-ha Great Lines Heritage Park, which boasts a protected area of chalk grasslands of national scientific interest, lies the beating heart of industrial Medway, Chatham Historic Dockyard, which is enjoying an astonishing economic resurgence. The dockyard’s new lease of life has been brought about by forward

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hen the last vessels left their moorings and the machinery fell silent at Chatham Dockyard in 1984 the curtain fell on 400 years of shipbuilding and refitting at the site. The decision to wind up operations at the Royal Navy’s original home was a dark day for the Medway towns as it meant the loss of some 7,000 jobs for workers drawn

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thinking and a government which realised that, in the absence of industry, one of the jewels in the crown of British seafaring history would quickly slide into rack and ruin unless something was done to preserve it. Fort Amherst, The Great Lines and Field of Fire – an area kept clear for shooting musket balls at any advancing army – had become neglected as the navy scaled back its operations. But what to do? The dockyard had passed its sell-by date for the navy and many buildings had become useless. Attempts to sell off parts of the site proved fruitless, as businesses found the cost of converting the huge buildings would be

too high. But the cost to the public purse of preserving them with no commercial input would have been staggering. Instead the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust was formed and, tasked by the government with maintaining the site, came up with the “living museum” concept, which would see new homes, businesses and museums sharing the dockyard’s space. Trust chief executive Bill Ferris says “preservation through reuse” remains the order of the day. He has overseen the site’s rebirth as a major tourist attraction, and commercial centre housing some of the most entrepreneurial media companies over the past 12 years. It is also home to

ABOVE LEFT: Fort Amherst, Britain’s largest Napoleonic fortress. ABOVE: Chatham Dockyard. RIGHT (L-R) Great Lines memorial; Royal Engineers Museum workshop.

more than 400 Medway residents. But the icing on the cake would be UNESCO World Heritage Site status – an ambition long held by the council. Other UK sites which have been granted the status include Durham Castle and Cathedral, Blenheim Palace, the Tower of London, Edinburgh’s New and Old Towns and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. The site in Medway would include the Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst, Upnor Castle, Great Lines Heritage Park and Brompton Village, as well as the Brompton Barracks of the Royal School of Military Engineering. Ferris says: “I went to my first meeting about the bid 12 years ago, so that gives

“The Luftwaffe helped by leaving (the dockyard) alone, probably because they had their eyes on it as a potential point for an invasion of Britain”


[ military pride]

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“The World Heritage process has helped people to realise that the entire site is worth more than the sum of its parts” you some idea of how long a process this is. The process has been more important than the badge of World Heritage status. It has worked for Medway in helping people realise that the entire site is worth much more than the sum of its parts.” Ferris adds that, if the funding had been in place from the outset, the project would not have developed into the success story it has become, as lessons have been learned while the trail was blazed. In fact, he says, the lack of funding in the early days may have been a blessing in disguise for the historic dockyard, because it was spared any form of unsympathetic development. Ferris says: “It helped that the navy left behind, intact, that huge Georgian legacy. The Luftwaffe also helped by leaving it alone, probably because they had their eyes on it as a potential point for an invasion of Britain. “Other naval defences were badly bombed, but the legacy remained at Chatham. It remains the way it was when it was a working dockyard and that to me »


“We’ve only realised our potential in the past three years. Now we have historic ships in dry dock and buildings have been brought back to life”

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is what really makes it so special. “The other brilliant thing has been the huge investment that it has brought outside the dockyard that would not have happened without the bid. Having MidKent College, the University of Kent and the Royal Engineers on the site is also really great as it preserves the area’s historic links with education. “We’ve only really realised our potential in the past three years. Now we have historic ships in dry dock and buildings have been brought back to life.” As well as The Ropery – the world’s oldest working rope-making building from the Age of Sail – the site boasts the No.1 Smithery building, which has brought in collections from the National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum. “Now we have around 160,000 visitors every year,” says Ferris. Peter Kendall, principal inspector of monuments for English Heritage, has been championing the Chatham cause for over a decade and shares Ferris’

enthusiasm for the site’s significance to a time when Britannia ruled the waves – or at least squabbled with other European nations for supremacy at sea. “The status would be brilliant for the kudos it carries and for attracting tourists but it cannot be about stopping the clock,” he says. “The process has galvanised public support. At our last World Heritage Partnership meeting last year, there were a couple of hundred people who signed up to receive our newsletter. “A lot has been done to challenge local perceptions and make them realise they have something really worth preserving here in Chatham.” English Heritage’s involvement began when they drew up a list of possible sites in 1999. Major dockyards such as Portsmouth and Devonport in Plymouth were considered, but in 1999 Chatham was singled out because of its complete barrack fort and largely intact heritage. But Kendall says the bid must

overcome government trepidation after it had its hands burned in Liverpool. The government celebrated securing the status for the city in 2004, but there were red faces all round when UNESCO clashed with the city council in 2011, saying Liverpool would be stripped of the status if plans for a £5.5 billion regeneration of its waterfront went ahead. Highlighting Britain’s colonial past is not always popular with the UNESCO board either. “There is a little tension about sites like Chatham – some countries don’t want to remember Britain’s colonial past when their own nations were part of the British Empire,” says Kendall. But Joanne Cable, Medway Council’s Chatham World Heritage manager since 2007, agrees that regenerating the area is more important than the status itself and points out that Medway has already benefited from millions of pounds in lottery grants and heritage fund money. But she admits to being slightly

disappointed at not yet winning World Heritage Site status. Cable says: “Sadly, we had not demonstrated how we were as significant as sites such as Karlskrona in Sweden and Kronstadt near St Petersberg in Russia, which already have the status. “But we said from the start that the UNESCO bid was as much for the benefits that it would bring to the area as it was about winning the status. “It has provided improvements in the link between Chatham and Gillingham and thanks to a £2 million grant, we now have lighting along the paths and along the Chatham Lines Bridge. “We’ve put in a bid for £8 million to create an arrivals hub and a discovery centre,” adds Cable. It has been a long road for the Chatham World Heritage Status team to walk and they may still have to wait in line for a while yet. However, to steal a phrase from Ferris: “We are British – we are used to queuing”. M

Holdfast Holdfast Training Services Limited, provider of high quality training and support services to the Royal Engineers at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham, entered into a 30-year PPP with the MOD in January 2009. They will help deliver critical training and all the associated support functions to the army. Managing director John Wadham says: “Holdfast feels particularly privileged to be able to build upon the 200-year history that the Royal Engineers have already established in Chatham. Indeed, I would say that this unique partnership has not only helped to deliver extremely well trained Sappers into the field army but will also help to preserve the military presence in the Medway area for many years to come. “Given the longevity of the contract and its wide-ranging scope, it is unsurprising that Holdfast is one of the largest employers in the Medway area. The majority of our staff live locally and so make a significant and welcome contribution to the local economy. “It is a genuine pleasure to be leading the Holdfast team in this important area of army training. As an ex Royal Navy captain who spent many happy hours in Chatham Dockyard in a previous career, I was thrilled to be appointed into this challenging and rewarding role – and to be back in Chatham again after a 25-year break!”


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Made in Medway Medway is home to exciting businesses of all sizes, some of which have been fast-tracked to success by a dynamic support organisation. Lucy Purdy meets the CEO who is helping to drive forward Medway’s growth

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F

rom start-up whizzes to funding experts and from international trade gurus to professional project managers, a crack team of people with fingers firmly on the business pulse has been assembled in a corner of Medway. Having helped 20,000 companies since its inception 16 years ago, what those at Business Support Kent (BSK-CIC) don’t know about starting, growing and maintaining companies here is almost certainly not worth knowing. BSK-CIC offers business advice, support to start-ups, planning, training and access to grants and in the last couple of years the team has helped business secure a staggering £40 million of

The Heat and Home headquarters in Rochester, Medway.

investment across the region to support their growth plans, creating about 400 jobs at the same time. “We help ambitious people grow their businesses – it’s as simple as that,” CEO Jane Ollis tells Medway1 magazine. “We talk to people and connect them. That might be to new ideas, new technology, finance or other people who can help them. Some have a certain impression of Medway, but actually it is a real hotspot for growth, and success breeds success. There is a feeling of confidence and buoyancy from businesses in places like Chatham now.” Crucially, growth is not only in industries traditionally associated

with Medway, in manufacturing and engineering, but also in business services. So where has this come from? Ollis describes the work done by Medway Council as “incredible”, crediting them with creating a platform onto which businesses can come and grow. Connectivity is vital too, Ollis believes, with the high speed rail link enabling Medway business owners to travel to London’s St Pancras in just 35 minutes. Europe is also easily within reach. She says: “For businesses starting up, Medway offers a much better deal for premises but enables you to retain a London client-base, if that is your target market. We recently worked with a small

marketing agency who found they could easily get into London but also are able to have a much nicer office at the Medway Innovation Centre in Chatham, which works as a draw card for clients if they want to visit the coast for meetings.” Close contact between Medway’s business community and the region’s impressive clutch of academic institutions is also a major strength. “We also have great academic institutions to bring university graduates and skills into Medway,” says Ollis. “The council helps support that with apprenticeships and additional funding, so they are very much focused on skilling the workforce. Finding the right employees is


[ made in medway] “Medway is a hotspot for growth and success. There is a feeling of confidence and buoyancy from businesses in places like Chatham now”

Case study

Heat and Home King Street, Rochester

communicate that to staff, or the business cannot find the financial push it needs. We know the main reason that people aren’t currently focusing on growth is the economy, but in fact, a business which doesn’t look at growth now is one which allows its competitors to get ahead.” BSK-CIC runs a county-wide service called High Growth Kent which targets businesses with the potential for 20% year-on-year growth, or companies which can achieve a £1 million turnover within a year of starting-up. They are offered expertise, support and information across all areas of business, from finance to logistics and from management to marketing. The company is also a partner

in the UK government’s flagship Growth Accelerator programme. Monthly BSK-CIC workshops are always over-subscribed. And Ollis says there were hundreds of people packed into the Corn Exchange in Rochester for the 2012 Medway Business Awards. Now in their 29th year, the awards attract up to 60 entries each year, and are among the oldest of their kind in the UK. “There is a confidence in Medway which I don’t see at the same level anywhere else in Kent,” says Ollis. The group also runs a start-up service on behalf of Medway Council. Their tried and tested programmes have been replicated nationally and in Europe.

Specialist heating company and Medway Business Award 2012 finalist Heat and Home has gone from strength-to-strength since being launched by Medway natives Jo and Ben Alsop in 2008. Despite beginning just as the recession began to bite, former British Gas engineer Ben and former chartered surveyor Jo, never looked back. “It has made us incredibly disciplined with resources and cash flow,” says Jo. “Our feeling is that if we can grow during extremely tough trading times we should have a robust business model that can survive all times. “By year three, we had started to look a bit special as a company, really striving for quality and skill in everything we did, but we were far from savvy, seasoned business owners. “It was only with the mentoring help we received that we could see the direction we should be taking and how we could get there. “BSK-CIC were the first to assist and they continue to help us. One-to-one advice that ranged from “get a dedicated bookkeeper” to “you’ll have a hard time persuading me not to set up a wood burning stoves showroom, so do it” was exactly what we needed at the time. This advice was worth so much more to us in revenue terms

“Lots of people have good ideas which are untested in the market or they launch their business and struggle to get customers. We help them identify what is unique about their business, how to control cash flow, how they are going to cope with the stresses and strains of running a business. On average, about half of all start-ups fail. But in Medway last year, the success rate was about 85%. We live in a culture in which we are terrified of failure more than we are motivated by success, but we offer a great deal to those who have the guts to give it a go. We tell them that everything is possible. If you have a business with innovative ideas and a market gap, you can achieve anything.”

than if we were given the value of the consultant’s fees in cash to invest ourselves.” Jo also praised Medway Council’s business team which provided Heat and Home with an interest-free loan and one-to-one guidance. She believes Medway offers “incredible support” to young businesses willing to work hard. “Medway is densely populated so offers a great customer base in a small area. It is also well serviced by suppliers. The interest and encouragement we have received has given us the confidence to take bigger steps in growing our business. We are really optimistic for the future.”

The team at the Medway Business Awards 2012 where the company was a finalist. continued overleaf

»

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surprisingly high up there when it comes to barriers to growth. Recruiting the right talent is so important, whether that’s graduates or skilled workers.” Ollis and her team, a forward-thinking bunch of 29 based in Rochester high street, have various methods to grow local business. One is one-to-one coaching. “Experience has told us that businesses that want to grow are moving out of their comfort zone and encounter problems,” explains Ollis. “In that position, you can either stop and remain as you are, or you can work at it and grow, so we come in as troubleshooters. Barriers include the business leader having an idea but struggling to


Case study

Dr Oats Star Hill, Rochester

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RIGHT: A fruit and oat blend – thriving Rochester based company, Dr Oats.

Another husband and wife team, Remona and Ajay Puri, are behind thriving Rochester-based business Dr Oats. They sell fruit and oat blends; a drinkable form of 100% premium fruits and milled oats. The blends provide two of the recommended five-a-day fruit and vegetable servings and lower cholesterol as approved by EU Parliament. This peach of a business idea stemmed from pharmacist Ajay drawing up a healthy living and eating plan for busy working mum Remona. Instead of relying on convenience food and making constantly unhealthy dietary choices which

resulted in poor health, Remona began blending fruit for her and her children – delicious and healthy concoctions which they went on to name Dr Oats. The business received start-up coaching from BSK-CIC that helped identify its unique offer in a competitive market. For example, Dr Oats focuses on sourcing as many ingredients locally as possible and operates under sustainable principles and ethical work practices. All the oats in the drinks are grown and harvested in the UK and Dr Oats is approved to


[ made in medway] use the Produced in Kent logo as a mark of their commitment to the county’s food and drink sector. Dr Oats’ healthy credentials – the blends are approved to lower cholesterol, use premium crushed whole fruits and natural juice, and contain no added sugar or artificial colours – feature strongly in their marketing, and BSK-CIC’s assistance also defined their business roles: Ajay spends much of his time out and about talking to potential stockists and customers, while Remona manages production and organises paperwork – a winning combination.

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“The encouragement we have received has given us the confidence to take bigger steps to grow our business. We’re really optimistic” » continued overleaf


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“We were proud to be asked to support BSK-CIC by demonstrating some of our 3D printing solutions at the Kent 2020 Vision LIVE event in April”

RIGHT: Clarks Shoes are among those snapping up ZSolutions’ expertise in 3D printing.

Case study

ZSolutions Medway City Estate, Rochester

Specialist 3D printing technology supplier ZSolutions has been servicing customers across the UK, France and Holland since it was founded in 2005 as a dedicated division of an existing Medway IT business. As solution providers of 3D systems printers and InfusionTech post process technologies, the company has supplied solutions to household names such as Clarks Shoes and Unilever, which use the speed 3D printing offers to cut considerably their time to market for new products. It also empowers their design teams to innovate faster and develop concepts which might otherwise be discarded at an early stage. Those at ZSolutions RIGHT: ZSolutions is a leader in a fast-evolving market.

are now working with architects, medical institutions, universities, industrial manufacturers and prototypers and motorsport teams to produce final parts as well as 3D printed models – often at a mere fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing techniques. Mark Debnam from ZSolutions says: “We are currently very excited to be working with BSK-CIC via its High Growth Kent program and look forward to benefiting from their expertise as we further develop our core business aim to meet the needs of our clients in the constantly evolving new technology marketplace. “We were proud to be asked to support BSK-CIC by demonstrating some of our 3D printing solutions at the Kent 2020 Vision LIVE event in April.”


This section showcases Medway’s educational establishments, what they offer students, businesses, the regional economy and what they offer Medway

Learning matters Those in Medway are dedicated to nuturing talent, supporting the area’s stars of the future and raising aspirations. Medway demonstrates how education can help transform a region continued over page

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education Extra


Over 50 years of higher education for the public services

• We are the South East’s largest provider of education, training and skills to the public services* • Our links with industry include providing consultancy to help South East businesses thrive • In choosing to study locally, our students from the South East put £109m back into the regional economy each year^ • 93% of our most recent UK graduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their course • Our teaching and research impact on regional, national and international public services

* We offer the largest number of public service courses in the South East, outside London. ^Economic Impact Assessment 2011 – based on 2009/10 study.

www.canterbury.ac.uk AD_114355_Uni_Medway Matters_Layout 1 22/02/2013 09:44 Page 1

THE UNIVERSITY OF KENT MAKING A DIFFERENCE Researchers working at the University of Kent’s Medway campus make a real-world difference. For example, the School of Sports and Exercise Science is investigating endurance exercise and performance. As well as working with top road cyclists, they are looking at resistance to mental fatigue in soldiers and repeated sprint ability in team sports cyclists.

www.kent.ac.uk/medway

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku (Josh Hallett)

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education extra Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent are two major higher education institutions which make a significant impact on Medway and its surrounding communities. Both based at Chatham Maritime, their campuses help generate over a billion pounds for the south-east economy. As major businesses in the region they contribute significantly to its economic regeneration. Canterbury Christ Church

University of Kent - making an impact Kent is one of the UK’s leading universities. All of our academic schools produce world-class research, and Kent is rated as internationally excellent, leading the way in many fields of study. As a major educational, economic and cultural force in the region, it has a key role to play in the regeneration of Medway. It has multimillion pound campus at Chatham Maritime, and recently opened its £5 million arts development at the Historic Dockyard. There are now around 1,800 students on the campus and, as well as fine art and music, they are studying subjects ranging from business, computer science, journalism and law through to pharmacy and sports science. Overall, the University is worth £0.6 billion economic worth to the south-east region – a figure that has doubled over the past five years. The research by independent consultants shows just how much the region – including Medway – benefits from the impact of the activities of the University. These activities include teaching, research, innovation and enterprise, hosting conferences and other events, and contracting local suppliers. The massive contribution to the region comes from both the direct and knock-on effects of the University’s activities and also the spending power of its students, many from outside the area, who contribute £211 million of the total to the region’s economy.

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Canterbury Christ Church University is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent. Each year our Medway Campus attracts hundreds of students, many of them becoming nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and teachers for Medway. In fact, Canterbury Christ Church University is the south-east’s largest provider of education, training and skills to the public services. For more than 50 years we have been committed to providing higher education and innovation to the region. But, it’s not just higher educational opportunities the University has given the region’s students. Over 50% of our graduates stay in Kent and Medway to work, reinvesting their skills, knowledge and income back into the community. Our University and our students made a £450 million impact on the south-east economy in 2009/10 and is a major employer and business, helping to create 3,500 additional full-time jobs in the UK – the majority in the south-east.


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Expand into Europe with ease Enterprise Europe South EastUK can help you find business and R&D partners in Europe to take your innovation further. Our team of business development managers at the University of Greenwich can help you find European partners for: • Licensing • Trading • R&D

• Manufacturing • Joining funding bids • Product co-development

• Knowledge transfer • Product testing

Search our database of 14,000 business opportunities at www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu. Contact us today and find out how you can make the most of the European marketplace. +44 (0)844 725 2244 info@enterpriseeurope-se.eu www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu


education extra

Enterprise Europe South EastUK has offices in Rochester, Chatham, Southampton and Oxford, and is a partnership between the University of Greenwich, Business Support Kent CiC, The European Info Services Centre and Oxford Innovation. For more information call 0844 724 2244, e-mail info@enterpriseeurope-se.eu or visit www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu.

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Enterprise Europe South EastUK helps small businesses grow by providing easy access to European markets, technology partners and researchers. For many local businesses expansion into Europe seems daunting. Obstacles from meeting EU guidelines on trade to accessing expertise in a different language mean that many businesses stop at the first hurdle. Enterprise Europe South EastUK is a free service delivered by the University of Greenwich and partners in south-east England to help you grow by saving you time, money and reducing risk. Enterprise Europe South EastUK is the local office of Enterprise Europe Network, a vast conglomerate of 600 business support offices in more than 50 countries. For Medway businesses, the Network can help you find partners in Europe for opportunities in licensing, co-development, manufacturing, trade or research and development. Enterprise Europe South EastUK can also help you find partners to join your bid for major European funding (or can introduce you to existing European consortia who may need one extra business to complete their bid). Crucially, the service is aimed at both businesses seeking distributors or trading partners for their existing products, but also for technologyintensive companies, whose innovation might benefit from testing, intensive research and development or a manufacturing or licensing partner in Europe. The range of sectors supported is as varied as there are businesses in the south-east – from ICT to medical and from environmental technologies to innovations in maritime or engineering. A key part of the service is an online database of 14,000 opportunities. You can use the database to find European partners seeking trading opportunities, research and development collaborations, or funding partners – or you can post your own profile to promote your innovation. Busy businesses may also sign up to The Radar, a system that provides priority notifications when European businesses in your sector are looking for partners. Of course you may simply wish to ask a few questions, and a dedicated helpline is there to assist. Regular workshops on subjects including intellectual property and accessing funding are also part of making it easier to take the first steps towards accessing new opportunities.


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Transforming Education in Strood The new Strood Academy building opened September 2012 providing outstanding opportunities for young people and our community


education extra V I C T O R Y

P I E R

Strood Academy was created in 2009 following the closure of our predecessor schools. The academy is sponsored by the University for the Creative Arts, with Medway Council as co-sponsor. Sponsored academies were created to raise aspirations and academic results by using the expertise of the sponsors along with experienced and successful school leaders. Over the past three years our academy has transformed the educational opportunities and outcomes for girls and boys in Strood. The improvement in academic performance has been driven by a talented and committed workforce, the hard work of our students, and support from parents and our community. Our new buildings in Carnation Road were designed in partnership with Nicholas Hare and built by BAM as our main contractor at a cost of £26 million. They opened in September 2012 with the remaining external play and sports facilities to be completed by Easter 2013. The buildings reflect our education vision of creating a mature and purposeful educational environment where children of all abilities can learn and thrive. The academy is led by Richard Hart (Principal) and Kim Gunn (Head of School). Both were recruited following a highly successful period of leadership and outstanding Ofsted judgements at another Medway school. They have assembled a strong leadership team which has worked closely with our experienced governing body to bring about remarkable improvement and a secure financial footing in a short period of time. To find out more about Strood Academy please visit www.stroodacademy.org and browse our online prospectus or contact us by post, email or telephone:

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Strood Academy Carnation Road Strood Kent ME2 2SX Tel: 01634 717121 Email: info@stroodacademy.org

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medway 1

issue 5 2013

95% morTgages available

2013

Leading sustainable developments

medway making history

Two fantastic new Countryside Properties developments

medway making history

5

Waves of change Peel’s Chatham Waters gathers pace Art start Medway’s burgeoning creative industries Made in Medway The business gurus driving growth A rate of knots Historic links fuel future development

Medway1 #5  

Medway1 is a business publication, publicising the work of regeneration organisations in the area. The magazine is accompanied by a website...

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