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medway making history

Launching SOOn!

issue 6 2014

FanTaSTic

3 & 4 BEDROOM HOMES AT ST. MARY’S ISLAND FROM £250,000

The Fishing Village at St. Mary’s Island brings together the best of Medway’s excellent road, rail and bus connections to Kent and beyond with new high specification fisherman-style cottages, to create a superb new way of contemporary living.

Call 01634 891200 or visit www.thefishingvillage.co.uk

* Computer generated image is indicative only. Prices correct at time of going to print. February 2014.

2014

www.placespeoplelove.co.uk

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Designer living The housing schemes winning plaudits Skilling up Medway’s bold plan to meet employers’ needs Made in Medway TIGER funding fuelling fierce growth Heavy hitters Medway’s big guns gather to map its future


UCA: The Gateway to the Creative Industries

education extra

A vibrant creative community

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Gillingham

Oscar-winning film-makers, world-renowned fashion designers, television presenters, celebrity jewellers and Turner Prize nominees are just some of the high-profile graduates from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). The environment at UCA is extraordinarily diverse, with pre-degree and foundation students working closely alongside those undertaking undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees. This integration between students across all levels of study and the cross-disciplinary culture it generates offers a unique experience grounded in innovation, idea-sharing and collaboration. At UCA there are boundless opportunities for exploration, experimentation and discovery. UCA in Kent Within the County of Kent, UCA Rochester and UCA Canterbury boast award-winning specialist schools across the spectrum of creative practices. We have created a dynamic community for our students, where like-minded people can meet and work together using cutting edge techniques and technologies. We’re never surprised to find fine artists studying with film-makers, and fashion designers working alongside architects. Complementing our campuses, we also have a unique teaching base at Maidstone Television Studios, where students attend courses in Broadcast Media in a fully immersive industry-environment and an exhibition and project space in the Brewery Tap in Folkestone.

Watersid e Living A collection of stunning suites, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments Priced from £114,950 Call: 01634 565 000 Website: www.victorypier.co.uk Victory Pier Sales Suite Pier Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 1AF Open daily 11am - 6pm Our vision for your future

Photography of Marina Heights at Victory Pier. Prices correct at time of print.

An exceptional student experience Established over 60 years ago, the Canterbury School of Architecture is renowned within its field and beyond. The recent appointment of internationally acclaimed architect Will Alsop only adds to the distinctiveness of the student experience. Similarly, the award-winning School of Fashion at UCA Rochester produces some of the best emerging designers from across the globe and boasts an impressive number of high-profile alumni including Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes. Exciting new courses

Want to know more?

Executive Dean Mark Little is keen to emphasise UCA’s fundamental commitment to the creative industries. He says: “We are very proud of the long history and reputation of our extraordinary courses and will continue to invest in these at the same time as we continue to innovate and update our portfolio to ensure we are aligned with the needs of the creative sector. For instance, we have recently launched three fantastic new courses; BA (Hons) Fashion Retail Management and BA (Hons) Media Management as well as the groundbreaking L3 foundation degree Digital Media Production.”

For more information on UCA courses please visit www.ucreative.ac.uk/ courses


contents issue#06_spring ‘14

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Editorial director: Siobhán Crozier Editor – freelance: Lucy Purdy Head of design: Rachael Schofield Contributing editor: Sarah Herbert Designer: Kate Harkus Reporter: James Wood Production assistant: Joe Davies Director: Paul Gussar Business development manager: Rory Kettles Office manager: Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox Printed by: Bishops Printers Cover image: Cover art by Charlotte Smith, Fine Art Graduate 2013, University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art. Photo by Matt Wilson, University of Kent Images: Medway Council, University of Kent, Simon Kelsey, Christina Burrows, Jessie Brennan, Rikard Österlund, Redrow Homes (South East), Allies and Morrison, Dockside Outlet Centre, www.utcolleges.org, ehtesham / Shutterstock 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 2014. 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.

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05 News

28 Round table

10 Residential

38 Commercial property

16 Connectivity

43 Employment

20 Map

48 Markets

22 Projects

50 Made in Medway

Updates on development schemes and what’s happening around Medway. Sensitive architecture and waterside views are setting Medway’s new housing apart. How will a £40 million rail investment boost Medway’s transport offer? What’s happening, where, in regeneration, at a glance. A round-up of Medway’s main developments.

We gather local experts to talk regeneration, skills and investment in Medway. Units are being snapped up as demand for commercial property in Medway grows. University Technical College plan takes shape. Vital statistics – facts and figures about Medway. Funding and jobs stemming from TIGER cash.


help to buy in halling

You can own a stunning home at St Andrews Park, Halling with only a 5% deposit using the Government-backed Help to Buy Scheme.

3 & 4 bedroom homes from £210,396* with Help to Buy To make an appointment call: 01634 780272 or to find out more visit: redrow.co.uk/st-andrews

Redrow Homes at St Andrews Park – A228 Formby Road, Halling, Kent ME2 1AW

Your mobile operator may charge data usage for scanning QR codes, please ensure you have the appropriate data plan. Help to Buy is a Government backed initiative in partnership with housebuilders. *Shows price with 20% loan assistance. Available on selected plots, subject to status, terms and conditions. Help to Buy cannot be used in conjunction with any other scheme. It is highly advised, for a swift, smooth transaction that an IFA/Solicitor advised by Redrow Homes is used. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Redrow offer. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. CHECK THAT THIS MORTGAGE WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS IF YOU WANT TO MOVE OR SELL YOUR HOME OR YOU WANT YOUR FAMILY TO INHERIT IT. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT, SEEK INDEPENDENT ADVICE. Terms and conditions apply. 4% deposit available with Help to Buy. Images typical of Redrow homes. Prices correct at time of going to press.


news medway 1

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The new Rochester rail station.

Rochester rail station gets the green light Network Rail’s proposals to create a new £26 million station for Rochester have been approved by Medway Council’s planning committee. The new interchange, which will be built on the site of the town’s Corporation Street car park, is part of the East Kent investment programme to improve high-speed rail services, increasing capacity and cutting journey times. Expected to be open by Christmas 2015, it is set to boost Rochester’s appeal as a popular, historic town, increase tourism and make the station more accessible from the town centre.

As well as giving Rochester the capacity to cater for 12-car trains, the new station will also provide a pedestrian tunnel straight into Rochester Riverside. Council leader Rodney Chambers said it would help Medway deal with a projected rise in rail passengers of 30%, and was a huge vote of confidence in Medway’s regeneration. “It will lead to a new, better train station for Rochester, which will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers. More and more people are now viewing Rochester as a place to buy a family home and travel from.”

“It will lead to ... a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers” Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council

£650 million Chatham Waters plan takes a big step forward Detailed plans for Phase one of Peel’s £650 million Chatham Waters development in Medway have received planning permission from Medway Council. Chatham Waters will transform the heavy industrial site into an impressive 177,000sq m mixed-use sustainable development incorporating offices, an education facility, a conference centre, a hotel, apartments and town houses, a food store and landscaped public areas.

It is estimated the scheme could create up to 3,500 jobs. Phase one, relating to the southern part of the site close to Pier Road, will feature an Asda food retail superstore and petrol filling station, which is expected to employ up to 400 people. Planit IE, the Traffic Transport & Highway Consultancy, Aedas, Mott McDonald and 5 Plus Architects are advising Peel on the scheme. • Read more on page 26.


news

news ‘Mega growth’ Medway firms are praised

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Kent’s fastest growing business is to be found in Medway. Insulation contractors Lawtech, based in Medway City Estate, Rochester, was revealed to be top of a table of 50 companies competing for the Kent Messenger newspaper’s annual Mega Growth Awards in 2013. Lawtech has grown quickly but steadily amid recent changes to energy obligations, with turnover growth over four years returning 390%. Lawtech is one of the largest installers of external wall insulation systems across the UK with offices in Rochester and Glasgow. Now in its twelfth year, the league table of businesses that are succeeding against the backdrop of recession also featured Wozair of Gillingham which produces specialist ventilation equipment for off-shore industries. They had 120% growth and turnover of £31 million. Diamond Point International of Rochester, which makes industrial computing equipment, was revealed to have experienced growth of 120% and £5 million turnover. And construction firm Parham of Gillingham had 105% growth and £4.4 million turnover. The fastest-growing company in Kent and Medway for exports is Delga of Strood, which experienced a 669% increase in sales. They provide specialist printing services for CDs for the likes of Adele, Jessie J and Rihanna.

Historic Dockyard Chatham receives £4.53m lottery grant The Historic Dockyard Chatham has received £4.53 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support its £8.75 million Command of the Oceans project. Command of the Oceans is set to secure the repair and preservation of ancient monuments from the dockyard. It is hoped it will create world-class galleries and visitor facilities to reveal the story and significance of the dockyard and its defences during the age of sail. A 4.5-hectare public realm area and a discovery centre will be built.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is the world’s best preserved example of a dockyard of its age. The site played a key role in helping the Royal Navy secure worldwide supremacy at sea, setting in place the conditions that enabled trade and empire to develop and Britain to lead an industrial revolution that changed the world. Chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Bill Ferris, said: “The project meets urgent conservation and visitor needs. We hope this will

give a major boost to the dockyard.” Stuart McLeod, head of HLF South East, said: “This is an extraordinary site. We are delighted to be supporting a project which will reveal important archaeological finds for the first time.” The grant also unlocks a contribution of £3 million from the Homes and Communities Agency, the body responsible for the regeneration of the adjacent Chatham Maritime site, and a further £1 million from a range of charitable trusts and foundations.

Medway’s atmospheric past revealed Medway’s evocative industrial and social past was captured in an exhibition – Adrift on Life’s Tides. Award-winning artist Jessie Brennan was behind the collection of works which appeared at Rochester Art Gallery in 2013. It included one of the artist’s most famous works The Cut, which won the Jerwood Prize in 2011. Jessie, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007, said: “The River Medway has such a rich industrial and social heritage; my project was a kind of tribute to an atmosphere loaded with the ghosts of Kingsnorth Power Station, The Medway

Queen, Navy boys, women ropery workers, shipwrecks, paddle steamers, U-boats, RSPB reserves, nuclear facilities, visiting royalty, cement works, ship-breakers, anarchist river dwellers and developers.” “I was attracted to Chatham Docks because it’s entering a new phase in its history, changing the social fabric of the area and the way the river is used.” Historical artefacts were donated to the exhibition by local collectors and organisations including Chatham Historic Dockyard, the Guildhall Museum and the Medway Queen Preservation Society.


[ news ] Medway Mile attracts record numbers to historic Rochester From 500 people in the first year, by last summer, the Medway Mile had swelled to 3,000 runners, joggers and walkers who came together to celebrate and promote active and healthy lifestyles. The one-mile route around historic Rochester weaves through the high street, the Vines and the cathedral grounds before ending within the grounds of Rochester Castle.

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Some 3,000 people took part in the Medway Mile in 2013, turning it into the largest mass participation sports event ever staged in the area. Initially established in 2007 to mark the countdown to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the Mile has become hugely successful and has established itself as a landmark event on Medway’s sporting and social calendars.

Movie makers on location From cobbled streets to maritime heritage, scenic spots in Medway are being snapped up as filming locations for a range of hit TV shows. Properties and open spaces in the borough have been selected by exacting location managers to film the likes of Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, Sherlock Homes and Les Miserables. Gail James from Chatham Historic Dockyard – one of the most popular locations – said: “Production companies love to use the dockyard’s historic

environment with its authentic cobbled streets, industrial buildings and fine Georgian and Victorian architecture as backdrops for both period and present day sets. “Plenty of space for support vehicles and our ‘film crew friendly’ team and discreet attitude makes the site the first choice for many location managers.” As well as a filming location, the Historic Dockyard Chatham has also become a popular choice for professional and amateur photo shoots.

Airport plan ready for off Fuse Festival sets alight Medway’s streets and skies Medway featured some of the UK’s best outdoor arts performers in June 2013 for the Fuse Medway Festival. From crazy and beautiful walkabout shows by day to aerial and circus spectaculars by night, it featured an array of theatre, music, dance and circus performances, all for free. The programme is soon to be announced for the 2014 festival, which will take place in Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham between 14 and 16 June.

Rochester becomes a feast of Victorian delights Dickensian Christmas came to Rochester in the first week of December 2013, packing the town with crowds eager to sample the entertainment, readings, song and dance on offer. From lamp-lit parades, carols and even a guaranteed snowfall, framed by Rochester’s fairytale cathedral and castle, people also had the chance to meet some familiar, fabled characters from Dickens’ much-loved stories.

Medway Council has endorsed a long-term masterplan for the future of Rochester Airport, including the creation of a 1.17-ha hub for science and technology firms. The hub is expected to create 1,000 jobs. The proposals will see many of the existing buildings and facilities replaced and the runways reconfigured. Councillor Alan Jarrett, the authority’s deputy leader and financial lead, called the airport an “important asset for Medway” and said that securing its future would help the regeneration and economic development of the area. “We want to ensure the future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does. The potential for new jobs is just one of many benefits.”


news

news in brief Medway businesses win TIGER funding of £250,000

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Diggerland revitalises site Visitors to tourist attraction Diggerland have tripled since its opening, with 62,000 visitors to its Medway site alone in 2013. Diggerland, an adventure park experience featuring real, full-size construction machinery, moved to its current site in the Medway Valley Park in 2004. The business employs 30 permanent, full-time staff in Kent and creates more than 200 seasonal jobs annually, drawing from a number of sources including the formerly unemployed, as well as local students. The firm has a number of apprentices working

at its Medway head office in roles ranging from marketing to manufacturing and maintenance. Diggerland draws from several local supply chain businesses for items including refreshments, fuel, grease and printing, using companies including Wallace Print, Edit Point and AMV Supplies. “Diggerland Kent is situated on a former landfill site and is helping to breathe new life into a previously forgotten place, helping to bring tourists of all ages to Medway with its special events including the JCB Stunt Team and Dancing Diggers,” explained communications manager Andrew Sinclair.

Standard dubs Rochester regen“hotspot”

Medway praised for role in Enterprising Britain Medway Council was highly commended at the 2013 Enterprising Britain Awards for its Seeds for Business Growth project. In the past four years, the scheme has helped 90 new businesses develop, provided work experience opportunities, training and apprenticeships and helped more than 1,200 people find work. The awards showcase the entrepreneurial spirit to be found in local authorities, businesses, schools and colleges across the country.

The Evening Standard newspaper has earmarked Rochester as one of the regeneration hotspots to watch in 2014. In a round-up aimed at the capital’s commuters, Rochester was listed alongside Chelmsford in Essex, Maidenhead in Berkshire, Woking in Surrey and Wantage in Oxfordshire. The newspaper noted the significance of the new £26 million train station coming to Rochester and its “impressive” journey time to London’s St Pancras: 33 minutes. “Rochester boasts great schools – Rochester Grammar School is outstanding according to Ofsted – and pretty period homes which are, by Kent’s standards, highly affordable,” read the article, published in January.

Two Medway firms were among the first in Kent to successfully apply for a TIGER loan – receiving a combined total of nearly £250,000 to help grow their business. TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is a growth fund offering interest-free loans so businesses can Much of Medway’s regeneration is based around its invest in products and services. riverside following the success of Chatham Maritime. Transnordic, based at Vicarage Lane, Hoo, successfully applied for a £35,000 loan to buy new equipment. The Food Machinery Company also have ambitious plans for their £197,000, which will be used to build a new factory to expand operations on their existing site at Fenn Corner, St Mary Hoo. • See page 50 for more.

Thumbs-up for £5.5m housing programme

Medway Council has been given the go ahead to build more than 60 new homes for social rent under new self-financing powers for council housing. The authority proposed a £5.5 million housing development programme, which will see it use housing-revenue account “headroom” to fund new building. The council said that at least 40 of the homes were likely to be built on the former site of Gillingham Community College, with a further 22 properties on ex-garage sites in Gillingham and Twydall.

Job creation figures more than treble target level

Almost 200 new jobs were created in Medway during the first six months of the current financial year, according to figures from investment agency Locate in Kent. Medway Council said 196 new jobs had been created, and a further 60 preserved after five new companies invested in the area between April and the end of September. It said the figure was “nearly four times” the target that had been set. Councillor Jane Chitty, the borough’s strategic growth and economic development lead, said the data showed the strength of the area’s appeal.


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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© 1996 FSC A.C. FSC SUPPLIER TT-COC-1879


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“Green space has been a common factor for prospective buyers: now blue space is becoming just as important, if not more so�


[ residential ]

When Countryside Properties scooped the best housing project gong at the Building Awards 2013, it confirmed Medway’s reputation for high-class housing design, standards which have not come at the expense of quantity. Colin Marrs looks at Medway’s housebuilding resurgence

T

LEFT: The view from Victory Pier.

hanks to its location, fine sites and transport, Medway has come through the recession well. Brian McCutcheon, planning policy and design manager at the council, says: “It is fair to say that throughout the downturn, home completions stayed at way above what you might have expected.” Even taking into account a slight dip last year, the average number of new homes over the past seven years in Medway has outperformed most other areas in the country. This, says McCutcheon, is partly testament to the local authority maintaining a healthy supply of sites for housing development. He says: “Local authorities are required by the government to keep a land supply for new homes which will last five years. Medway has almost eight years’ worth.” His claims are confirmed by private sector housebuilders. Tony Travers, managing director of the new homes and »

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communities division of Countryside, says: “There has been a noticeable increase in activity in Medway in recent months in line with the broader residential market, particularly at the Riverside Quarter on St Mary’s Island, which has recently sold out, and at our Horsted Park development [the Building Award winner] in Chatham, where we have seen a rise in reservations of our four-bedroom homes.” One of Medway’s unique traits, he says, is the abundance of waterside development opportunities. Strikingly, water – in the shape of the Thames Estuary or the River Medway itself – makes up the majority of the borough’s boundary, a factor which is now drawing investors like bees to honey. Travers says: “Green space has been a common factor for prospective buyers: now blue space is becoming just as important, if not more so.” At the same time, the maritime history of the area – and its decline – has provided an abundance of brownfield sites ripe for new schemes to take advantage of the prime locations. Chatham Maritime and Gillingham waterfront are set to provide thousands of new homes over the coming years, but are merely the largest sites on a shoreline brimming with opportunity. Rochester Riverside is another large brownfield riverside development which is benefiting – a masterplan approved in 2006 is currently undergoing revision thanks to the decision to locate a new train station for the town on the development site. Kate Greenaway, Rochester Riverside project manager at the council, says: “The new station will be a huge boost to the project. Not only will it mean residents are just 33 minutes from St Pancras station in central London, it will provide a chance to create a real hub around the new facility.” Those fast transport connections to London are another reason that housebuilders are flocking to the area. With stops in Rochester, Strood, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham, the High Speed 1 route has massively improved connection times to the capital. Bellway’s new De Montford development in Strood is »

Scheme Victory Pier, Gillingham Developer Berkeley First The Boardwalk is the latest phase of Berkeley’s regeneration project on the River Medway comprising studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Already recognised with a string of awards, Victory Pier is transforming an eight-hectare former brownfield site. When complete, this new waterfront village will include around 800 new homes. Prices start from £118,000 for a studio apartment. Three-bedroom apartments start from £270,000. Scheme Rochester Riverside Developer Medway Council, Homes and communities agency, the Hyde Group In 2006, outline planning permission was granted for 2,000 homes on the 32-ha former industrial site, along with bars, restaurants, offices, shops, a hotel and new river walk. Medway Council worked with housing association Hyde Group to deliver the scheme in phases. The most recent phase, of 73 affordable homes, was completed in April and the council is now seeking a private developer to help deliver the next phase of around 60 private homes. Architect Allies and Morrison has been appointed to review the masterplan and development brief for the site in the light of changing market conditions and the planned new train station for Rochester, which is on the site.


[ residential ] “Initially the resurgence was driven by student housing, but it has now spread much further ... It shows huge confidence from investors”

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LEFT AND FAR LEFT: Schemes such as Victory Pier make the most of Medway’s waterside location.

Scheme The Fishing Village Developer Countryside properties The Fishing Village is on St. Mary’s Island, part of the 61-ha Chatham Maritime development on the site of a former Royal Naval Dockyard, providing 1,700 new homes, shops, a school and other community facilities, public open spaces and a marina. The three and four-bedroom homes are around 6.5 times more energy efficient than homes of 30 years ago. Homes in the latest phase – comprising 15 houses and 27 apartments – start at £250,000 and are all eligible for the government Help to Buy scheme, which reduces the deposit buyers need to 5%.

Scheme Horsted Park Developer Countryside Properties This scheme of 336 homes is on an eight-hectare site, two miles south of Chatham and Rochester town centres, on land previously occupied by MidKent College campus. Around a third of the site will be open space. The homes are designed as a series of “farmsteads” grouped around courtyards. Earlier this year, the scheme won the Housing Project of the Year category in the Building Awards 2013.


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Scheme Chatham Riverside Apartments Developer Golding Homes In March, housing association Golding Homes got the go ahead to build a new development of 40 riverside apartments in the heart of Chatham available for affordable rent and shared ownership. The five-storey apartment block is being developed on derelict land within a conservation area, between the riverside and the shops in the high street, and will include private balconies or terraces with river views, as well as secure underground parking spaces with bicycle storage facilities. The development is expected to complete by early 2015.

Scheme Coleman Land Developer Bellway homes In June, Medway Council approved plans for 119 new homes, made up of two, three and four-bedroom homes on the 3.29-ha site at Hoo St Werburgh. These will be provided as 88 houses and 31 flats, with the majority of flats in a three-storey building. The homes will be grouped around a main green as well as two smaller greens which will provide recreational space. The scheme will provide 30 affordable housing units, which equates to 25%, with a proportion adapted for wheelchair users. Scheme St Andrews Park Developer Redrow Homes The St Andrews Park development of 385 homes is transforming the site of a former Cemex factory near Halling. It is set around a spring-fed lake formed from an old chalk quarry, given a bright blue colour by chalk particles suspended in the water. A mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes, the development includes 25% affordable housing. It will also feature employment space, a pub and health facilities for the local population. Prices start from £175,995. Scheme De Montford Apartments Developer Bellway Homes Granted planning permission in July, De Montford Apartments is a collection of one and two-bedroom homes, priced from £98,995. The building is on the 0.4-ha site of a former car repair centre next to Strood station. The ground floor of the three and four-storey building comprises 142sq m of commercial space, with 15 two-bedroom and five one-bedroom flats above. The development features car parking, cycle storage and landscaping.

ABOVE: Chatham Riverside.

just one scheme to take advantage – its location next to the station forms a big part of the marketing campaign for the project. But locals are far from being pushed out by commuters, with the majority of Countryside Properties’ customers moving from locations within Medway. Says Travers: “At Horsted Park and St Mary’s it has been very much a local market with residents coming from places such as Rochester, Chatham and nearby Gillingham too.” McCutcheon estimates that around 30% of buyers in the borough commute outside, with the rest working locally. As well as catering for new buyers, Medway has also seen a big rise in the amount of private rented development in recent years. McCutcheon says: “There has been a rebalancing – the area was traditionally underserved by this sector. Initially the resurgence was driven by student housing, but it has now spread much further. It is no bad thing, because it shows huge confidence from investors in the area.” One firm riding this wave is Berkeley First, which is currently marketing the latest phase, The Boardwalk, of its Victory Pier scheme in Gillingham. James Leuschner, lettings director at local agency Regal Estates, says: “With high rental yields and the ongoing regeneration of Medway, I would expect there to be further capital appreciation in the long-term future.” McCutcheon says the council’s approach to developers is based on building strong relationships which pay off over the long-term. He says: “We do talk to them and they appreciate that. We have systems in place where they can expect a high level of service in the pre-application period, including the ability to present their schemes to council members. This, he says, gives housebuilders an all-important clear steer on their chances of success before committing further resources to a project. M


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At the crossroads With London markets on its doorstep and the capital an easy commute via HS1, whether for employment or visiting clients, Medway is also ideally placed to exploit opportunities in the south-east and on the continent. Now a programme of rail investment is set to enhance connectivity even further, as James Wood reports

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ith the High Speed 1 (HS1) service already in use, rail improvements in the pipeline and two potential routes for a new Thames crossing under scrutiny, Medway’s already outstanding connectivity will soon be enhanced further. Medway Council awaits a decision on the new Thames Crossing, the announcement that could strengthen the borough’s current excellent position in relation to London markets, the south-east and Europe. Proposals are already in place. The council’s planning committee has agreed £40 million of funding for rail improvements in the area, which includes £26 million for a new station for Rochester. Money will also be used to build an extra platform at Rainham and a £2 million investment will extend Strood’s platform. As part of Network Rail’s East Kent investment programme to improve high-speed rail services, the new Rochester station will be built in the town centre – at the Corporation Street car park – simplifying journeys to London and beyond. A projected rise of 30% in the number of rail passengers using the station over the coming years is showing Rochester’s desirability as a popular place for Medway locals to buy homes. The station will have larger platforms and concourses with the capacity to cater for 12-car trains and a pedestrian subway will be built to link the station to a new council-owned, 250-space car park. Bus facilities will be expanded and pedestrian crossings will be built to create a transport hub at the station. Medway council leader, Rodney Chambers, says: “A new, better train station for Rochester will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers. “Rochester – like the rest of Medway – is benefiting from regeneration and more

and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from. “The number of rail passengers is forecast to grow significantly and freeing up this space for a new station will not only improve the service for commuters and other passengers, but also make sure it grows with future demand.”

Consultations at the Department for Transport (DfT) over a new Thames crossing in the Medway area are ongoing. Ministers are considering two options, one which could potentially link the M2 near Rochester with Essex. In December 2013, a proposal to link the A2 at the Swanscombe peninsula with

ABOVE: The council’s planning committee has agreed £40 million of funding for rail improvements in the area, including £26 million for a new station for Rochester.


[ connectivity]

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

the A1089 north of the Thames was ruled out due to limited support and the DfT’s judgement that it would frustrate plans for development in the area. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin says greater scrutiny will be given to both the Gravesham proposal and another potential crossing near the

current Dartford tunnel and bridge. He says: “We had over 5,700 responses to the consultation and we have carefully considered each of them. “Ruling out the least attractive option now gives some clarity for local residents and businesses. “We are committed to making a

decision on the location of the new crossing as soon as possible, but we recognise that whatever crossing location is chosen, it will have significant impact for people in the area and the economy.” The need to increase airport capacity is one topic for vociferous debate, particularly in London and the

south-east. In December 2013, the Davies Commission announced its shortlisted options: a third runway at Heathrow; lengthening of an existing Heathrow runway; and a new Gatwick runway. The proposal for a new airport on the Isle of Grain has been retained as an option for further exploration by the Davies Commission, sidelined but not yet ruled out. The commission calculates that this would cost around five times more than the shortlisted options at around £112 billion, according to the BBC, and would require the closure of Heathrow and London City Airport. The commission is to look further at the proposal in the first half of 2014. On Medway Council, all three political parties are united in their opposition to the scheme. Although it is not one of the main options under consideration, Medway politicians say that the announcement prolongs uncertainty for residents for another year. Chambers says: “We shall continue to fight as we have been up to this point. We will work with all our partners in doing so, including Kent County Council and all the residents who are on the peninsula, to finally convince the commission that the idea of an airport on the Isle of Grain is a non-starter.” One obstacle to approval being granted for the airport proposal is the prevalence of wildlife habitats on the Isle of Grain. It is widely considered that unless an alternative site that offered breeding and feeding areas could be delivered, this factor would defeat the airport proposal on its own. Medway is at a crossroads – the borough’s strategic position so readily accessible to the capital and all it offers, combined with its opportunities for expansion and development, make it stand out as a destination for opportunity and investment. M

medway 1

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medway on the map

page 26

Rochester Riverside

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

page 23

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Strood Centre

It could all go wrong

Rochester Station page 25

London

Rochester Airport page 24


[ site map ]

Kingsnorth page 24

page 26

Victory Pier page 22

Medway

21

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Chatham Waters


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Victory Pier

The Boardwalk is the latest phase of Berkeley’s regeneration project on the River Medway, comprising studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Two show homes are open daily in Marina Heights, showcasing the quality of the fixtures, fittings and overall attention to detail. Already recognised with a string of awards, Victory Pier is transforming an eight-hectare, former brownfield site into a vibrant community. When complete, this new waterfront village will include around 800 new homes, 2,230sq m of retail and commercial space with shops and restaurants, an 80-bed hotel and LV21, the former lightship and floating cultural and art centre, which is permanently moored at Victory Pier. Prices at The Boardwalk will start from £118,000 for a studio, one-bed flats from £135,000; two-beds from £172,000, and three-bedroom apartments from £270,000.


[ projects ]

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Rochester Riverside

The next phase of development land at the Rochester Riverside scheme has been released to the market. “This is our biggest regeneration site,” said council regeneration director, Robin Cooper. “Eventually there will be over 2,000 houses built, with the next phase now ready for development. The first 72 units have been developed by Hyde Homes and there are around another 1,200 units to be built.” Cooper highlighted Medway’s improved connectivity as a key factor for attracting investment to the area, boosted by the new Rochester Station,

which is due to open next year. Sizeable investment from Network Rail has reinvigorated Medway’s transport infrastructure, with new station investment at Gillingham, Rainham and Strood being developed. Rochester Riverside is a 32-hectare brownfield site, considered to be one of the major development projects in the Thames Gateway. The site stretches from the A2 Rochester Bridge southwards to Doust Way. The River Medway forms the eastern boundary of Rochester Riverside, with the London to Dover railway forming the western boundary.

continued overleaf

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Kingsnorth

Kingsnorth Commercial Park provides six plots that can accommodate a total of some 185,800sq m of development. The entire road and services infrastructure is constructed and includes 10mva of power. A new road has been built to link

directly to the A228 dual carriageway. George Glennie, the development director responsible for the park, said: “The plots are formed, levelled and ready to go. “Goodman is internally funded and so can develop units quickly, with buildings ready in six to nine months.”

Goodman’s recent projects include a 110,000sq ft warehouse for Kent County Council; 58,720sq m distribution centre near Derby for Heineken; a 13-hectare parcel depot, incorporating a 500m-long building for Geopost; and the new Daily Mail print works at Thurrock. The largest plot has a detailed

Rochester Airport

Medway Council has endorsed a masterplan for the future of Rochester Airport, which includes the creation of an 11.7-ha hub for science and technology firms, expected to create 1,000 jobs. The proposals will also see improved facilities at the airport itself, including replacing many existing buildings and facilities and a reconfiguration of the existing runways. The changes will allow for the business hub to be developed on land adjacent to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate, currently part of the airport site. Councillor Alan Jarrett, Medway Council’s deputy leader and finance lead, said the masterplan proposals would put the 1930’s airport – owned by the council but run by an independent operator – on a solid footing for the future. “Rochester Airport is an important asset for Medway and securing its future will help contribute to the regeneration and economic development of the area,” said Jarrett. “We want to ensure the

planning consent for a single building of 113,806sq m which Glennie says is of both regional and national significance. Glennie said “Goodman is flexible on deal type and will build leasehold and freehold units as well as sell land. “The park can provide the most economical big sheds in the south-east.

future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does. The potential for new jobs is just one of the many benefits this masterplan brings.” A public exhibition last year launched two months of consultation on proposals to ensure the airport’s future. Residents and businesses had the chance to comment on draft proposals and Medway Council’s cabinet agreed to carry out a formal consultation to agree a final masterplan, setting a template for any future development. This follows on from consultation held earlier in 2013 with firms and residents. Many buildings and facilities on the airport are now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways is necessary. One of the grass runways will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The latter will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb quickly, reducing the impact of noise on residents of nearby homes.


[ projects ]

“We envisage a mix of users on the Park with conventional warehouse units complemented by customers in the power and construction industries – the traditional expertise of the area”. The site is immediately adjacent to the Medway Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area.

Medway Council has granted planning permission to Network Rail to build a new station in Rochester. The station, which will be constructed on land at Corporation Street, will help to meet increasing demand for train services in the Medway area. The project is part of Network Rail’s wider £135 million investment programme in Kent, as the number of passengers using the railway continues to grow. The station will have three platforms, all of which will be able to accommodate longer trains with up to 12 carriages, and better facilities for passengers. There will also be step-free access to all platforms and improved station car parking. Councillor Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, said: “The fact that this scheme has got the go ahead is very good news. It will lead to a new, better train station for Rochester, which will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers. “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. “The number of rail passengers is forecast to grow significantly and freeing up this space for a new station will not only improve the service for commuters and other passengers, but also make sure it grows with future demand.” Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent, said: “This new station will deliver a huge boost to Rochester and Medway and provide passengers with improved facilities and better access to the town centre and surrounding area. “It will accommodate longer trains than the current station, helping boost capacity and providing more seats for passengers. “It will also help kick-start the wider regeneration of the riverside area, which is an important part of the development and future of Rochester.” The investment is part of Network Rail’s continued upgrade of the railway and will contribute to reduced passenger journey times, lower operating costs and a more reliable infrastructure. Work is due to complete in winter 2015. The new station will be operated by Southeastern.

continued overleaf

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Rochester Station


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Chatham Waters

Detailed plans for Phase 1 of Peel’s £650 million Chatham Waters development have received planning permission from Medway Council. The Phase 1 scheme relates to the southern part of the site, close to Pier Road. The proposals for Chatham Waters are to transform the dockyard into an impressive 177,000sq m, mixed-use, sustainable development incorporating offices, an education facility, conference

centre, hotel, apartments and town houses, food store and a number of landscaped public areas. It is estimated the plans could create 3,500 jobs. Phase 1 will feature an Asda food retail superstore and petrol filling station, which is expected to employ up to 400 people. Phase 1 of the development also includes improvements to the roads and infrastructure in this area of the site, as well as landscaping. James Whittaker, development director at Peel said: “We’re delighted

Medway Council has approved our detailed plans for the first phase of Chatham Waters and are excited about being able to start work on the development in the coming months. “The Chatham Waters scheme will regenerate a significant area of the dockland in Kent and give the region a real economic boost. This will be a wholly privately funded development that includes major environmental, infrastructure – including highways – and social improvements. This approval

Strood Centre

A new community hub is planned for Strood. The project involves relocating Strood Library and Contact Point from where they are currently positioned, to 133 High Street, Strood. The property requires refurbishment and fit-out for this purpose and the council has taken a lease of the premises from the current landlord. It is part of a wider regeneration scheme for Strood and will act as its focal point. The refurbishment and fit-out is

paves the way for the remainder of the outline scheme to be brought forward.” Oliver Jones, communications manager for Asda, said it was an important step and commented: “We’re really excited about getting to know the community and look forward to providing more information about the store in the coming months.” Planit IE, the Traffic, Transport & Highway Consultancy, Aedas, Mott McDonald and 5plus Architects are advising Peel on the scheme.

estimated to cost £1 million and is a “major investment” in Strood. The council has made a strategic commitment to the provision of community hubs, creating a gateway to a range of council services in one location. The development is expected to generate an increase in footfall in Strood, as well as the amount of time people spend in the town centre and at the library. A £1.9 million investment is also being made in improved facilities for Strood Leisure Centre (left).


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Speaking Volumes medway 1

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Big guns from Medway’s regeneration and investment scene gather to discuss the future.

Medway’s remarkable regeneration drive has not escaped the attention of business decision-makers in London and beyond. With the next chapter just around the corner, the Medway1 round table brings together a panel of experts to map out just how this potential can be realised. Are employers finding the skills they need in Medway? Are companies here maximising market opportunities? And as London pulls out of recession, does Medway benefit? The panel SC: Siobhán Crozier, editor, Medway1 magazine chair of round table discussion

MB: Matthew Biddle, managing director, Berkeley First (Berkeley Group) “We’re the developers for Victory Pier. We’re currently in phase three of residential development – we’ve just started on-site to deliver 71 private apartments. We’ve delivered about 50% of the affordable housing, and we’ve delivered 1,100 student study bedrooms so far.”

GB: Geoff Blake, land director, Bellway “Here at Bellway, we’re just about to start development on-site at Bell’s Lane and Hoo. We’re now looking very purposefully at investing in the Medway area.” • At the time of the event, Geoff Blake was with Bellway and has since moved on.

RC: Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE, leader of Medway Council “I’ve been leader of Medway Council for more years than I want to say. Here in Medway, when everything goes right someone else takes the credit and if anything goes wrong it’s my fault.”

GC: Gary Clark, operations director, MHS Homes “MHS Homes is Medway’s largest social landlord. My remit includes the housing services element, which we do as well as development and property maintenance. We’re developing a number of slightly smaller schemes across Medway and beyond.”


[ retail]

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RCp: Robin Cooper, director of regeneration, community and culture, medway council “As well as our biggest schemes in Rochester and Chatham, we have waterfront sites at Strood and Temple. We’re also working with the HCA, with housing providers like MHS, and we’ve got a pretty impressive list of developers. Most of the big investors are here, which is good news.”

ND: Neil Davies, chief executive, Medway Council “Medway is a unitary authority which has been around for about 14 years – still relatively young. We have a revenue budget of about a half a billion pounds, over £500 million per year. We have a capital budget across all our funds of over £100 million, 8,000 employees and we’re a progressive and ambitious local employer – but I would say that!”

SAM: Sallyann McLean, commercial director, BAE Systems “We’re a significant employer within the area – we employ almost 1,500 people now. We’re really interested in the local area from the point of recruiting and developing our people.”

SM: Sue McLeod, principal, MidKent College “We have two-thirds of our provision of courses for educational skills in Medway, with the other third over at Maidstone. In addition to further and higher education we also have a huge contract with the Royal School of Military Engineering, to train approximately 800 to 1,000 soldiers annually in construction and engineering.”

continued overleaf

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SC: If we could start off by looking at the housing market. What further potential do you see here in Medway, and what’s the way through any impediments?

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MB: There’s great potential. One key aspect is Medway’s rail access into St Pancras in 35 minutes which is fantastic for commuters: that’s one aspect which we’re trying to tap into for our marketing of Victory Pier. That said, the majority of demand for the scheme comes from local purchasers. So we’d like to see more people coming out of London to relocate in Medway, based upon its accessibility and lifestyle, and also quite clearly the price. At the moment we see strong demand for sales, but I think that’s the same across all of the south-east – the whole market has picked up. GC: Particularly Rochester has been highlighted by the London-based press as a ‘hidden gem’. So I think there’s already a market for people moving out of London to somewhere greener, with quick access to the city, and I wonder whether there’s much more potential across the other parts of the Medway towns to attract people into this local economy. Our investment focus is in new homes but we also have to consider the impacts of the welfare reforms coming through. A lot is being soaked up in existing homes as well, to make sure they’re energy efficient and fit for purpose. We’re very much looking forward. Medway is a great place to be. GB: Bellway has a historical footing in Medway. The development it’s taken on has been traditional housing sites, and I can’t think of a difficult project – we’ve always had a good experience. Bellway business has refocused attention really on Kent. We’re focused on this part of the world as far as the traditional backbone of housing goes. SC: Are you seeing that students are recognising the quality of life and staying? RCP: We recognise the talent coming out of our education providers, particularly further and higher education, and we’re encouraging them to become more engaged with the business community and find out what their needs are. We’re also – and our Innovation Centre is an example of this – encouraging those with business aspirations to stay here, providing them with space and the climate in which to do that. That has been extremely successful. SC: You’ve got large sites. You’ve recently released the next phase of Rochester Riverside on to the market. What are you looking for there in terms of housing development?

RC: We feel that the market is changing – the need for family homes. And the first thing we’re doing is changing the Riverside masterplan to reflect that need. The site originally was split into three areas for development and we’re now considering splitting it into smaller areas, partially prompted by the enormous investment by Network Rail at Rochester, which will give direct access. I think that makes the site much more attractive to prospective developers. We’re hoping that the first houses will be started in early 2015, the station opens at the end of 2015, so the timing is absolutely spot-on for getting those sites off the ground. You could happily live on that site and not have a car: go to work, rent a car at the weekend or have a pool car or whatever it might be. I think there’ll be a lot of interest, absolutely. GC: They are incredibly difficult projects to sell if you don’t provide parking. I just don’t think as a community we’re really ready for not having a car – it’s pretty much the first question that people ask us: what are the parking arrangements? ND: I guess what we’re doing in Medway in this context is recognising the superb communication links – we’ve talked about the station but there are also very good public transport networks across Medway. We’ve invested lots in our bus transport, so we’ve got a fantastic new bus station. SM: The cost of rail travel, if you’re attracting people from London out, is a significant impediment. I’m not sure what the answer is. It’s certainly not in the council’s hands, but when people

are looking at total cost of ownership of moving I would have thought it is a significant factor particularly when you have developments in Stratford competing with that sort of apartment living. MB: It’s an interesting point because obviously the houses are better value here than most of Stratford, but if you’re spending on rail travel, that’s just money straight out the door every year. That said, it’s 35 minutes to St Pancras – it’s a very commutable location. SC: The availability of skills across the board has been identified as one of the

impediments to business growth. Are you finding this? MB: The trouble we’ve got with skills is that we’re competing with London, where trades will earn more money. So there is a lack of quality resource across the industry. It’s going to take time to resolve that, to be brutally honest. SC: This brings us on to further education and its involvement with the employers, and how colleges can help in that area. Do you have a great deal of engagement with industry? SM: We have a good level. It’s something


LEFT: Geoff Blake, Rodney Chambers and Neil Davis. RIGHT: Sallyann McLean and Robin Cooper (speaking). BELOW RIGHT: Sue McLeod.

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market works, and then matching them with an employer. It’s that level of almost one-to-one engagement that’s needed for some young people. We certainly saw a slump two or three years ago in the number of young people who wanted to do construction and engineering. Now that’s really starting to pick up again. So I’d hope we would have sufficient capacity to attract young people into construction and engineering. We’re also a member of the new university technical college. Something I definitely want to develop is to have employers close to us who can tell us what they need, and who will prefer our young people because they know the training matches their needs.

quite quickly to respond to the needs of employers and we’re very keen to do that.

SM: Absolutely. I think we need to be linked within the sectors our key employers are in, which we’ve done before but now in a more structured way. Our focus is on construction engineering, but

SM: I think within Medway it’s mainly drop-out at 17. It can be quite difficult to keep them engaged. Some of the students simply want to be with an employer. When this has happened, they couldn’t be more delighted. Our retention rates have gone up year-on-year.

“Bellway has a historical footing in Medway ... I can’t think of a difficult project – we’ve always had a good experience ... We’re focused on this part of the world” that we’re working hard to develop. In the last two years we’ve put a Job Shop on our site. We offer an apprenticeship service for employers, so that people can log their vacancies. One of the things we’re finding particularly with 16 and 17-year-olds, is that they lack confidence to even set foot over the threshold to apply for a job. At the end of last year we had more apprenticeship vacancies than we

had young people willing to take them up. So we’ve started the government flagship The Traineeship, which is this pre-apprenticeship programme aimed at young people who are no more than six months away from the workforce. And that’s about building confidence, employability skills, useful interview skills, getting across the threshold to employers, understanding how the job

of course there are lots of other sectors where we need to get the link directly through. This works brilliantly where you have an employer like BAE, who are very engaged with the college. They’ll come around and say: “This bit’s not right, we need a bit more of this.” Especially now the government has taken some of the shackles off the curriculum, we can move our provision

MB: We have apprentices who are directly employed for Berkeley and also for our trade contractors. And we’re trying to keep them on the books, as it were. They need continual training and development. We’ve got six apprentices at Victory Pier, and out of the trades, the majority are people who live in the local area. SC: Staying the course is something, I think, Sue, that the college has also put a lot of effort into, keeping people in. And in the 16 to 17-year-old group that’s a particular issue, isn’t it?

MB: You need to nurture them as well, because they’re generally young individuals. But that’s great – if you’ve got individuals who are willing to learn and have the right sort of drive and enthusiasm – that’s just what we want. ND: Sue, it’s a fairly unique training partnership between the college, and the Royal Engineers. Is that opening up more to other players? SM: It’s an opportunity. What we’ve managed to do recently with Carillion is offer an apprenticeship scheme. We have got a group of about 15 Carillion

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young people in and have had to work at a national level to get those apprentices into the barracks. But the idea is to get them on to the barracks. The army is very keen to have third-party income, because they understand that the facilities are underutilised and will continue to be so. If we can work on bringing in a third party through MidKent College training services on that contract, we’ll do it. One of the great things that our contracts involve is very personalised training programmes for recruits. And what we’ve managed to do through that training transformation, is cut about 20% to 25% off the training time, with no diminution in the quality, I hasten to add. So actually it’s a very efficient way of training people in construction and engineering. We will be in a position shortly to do that with our own students. MB: Does Bellway have a similar ethos to Berkeley’s in terms of taking on local guys and apprenticeships? Or is that something we could help with at all? GB: I think it is something you can help us with. We have a graduate training scheme which is a very traditional way of bringing graduates in. Some authorities have quite prescriptive policies which we’re not very comfortable with because it’s a liability to us. But something in that sort of order that we can engage with would be good. RC: I think we do have a problem in terms of the careers advice given at the late secondary stage. I’ve lived here all my life, through the good times, in the 50s and the 60s and to a certain extent in the 70s, when there was hardly any unemployment in Medway at all, particularly at school-leaver age, because of the vast number of apprenticeships that were on offer. And they were right across the spectrum. I’m a product of one of those apprenticeships. But where the schools are failing now is where we had that benefit at the time: that the business community was engaged with schools from a career perspective. I think it’s a problem for the education establishment. They’ve got to start to think real, they’ve got to get our young people to see what’s out there, and the opportunity to broaden their horizons.

college, employability is our number one priority. There is a lot our young people can bring: they can actually enhance businesses – it’s not just about their cost. Their understanding of technology and particularly how you market to young people, how you use social media, things like that can be an asset to an organisation, not always a drain. RC: Is there a London effect in terms of Medway’s economy? Are companies maximising the opportunities there are to come and locate here?

MB: When you get them there it’s fantastic. You give them hi-vis jackets and hard hats: they love it, and they get very vocal, it’s really engaging.

RCP: We’ve done reasonably well in attracting satellite offices, for want of a better term. And of course we’ve got traditional firms like BAE and Delphi, engineering firms of some size. We do have a problem – we have more offices than we can fill, you’ll see To Let boards that have been up there for far too long, and we’ve got some pretty dated offices down in the town centre, so I think we’ve got some way to go. Somebody was talking on the radio this morning about High Speed 1 being our best-kept secret, and I think it is. I’m always impressed when we invite people down here and it blows investors’ minds away when they come down on that train journey: that accessibility from St Pancras and the great sense of arrival once you get there.

SM: The government’s been very keen to cut bureaucracy on work experience and we’re all getting used to the new curriculum, which is a lot freer than it used to be, certainly post-16. There are still some perverse incentives around funding and qualifications. But it’s a priority – it has to be made a priority. For the

RC: I don’t think north Kent as a whole has maximized the potential the high speed line has given us. Our proximity to London has not only brought London closer, but it’s also brought Medway closer to London. Bearing in mind the number of people who commute to London, and because the communications are now much better,

why are some of those big companies located in London, paying London overheads for being there? We don’t seem to have broken into convincing them, “Why don’t you just locate here at Medway? You’d save goodness knows what and a large percentage of your workforce actually live here anyway.” So we talk about the London effect on Medway, but it’s the effect now that Medway could have on London due to the improved communication, and I don’t think we’ve addressed that properly.

MB: I think in a time of down-turn, people are naturally encouraged to go towards London, because there’s greater fluidity in the job market and there’s safety there, but now that market is on a steep recovery, you’re more likely to see people taking a view in terms of lifestyle changes, balanced against the fact the cost of living in London is rapidly increasing. I think it all comes back to the fact that you’re competing with London, so what’s Medway’s identity? What are the reasons for people to come here, either to live or to


work? For businesses and individuals, the accessibility is fantastic. So you can get into the West End, you can get into the City, you can get into Canary Wharf. And the lifestyle in terms of Medway, in terms of being able to get out of London into Europe and wider Kent, again: it’s fantastic. You’ve got a wonderful outlook over the River Medway. You’ve got the historic dockyards, and Rochester. I think we need to be very clear – be very joined up – about what those benefits are. We’re talking about a 33 minute-journey and door-to-door is going to be under the hour. Anywhere in more established commuter locations – in Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent, 33 minutes is fantastic. A lot of the London boroughs are more than this into central London. And it’s more comfortable. The HS1 is a very nice train to be on as well – you get a seat, it’s not like travelling in cattle class on a packed tube. SAM: I think being near to London is a real selling point, but being just outside London is equally as good. From a personal point of view, I had no idea, until I moved here, how close it is.

GB: It is quite a complex subject. It isn’t just the cost of space in London, the cost of getting there. It’s to do with profile. Over the last 30 to 40 years, we’ve seen the big businesses in London come out to the Croydons, the Crawleys, those peripheral areas, and then they’ve down-sized and gone back into London, into much smaller spaces. So really it’s focusing on what the next bit of that cycle might be and fitting Medway towns into that so it becomes an obvious choice rather than us having to sell it to them. The newly-qualified, just out of university group that are the ones working in London for the money and for the lifestyle. Being in Medway may not be what they want in life. Is that something Medway can sell to them? SM: Some of that is because young people come into Medway from elsewhere to attend universities, train up then go back to where they came from because that’s home. And we don’t always seem to be able to keep them here, either because of a lack of opportunities, or because of that lack of social and cultural life in its broadest sense. Medway has a ABOVE LEFT: Rodney Chambers (speaking), Neil Davies. LEFT: Matthew Biddle. RIGHT: Sallyann McLean.

[ round table]

great cultural offer but whether it always appeals to young people is another matter. RC: Families are in Medway because housing is less expensive than elsewhere. But many of them would say: “If the type of job that I do in London was available here, I would much sooner be here, because of my quality of family life and I’d feel much more part of the community”. MB: We’re trying to work on the nighttime economy aspect. We haven’t let any restaurants yet but probably in the next 18 months or so, once we’ve got more residents on-site it will be viable. We have a hotel that we’ve just exchanged contracts on, which will be opening up and again will help in terms of the evening economy and have more people on-site. But one would expect, with that many residents, given its position over the River Medway, it would be a nice place to have a destination restaurant, and that’s what our aim would be for Victory Pier. SC: And is that something that you think might become a feature of the kind of development that you want? For example

Rochester Riverside? You were looking to have those quality of life facilities – gyms, restaurants, hotels? GB: Rochester Riverside will certainly have all those, because it’s intended that it will become a community within an existing community.

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MB: We provide Wi-Fi lounges, which people don’t necessarily use to surf the net but to meet other residents, and that helps build a community. What I would say with any development, and Rochester Riverside is an example: be flexible, read the market, understand where the market is, because I think you need to be encouraging what developers feel the market really requires, with a mind of what target markets Rochester Riverside is right for. It won’t just be one segment – not just first-time buyers, not just families or down-sizers. There will certainly be a mix – and provide the facilities for that mix. RC: We’re very good at this council – I say it, but it’s true – we’re very good at engaging with our local businesses and business community. we’ve already

»

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“It blows investors’ minds away when they come down on that train journey: that accessibility from St Pancras”


doing the social stuff – it’s being very targeted and focused on what they want to do in the future. SAM: I absolutely agree. I was an apprentice. It was very much the thing to do, certainly coming from where I lived, and then something changed, and you’re right, and it moved to – it seems to me “You have to go to university,” even if you’re doing an obscure thing. RC: Take that a stage further. In some of our education establishments, if you don’t make university, many young people think, “I have failed.” And that really goes back to taking the young person as an individual and getting them to challenge themselves and say, “Do you really think this is the right road for you?”

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ABOVE: Sallyann McLean and Robin Cooper. RIGHT: Gary Clark.

made earlier. It’s something that needs to develop very early on, such that they want to go to college to develop those skills. RC: I think one of the things that will help us here, I’ve mentioned it, is the advent of the university technical college. I come from an era when we did have technical schools and they were extremely successful, in that most of the students that came out of those technical colleges, then went into apprenticeships in the area that their college was proficient in.

talked about this. We ask them: “What is the impediment in business growth?” and they say that in many instances it comes back to the skills. And that’s what we’re working with to help them – in fact we’re encouraging them in many instances to grow those skills within their own business unit. MB: But if there’s a lack of skilled labour, you’ve got to give that skilled labour reason to come here, so if it is the nightlife or the leisure aspects, or the accessibility

to Europe and London, it’s understanding what’s going to attract that skilled labour here, plus developing more. Because the skilled labour at the moment: they’re in the driving seat. SAM: If we think about the kind of skills we’re looking for, as well having the good maths and English, it’s more a mindset thing – a problem-solving approach, analytical kind of thinking. And that doesn’t just happen when you become 16 and you want to go to college. It’s back to the point

SM: I think there’s been a disjoint in terms of government policy and what the employers need, and the incentives have been wrong further down the education system. That is changing but it’s going to take a while. Going away to university is seen as a bit of a rite of passage by some young people – it’s where you meet your friends and build your social networks, rather than go to get skills for employment. I think that’s changing now, where you’re seeing young people – particularly with the push on apprenticeships nationally – it means you hear young people saying: “An apprenticeship is a good thing, because I won’t build up those debts.” They’re much more purposeful – it’s not about biding your time at university,

“Being near to London is a real selling point, but being just outside London is equally as good”

SM: I was at the Skills Show at ExCeL and it was so busy with young people, aged 14 and even up to 24, I would say. They were coming to our stand and crying out for some advice on what to do now. They knew specifically what they wanted to do but didn’t know the route to get there. I said to a few people, “You’re a bit outside our catchment area,” they said, “We’d move.” They were up for moving to an area where they could get well trained in skills. It was amazing to me – and it was next to the Dr Who exhibition. Given the career crisis we have for young people and the crisis of unemployment in young people, the national news was all about Dr Who and this massive Skill Show didn’t appear anywhere in the press. A few stands were for construction and engineering, but many more were for media, performing arts, music, cultural industries such as video production. I don’t know what it was with that particular area that attracted them, but I suppose they’re so surrounded by music and media, that’s one area they’re desperate to go into. GB: Is that because it’s more familiar to them? Do they not understand what we do as a business? SM: Probably not. Because in construction in particular, the work that you do is often behind hoardings, not that visible to the public. SC: We’ve focused in the past on creative industries. Are new sectors emerging that will attract young people in the future? SM: I think there’s a lot of demand for creative industries. Because it’s all SMEs and quite fragmented, it’s quite hard to get a grip on that as an emerging market. But there are lots of crossover areas, in IT and business for example. Things like web design, games design, which are serious careers and require a good level


of technical expertise, but are attractive. As a country we are a leader in those areas. I was going to ask whether the broadband connection in Medway is sufficient? That’s one of those potential impediments.

[ round table]

RC: If you take Medway as a whole, no. In rural areas it’s almost non-existent. The urban areas are patchy. When I say it is patchy, on one side it is very good. On the other side it is exceptionally bad.

RC: I think we’re now in a unique position to move forward. We’re only going to

“We’re very strong on collaboration, we have a clear direction” do that by our own efforts, by actually going and selling ourselves. And I’m now encouraged, because of our partnerships, that we’ve got to go and market Kent and what Kent has to offer, but within that we shall retain our own position and go and promote Medway. MB: Absolutely. Our original vision for Victory Pier was to develop a London scheme – the London mixed-use, amenities on-site, the quality for architecture and accommodation, but to provide it at a far more affordable value with lifestyle benefits. So that marketing campaign was all about that train link, and flying over from London, and you suddenly realised how close it is. But it’s interesting – the industries that you’re targeting or encouraging,

they will each have different aspects that you’ll need to tap into to entice them to come here, and it’ll be looking at what the competing locations are. MB: It’s looking at what Medway’s USPs are, for each of those sectors, and to say: “Okay this is really what it means to you, this is why you should move here.” RC: To try to sum up, we’ve got the infrastructure, probably the best we’re going to get it, but there’s still tweaking to be done. We’re in a position now to welcome a significant amount of construction and housing growth, and that’s one of the objectives of the partnership. Promoting business is one of our main aims, and whether that’s home-grown within Medway or attracting ABOVE: Neil Davies. LEFT: Geoff Blake.

business growth from outside, I see that as one of our biggest challenges. I feel we’re now on the springboard to growth right across all the sectors here in Medway. I feel now there’s a different atmosphere out there, particularly as far as the economy is concerned, and we now should use that. We’ve got an opportunity – we’ve got a lot to offer. ND: I would emphasise we’re a place that wants to do business. We’re a very engaging, ambitious authority that would like to work with developers in a very flexible way. We’re very strong on collaboration, we have a clear direction, we’ve got some superb natural characteristics in terms of the heritage and history. This is about making Medway. What is the USP for Medway? Medway is here, but you don’t necessarily know that until you get here. So there’s something very important about positioning and profiling Medway, and asking colleagues to all be ambassadors in that regard. MB: Success breeds success, doesn’t it? We need to be very clear about what the positives are, that everybody is delivering in Medway, and sharing that information. We want to be saying, “This is what happening, this is the amount of investment that’s going into Medway.” Those sorts of thing are important for people’s job prospects when they’re looking to relocate, also to investors who are looking to buy properties to let to maybe students or to employees in the area – they want to know how strong the investment is in the area. So if we can share that information that would be really helpful. SC: We work alongside councils around the country – and it seems that Medway has some significant advantages. M

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ND: Reflecting on the sector analysis of Medway as a place, we would say the construction industry is important. For all of those reasons, making our manufacturing sector factory-based, strong, thriving; growing it is important for us. And emerging ones: our own environmental industries. So as part of our north Kent Thames Gateway work and as well as the work that runs down the LEP, we would like to promote some opportunities on the peninsula in addition to the power there for a generation to thrive and survive there. We see environmental industries working for the borough, for example, turbine assembly. And all the opportunities and skills, and linking back to the universities. This is a key opportunity for us. At the same time it’s about recognising those 13,000 small and medium-sized businesses, and thinking about skills and growth progression and growing them in the sectors we’re concerned about. It plays into everything we’ve ever talked about – Medway being an attractive place, bringing the skills, the transportation and the lifestyle together.


Medway – A prime location for international business Sites ready for commercial investment

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Chatham Waterfront - exciting town centre development in prestigious waterfront location.

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Chatham Waters - extensive mixeduse regeneration of Chatham Docks.

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MidKent College - ÂŁ86million campus opened in 2011.

Rochester Airport - new commerical employment space with exceptional transport links.

Investing in our workforce - MidKent College, a stateof-the-art-campus

Medway Park, Gillingham

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Chatham Maritime - 2,000 new homes, university campus, shopping, offices, leisure and a 500-berth marina.

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Rochester Riverside - 32 hectare mixed-use development in progress.

State-of-the-art sports and lesiure facilities

Mixed-use riverside developments


Stanstead

London City

London Heathrow

Ebbsfleet International

MEDWAY Manston

A228

Canterbury

Maidstone Dover Gatwick

Tonbridge

Ashford International

n Calais

No.1 Smithery, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Brighton

Major transport infrastructure

A strong tourism economy n

High speed trains to London in 33 minutes.

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Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.

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London Thamesport - deep water port.

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Major investment in new rail stations including a new station at Rochester.

Championing advanced manufacturing growth

Innovation Centre Medway - a flexible, serviced workspace with superfast broadband for small businesses.

Showcasing the natural home of energy and environmental technologies n

A corridor of business innovation and growth

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Home to four universities with cutting-edge research and development capabilities.

World-class university research and teaching

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Medway is home to a large, well-established manufacturing base including BAE Systems. BAE Systems is the market leader in hybrid propulsion and power management systems including HybriDrive速, the most efficient hybrid system developed.

Three gas-fired power stations, liquefied-natural-gas and aviation fuel facilities.

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


Enterprise culture

Fully-fledged recovery may not yet be imminent but the numbers are adding up – evidence that in Medway, the demand for commercial property is beginning to grow and is present throughout different sectors of the market. Estates Gazette’s news editor Nick Whitten reports medway 1

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Picture caption


[ commercial]

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continued overleaf

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he stars are beginning to align for the Medway property market. Like everywhere in the UK, it was hit by the recession, but positive signs are starting to return. The 23rd annual Property Market Report was launched to 250 property professionals in October 2013, showing a 60% rise in active property requirements in Medway. The report, prepared by Kent County Council, Caxtons Chartered Surveyors and inward investment organisation Locate in Kent, shows that at the end of June 2013 there were 315 active property projects in and around Medway. This equated to potential requirements for property or land of up to 311,515sq m, compared to 194,984sq m in June 2012. At the end of June 2013, a total of 60

companies had been successfully assisted by Locate in Kent to invest in Kent and Medway since June 2012, of which 56 had a new or additional property requirement. The total area of property occupied was 36,503sq m compared to 33,503sq m in 2012, which was an average take-up of 701sq m. This represented an 8% rise in the average size of property uptake since 2012. Mandy Bearne, director of marketing and research at Locate in Kent, says: “Locate in Kent has had a good first half year, assisting 39 companies to set up, relocate to or expand in Kent and Medway, creating or safeguarding 1,702 jobs. “Five of these companies are in or came to Medway, with three companies showing their confidence in the area by expanding, creating 190 jobs and safeguarding 49, resulting in a total of 256 jobs being created or safeguarded.”

But in what sector is demand particularly strong? Big box warehousing and distribution facilities are the order of the day, according to Watson Day Chartered Surveyors partner Nicholas Threlfall. The total number of industrial projects seeking property in Kent and Medway was 111 at the end of June 2013, compared to 101 in 2012, according to the latest Property Market Report. “Demand for industrial and warehouse space is relatively good and soon we could be facing shortages in certain parts of the market, particularly large sheds, as nobody has developed anything on a speculative basis for six or seven years,” says Threlfall. All of Medway’s nine strategic development sites listed in the 2013 Kent Property Market Report propose some level of industrial space, with five of the sites wholly focused on industrial or distribution usage (see box on map).

“Locate in Kent has had a good first half year, assisting 39 companies to set up, relocate to or expand in Kent and Medway, creating or safeguarding 1,702 jobs”

One of the most significant is Goodman Group’s Kingsnorth Commercial Park, which offers six plots that can accommodate 186,000sq m of development, including a single shed of 112,000sq m. George Glennie, development director responsible for the park, said it can provide the “most economical ‘big sheds’ in the south-east”, envisioning conventional warehouse units complemented by customers in the power and construction industries – “traditional expertise of the area”. But despite the green shoots of recovery, no one is declaring a fully-fledged return to the good times just yet. “Growth has been very limited in the past six years, mainly as a result of macro economic conditions rather than any other factor,” says Threlfall. “Rental levels are below those considered acceptable to stimulate speculative development so growth is likely to be limited until rents rise.” Efforts have been made to make Medway a more attractive prospect to new or existing businesses from the area with an eye on expansion. Medway Council and Kent County Council launched the TIGER Fund in March 2013 for north Kent and Thurrock. The

The Kingsnorth Commercial Park can accommodate 186,000sq m of development, including a single shed of 112,000sq m.


E G

F

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A2

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D

Strood

I A289 M2

A

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Chatham A228

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Medway Strategic Developments Scheme Location A Temple Park Strood B Chatham Centre and Waterfront Chatham C Rochester Airport Rochester D Chatham Maritime Chatham E Chatham Waters Chatham F Lodge Hill, Chattenden Chatham G Kingsnorth Commercial Park Rochester H London Thamesport Rochester I Isle of Grain Business Park Rochester

£20 million fund is available for businesses operating or wishing to operate in Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thurrock. The super-fast High Speed 1 (HS1) rail connection has also helped in making Medway an attractive location for businesses and investors alike. “There is no doubt HS1 has been a real positive for businesses, particularly for rapid access into London via Ebbsfleet,” says Threlfall. When it comes to the retail sector, the Medway towns provide some of Kent’s important shopping destinations. But retail was one of the worst hit sectors during the recession. Chatham remains the dominant retail centre within the Medway towns, and – perennially popular due to its status as a tourist centre – retail units in Rochester town centre rarely remain available for long, according to Caxtons’ commercial associate director Raymond Amosso. “Of the other main town centres within Medway, Strood and Rainham seem to fare relatively well,” says Amosso. “Gillingham has a classic, traditional,

A2

Usage B1, B2, B3 A5, B1, C1, C3 B1, B2, B8 A1-A4, B1, C1, C3, D2 A1-A5, B1, B2, C1, D1, D2, Sui Generis A1-A5, B1, B2, C1-C3, D1 B1, B2, B8 B1, B2, B8 B1, B2, B8

Key A1 B1 B2 B8 C1 D1 D2 Sui Generis

Shops and retail Offices and light industry General industrial Warehouses and distribution Hotels Education Leisure Petrol station, car showroom

Source: 2013 Kent Property Market Report

Chatham remains the dominant retail centre within the Medway towns, and ... retail units in Rochester town centre rarely remain available for long long high street and too many retail units at either end, which need to be redeveloped as residential housing.” Robin Cooper, the council’s director of regeneration, community and culture, says that if this were to happen at some stage, it would make the high street more vibrant. Turning to offices, the market remains very challenging across the board, with a range of properties available in locations such as Chatham Maritime, Gillingham Business Park and Medway City Estate. However, the picture is improving, and deals are being done. Caxtons recently let a 291sq m office building to the NHS at The Courtyard on Gillingham Business Park, on a five-year lease. “After a very challenging period since

the post-Lehman Brothers financial collapse, we are now seeing demand for offices across all size ranges as occupiers realise they must address their property requirements in a market where good value is perceived,” says Threlfall. Amosso says there has been an interesting trend emerging over the past year or so with a surge in people looking for premises to use for gyms, martial arts, dance and children’s activity centres. “These kind of leisure-related business enterprises very much seem to be the flavour of the moment,” he says. But where are the gaps? What would attract more investors to Medway? “I would say that good quality – not necessarily absolutely prime, but just

decent quality – business space in the form of flexible, open-plan office and production space in attractive business park type environments is needed to attract investors,” says Amosso. Self-contained, medium-sized buildings with long-term flexibility to accommodate changes in working practices and market conditions are very much what the Caxtons director has in mind. And he has one final piece of advice for would-be investors. “Good on-site parking is also critical. Developers who simply concentrate on squeezing as much building on to a plot as possible, with little regard for parking, will do themselves no favours.” M


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[ education]

Mind the gap With traditional university degrees seeming ever less likely to fill the UK’s skills gap, employers have bemoaned the availability of suitably skilled-up staff. Lucy Purdy discovers how a new £10 million University Technical College in Medway aims to meet this need and help reinvigorate the area’s previously booming engineering and construction industries at the same time With its sights set firmly on answering the call raised by British industry, the UTC – scheduled to open on the new Chatham Waters development at Chatham Docks in September 2015 – will specialise in engineering and construction and be sponsored by the University of Greenwich, MidKent College, Medway Council and local employers. The aim is to equip an entirely new generation with the sorts of

first-class technical skills that will help them chase careers at all levels of these crucial sectors. UTCs offer 14 to 19-year-olds full-time, technically oriented courses of study, incorporating National Curriculum elements alongside training of the highest standard which is designed to offer clear progression routes into higher education or learning in work. MidKent College is also involved as an

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elebration was in the air last year when Medway’s bid for a University Technical College (UTC) was declared successful. The painstakingly researched and planned application was given the green light by the Department of Education and signalled the dawn of a third option for secondary education in Medway and the wider region.

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BELOW: The new University Technical College is scheduled to open in September 2015 and will specialise in engineering and construction.

continued overleaf

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educational partner, and the Royal School of Military Engineering – one of the jewels in Medway’s crown – as well as industry big-hitters such as BAE Systems. So, why does the plan make sense for Medway PLC? Professor Alan Reed, director of regional development at the University of Greenwich and chair of Medway UTC Partnership, argues that the more pertinent question was: “Why does it make sense for UK PLC?” “In a sense, this is about putting back a traditional style of vocational education with a modern flavour. UTCs are fulfilling this need in the UK. We had a great tradition of technical education but through the years, technical colleges got airbrushed out of history. We’re trying to put that back, but with a modern twist.

ABOVE AND LEFT: UTC classes will run from 8.30am-5pm, to reinforce the feel of a business environment. RIGHT: UCA students are making waves in artistic industries.


[ education]

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“If you look at Germany, for example, which is often held up as a byword for quality if you think of the likes of Bosch or Audi, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that after World War II, Germany was remodelled on the British system. It was replicated there but, I think, lost here. “Industries are crying out because there are such huge skills gaps, and we can only see that worsening in the future if nothing is done. We want to help put back that focus on engineering, not just in Medway but outside too, in the likes of Gravesend and Maidstone.” Renewal is another important factor in Medway where a huge range of extensive regeneration schemes are taking place. Of course, these require skilled construction professionals and technicians, and

developers and contractors currently face a skills gap. Reports have identified the greatest employment needs in this sector in the south-east are in civil engineering and construction management. It is difficult to imagine a more impressive set of partners than those gracing the lines of Medway’s UTC application form. BAE Systems – British multinational defence, aerospace and security company – has an electronic

systems centre in Marconi Way, Rochester, and is a ‘key employer’ on the project. BAE Systems already employs more than 1,000 people locally and also has a tradition of being engaged with local academia. Each year, its well-established engineering taster week sees students from 10 local schools take part in lectures, tours, team exercises and a work-related project. The company also runs a design appreciation scheme for apprentices:

a six-week stint in a real-world engineering project. BAE will help shape the UTC’s curriculum, play a role in its governance, offer site visits and projects as well as work experience and apprenticeship placements. Support has also been pledged from influential companies including Delphi Diesel Systems, BAM Construct UK, Denne Construction and energy management specialists Gainwell Futures.

“This kind of real-world access and skill sharing is crucial in matching students’ skills to the needs of employers in the area”


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THIS PAGE: Sebastian Edge founded the North London Darkroom after success photographing the band Radiohead.

Collectively, these bring with them a whole host of skills, technical know-how and resources, ranging from access to technical workshops to international perspectives on engineering. This kind of real-world access and skill sharing is crucial in matching students’ skills to the needs of employers in the area, explains Nigel Spencer, director of development and quality at the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. He says: “The establishment of a University Technical College in the Medway region will play a crucial role in developing the engineers and technicians

status. The RSME’s workshop facilities are considered second to none in Europe, and UTC students will have access to them. General Sir Nick Parker of the RSME has described the UTC as a “vital enhancement” to the educational offer in the Medway region. And, keen to bring about a more highly skilled workforce, Medway Council has also provided significant resources in supporting the UTC proposal. The authority’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Councillor Les Wicks, emphasised Medway’s rich history in construction and engineering and said the

single 5,000sq m site and combining a business ethos with workplace facilities within an academic environment. The typical working day will be from 8.30am until 5pm to reflect business hours. “The area offers everything we would like in terms of technical research through to staffing all resources,” says Reed. “UTCs are sub-regional so we will be casting our net further afield for students. “We really cannot wait to get started now. This college will provide a third option to secondary education, as well as a lasting legacy to Medway and the wider sub-region. It is truly exciting.”

“It will equip a new generation with first class technical skills that will help them pursue careers in engineering and construction at all levels” of the future in key sectors of the engineering construction industry, namely offshore wind energy and conventional power generations”. The Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) is another key partner. It delivers an extensive range of skills and technical development, from trade skills through to civil engineering, to MSc courses and chartered engineer

UTC will help continue this tradition. “Not only this, but it will equip a new generation with first class technical skills that will help them pursue careers in engineering and construction at all levels.” The UTC will be sited at Chatham Waters, subject to finalising the acquisition with Peel Land and Property and securing detailed planning permission. The new £10 million building will be situated on a

Elsewhere, Medway’s educational bodies are thriving. The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art has a multimillion pound development within Chatham Historic Dockyard, a short walk from the main campus. Very few students can claim to study on a campus that features a naval destroyer, a submarine, a Tardis and a fleet of milk floats, but these can. Charlotte Smith, a School of Music

and Fine Art graduate whose work appears on the front cover of this issue, has been selected as one of two graduates shortlisted for the Turner Contemporary’s Platform Graduate Award. The University for the Creative Arts (UCA), which has a campus in Rochester boasts an impressive list of graduates too. In December 2013 alone, 25-year-old fine art graduate Lottie Jackson-Eeles was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and former Rochester student Johanna Wahlman reached the final round of a competition which forms part of London Fashion Week. Four other UCA fine art graduates have been selected to display their work at an exhibition at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate. UCA graduates also hold the reins at an impressive number of startups and burgeoning businesses. Sebastian Edge went on to found photographers’ workspace the North London Darkroom after working with Radiohead in 2010. He was chosen to take the only publicity photograph for The Kings of Limbs album and used the proceeds from selling prints to fund his project. By matching provision to the real needs of employers and to UK industry trends, Medway is designing an educational system fit for the 21st century. M


M

edway’s multi-billion-pound regeneration programme is taking shape with the granting of a planning application for Temple Waterfront. Surplus land 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.

We are determined to put derelict land in the area to good use at Temple Waterfront to demonstrate a real vision for innovative regeneration. With its links to the M2 and superb views across the river to Rochester’s castle and cathedral, Temple Waterfront has massive potential and Medway Council, Lafarge Tarmac and Morgan Timber are determined to see that potential realised.

DAVID SIMMS

Land and planning director, Lafarge Tarmac

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


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medway 1

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

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r ei th or n ht ow ig s tr ed nt ou ge lp of de e ga he ort ay si m rt en pp dw re ho mo ) be su e of n a 2011 ve e y M ow ith : Census ha th lo w e c r ou (S le ith mp op w E pe ork

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medway 1 50


[ made in medway]

Roaring success

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Two Medway companies became the first successful applicants to receive funding through Kent and Medway’s TIGER grant scheme in 2013. James Wood talks to the beneficiaries

W

ith 3,500 manufacturing companies in the Kent and Medway area said to be contributing around £3.5 billion to the economy of the south-east, local authorities for Kent and Medway have projects in place to attract young entrepreneurs and retain established firms in the area. A Kent and Medway scheme offering financial assistance to local businesses aims to add to the 320,000 jobs already supported. Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise is abbreviated to TIGER, but a snappy (approximate)

companies were among the first in Kent to be successful when the scheme began, receiving a combined total of almost £250,000 to expand their businesses. A new factory for one of these firms in St Mary Hoo is promising to bring jobs and growth to the area, sharpening investors’ focus on Medway and boosting the chances of a catalytic impact on regeneration and development. Councillor Jane Chitty, Medway’s portfolio holder for strategic development and economic growth, says: “Medway businesses have been quick to recognise the benefits of the TIGER scheme.

“This fund offers a real opportunity for successful businesses looking to base themselves in Medway and the rest of Kent” acronym is not all that is catching the eye of Medway companies. Introduced in April 2013 and financed through the government’s £3.2 billion Regional Growth Fund, TIGER targets applicants looking to invest in local products and services, favouring those with potential to create job opportunities. The scheme presents strict guidelines for eligibility and is only open to sole traders, partnerships, limited companies or not-for-profit businesses that could not be easily financed by the private sector. Two Medway manufacturing

“This fund offers a real opportunity for successful businesses looking to base themselves in Medway and the rest of Kent, or looking for financial support to expand their operations. “It has the potential to provide the kind of investment needed to create more skilled jobs; jobs that will play such a vital role in growing the local economy and its wider regeneration.”

continued overleaf

»


The Food Machinery Company

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Providing food packaging and processing machinery – for an industry that supplies cafes, supermarkets, restaurants and shops throughout the UK – has allowed The Food Machinery Company to sustain growth in recent years. This was a major factor in the decision to ask the business to become a beneficiary of the TIGER scheme, and an application of £197,000 was among the first successful grants to go through in the region. As a result, the company started building its new factory on the Hoo Peninsula in early 2014, a site which is important to help meet the unprecedented level of growth. The business stems from humble beginnings. Started 35 years ago by Mike Wilkinson, Food Machinery originated as a service based company, before gradually evolving to the point

where it could supply a wide range of machinery to the food processing industry, some of which is sourced from other manufacturers across the world. Today, it serves every supermarket chain in the UK, as well as privately owned SMEs and retail shops. The company’s product range covers all aspects of meat processing, cooking, bakery, hygiene, washing, packaging and more. Wilkinson says that TIGER funding has allowed The Food Machinery Company to grow within Medway. “Where other companies are failing to thrive, we have been successful in achieving this growth and it is now crucial that the business moves into bigger premises,” he says. “The company needs more employees as we grow and we do not currently have the space available. The TIGER loan has helped us raise the necessary funds

required for this expansion. Building the site will create jobs for up to 20 contractors as well as work for the ancillary trades in the vicinity.” The creation of jobs is likely to be sustained after the factory is built and Food Machinery aims to generate an additional 13 positions for both skilled workers and trainees in office and engineering roles. Medway’s location is particularly suitable for Food Machinery, Wilkinson says: “We have been here for more than 20 years and would not invest in Medway if we did not have faith in the area.” And Wilkinson is full of praise for the business development department of Medway Council, calling its officers “extremely supportive”. Councillor Chitty says Food Machinery is helping to strengthen Medway’s reputation for its industrial bedrock. She says: “We will never underestimate the importance that companies which have been based here for a long time have in contributing to the economic stability of Medway.”

“The Food Machinery Company serves every supermarket chain in the UK, as well as privately owned SMEs and retails shops” Transnordic Transnordic has been operating from its base in Medway for 33 years. The firm designs hydraulic control valves for a variety of industries, including waste management, construction, agriculture, military, mining and marine. TIGER funding of £35,000 has enabled the firm to employ additional staff and invest in new manufacturing equipment to increase production levels. Started in 1970 – by Mike Baxter who had worked as an engineer in Sweden for many years – the business grew to a point where new bases could be set up in King’s Lynn and Uxbridge. In recent years Transnordic was hit by the decline in manufacturing that blighted the UK during the recession and had to scale back its operations, but managed to retain its Medway base and eventually began to recover.

Being in the area has facilitated this, according to Baxter. “Medway is geographically well positioned to allow us to do business with the rest of the continent because of the transport links to London, and the rest of the UK and Europe,” he says. Major London airports are accessible from Medway in around an hour and High Speed 1 trains regularly whizz up to King’s Cross St Pancras in just over half an hour. This is important in maintaining Transnordic’s client base. “It certainly makes it a good place to do business,” Baxter says. “We buy most of our supplies locally as we can source everything we need within Medway, but our clients are scattered throughout the UK and worldwide.” The TIGER grant has strengthened Transnordic’s stake in the area. The firm was invited to the scheme’s launch event and its application seemed to fit the criteria

for manufacturing and technology and having the potential to create jobs. Cllr Chitty says: “The company showed real entrepreneurship and was able to prove that the opportunities were there to grow quickly.” The funding has contributed toward a “change in culture” at Transnordic, according to Baxter, and the company plans to keep growing by “investing in people and machines”. And areas allocated for industrial growth on the Hoo Peninsula have caught the company’s attention, as Transnordic now looks set on expanding its operations in Medway. M

“Medway is geographically well positioned to allow us to do business with the rest of the continent because of the transport links”


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

Learning matters Medway is boosted by top universities and other educational establishments, allowing talent to be nurtured and aspirations to be realised. This culture of support allows the region to thrive continued over page

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education Extra


We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills to the public services medway 1

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• 94% of our most recent UK graduates are in employment or further study six months after completing their studies * • We deliver undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that impact on regional, national and international health and social care agendas and have international research excellence in the Allied Health Professions • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent **

* based on Destination of Leavers from Higher Education statistics for 2011-12 academic year ** based on 2012 UCAS figures

www.canterbury.ac.uk AD_116057_UniKent_Medway1 Mag_halfpage 13/11/2013 16:15 Page 1

1965-2015 THE UK’S EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY

INSPIRING THE FUTURE CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

A top 20 UK university www.kent.ac.uk


education extra

Canterbury Christ Church University

University of Kent – 50 years of excellence The University of Kent – the UK’s European University – was established in 1965 and will shortly be celebrating its 50th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, Kent will be marking the tenth anniversary of the opening of its multi-million pound campus at Chatham Maritime. More recently, it opened a £5 million arts development at the Historic Dockyard and there are now nearly 2,000 students on the Medway campus studying subjects from fine art and music to business, computer science, journalism, law, pharmacy and sports science. The Guardian University Guide 2014 placed Kent among the top 20 universities in the UK and it is consistently rated by its own students as being among the best in the UK. The University has a significant economic, cultural and social impact on the region, contributing £0.6 billion of economic worth to the South East. www.kent.ac.uk/medway

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Canterbury Christ Church University is a major, national provider of education, training and skills to the public services. The University’s campus at Chatham Maritime offers expertise, high quality teaching and state-of-the-art facilities specialising in Health and Social Care, Education and Early Childhood Studies. The skills labs on campus offer access to realistic medical settings, such as hospital wards and operating theatres and are continually upgraded to reflect the modern workplace enabling students to gain the practical skills that are valuable to future employers. Over 50% of our graduates stay in Kent and Medway to work, reinvesting their skills, knowledge and income back into the local economy. And with 94% of Christ Church graduates in employment or further study six months after completing their studies, Canterbury Christ Church University is an increasingly popular choice for local people looking to start, or further, their careers within the Healthcare and Education sectors.


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Greenwich Research & Enterprise

Get the best for your business At the University of Greenwich, our specialist facilities, expert training and world-leading expertise make us an exceptional place for business support. Our team of business development managers is here to help you access all we have to offer: • Business development

• Specialist equipment and facilities

• Staffing and support

• Problem solving

• Access funding

• Consultancy

• Training and development

• Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

• Technology development

• Student placements

Contact us today to find out how you can get the best for your business. +44 (0)20 8331 7867

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enterprise@gre.ac.uk

www.gre.ac.uk/enterprise

24/02/2014 10:15


education extra

To find out more, and how the University of Greenwich can help your business, e-mail enterprise@gre.ac.uk or phone (020) 8331 7867.

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The University of Greenwich in Medway is a hub for science, engineering and technology, providing research and technical support for civil and manufacturing engineering, computational engineering, pharmaceuticals, food and packaging industries, agriculture, renewable energy, materials analysis, sports science, improving the handling of bulk solids, land remediation, and many more sectors. The university is a leading provider of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) which allow companies to access government funding to buy in expertise. Recently, Beams International Ltd successfully engaged with the Faculty of Engineering & Science to develop capacity to enhance and create innovative “high end� packaging designs. The Analytical Services Laboratory (ASL) offers businesses access to a range of services spanning routine chemical analysis, all forms of molecular spectroscopy, liquid and gas chromatography, physical testing and specialist scientific consultancy. The ASL operates within a modern quality management framework and is accredited to ISO 17025:2005. In partnership with Medway Council, the University of Greenwich runs the Innovation Centre Medway (ICM), supporting businesses in the Kent and Medway region grow, offering support and advice, in state-of-the-art serviced facilities for up to 60 start-ups in innovative and potentially high-growth businesses. The University of Greenwich is also a delivery partner in the South East England Enterprise Europe Network (SEE-EEN). The network, an EU-funded initiative, helps small companies make the most of the business opportunities in the European Union boost innovation and productivity through use of new ideas and technology. Additionally, the university has a track record of working with local businesses to develop courses which meet their needs, for example introducing a programme in electrical engineering to help a major Kent employer, Cummins Power Generation, overcome recruitment problems. Pfizer and the Royal School of Military Engineering are just two other local employers to have benefited from this flexible approach.


ORIGINALITY

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KENT

Foundation and Pre-degree: Art & Design Digital Media Production

Undergraduate degrees including: Architecture Contemporary Jewellery Fashion Accessories Fashion Retail Management Fashion Promotion Fine Art Interior Architecture and Design Photography Product Design Postgraduate taught and research degrees

Ignite your creative career with a specialist foundation, undergraduate or masters programme at our Canterbury and Rochester campuses. Find out more at an open day, book online now

www.ucreative.ac.uk Canterbury Epsom Farnham Rochester

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UCA: The Gateway to the Creative Industries

education extra

A vibrant creative community

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Gillingham

Oscar-winning film-makers, world-renowned fashion designers, television presenters, celebrity jewellers and Turner Prize nominees are just some of the high-profile graduates from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). The environment at UCA is extraordinarily diverse, with pre-degree and foundation students working closely alongside those undertaking undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees. This integration between students across all levels of study and the cross-disciplinary culture it generates offers a unique experience grounded in innovation, idea-sharing and collaboration. At UCA there are boundless opportunities for exploration, experimentation and discovery. UCA in Kent Within the County of Kent, UCA Rochester and UCA Canterbury boast award-winning specialist schools across the spectrum of creative practices. We have created a dynamic community for our students, where like-minded people can meet and work together using cutting edge techniques and technologies. We’re never surprised to find fine artists studying with film-makers, and fashion designers working alongside architects. Complementing our campuses, we also have a unique teaching base at Maidstone Television Studios, where students attend courses in Broadcast Media in a fully immersive industry-environment and an exhibition and project space in the Brewery Tap in Folkestone.

Watersid e Living A collection of stunning suites, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments Priced from £114,950 Call: 01634 565 000 Website: www.victorypier.co.uk Victory Pier Sales Suite Pier Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 1AF Open daily 11am - 6pm Our vision for your future

Photography of Marina Heights at Victory Pier. Prices correct at time of print.

An exceptional student experience Established over 60 years ago, the Canterbury School of Architecture is renowned within its field and beyond. The recent appointment of internationally acclaimed architect Will Alsop only adds to the distinctiveness of the student experience. Similarly, the award-winning School of Fashion at UCA Rochester produces some of the best emerging designers from across the globe and boasts an impressive number of high-profile alumni including Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes. Exciting new courses

Want to know more?

Executive Dean Mark Little is keen to emphasise UCA’s fundamental commitment to the creative industries. He says: “We are very proud of the long history and reputation of our extraordinary courses and will continue to invest in these at the same time as we continue to innovate and update our portfolio to ensure we are aligned with the needs of the creative sector. For instance, we have recently launched three fantastic new courses; BA (Hons) Fashion Retail Management and BA (Hons) Media Management as well as the groundbreaking L3 foundation degree Digital Media Production.”

For more information on UCA courses please visit www.ucreative.ac.uk/ courses


medway 1

medway making history

medway making history

Launching SOOn!

issue 6 2014

FanTaSTic

3 & 4 BEDROOM HOMES AT ST. MARY’S ISLAND FROM £250,000

The Fishing Village at St. Mary’s Island brings together the best of Medway’s excellent road, rail and bus connections to Kent and beyond with new high specification fisherman-style cottages, to create a superb new way of contemporary living.

Call 01634 891200 or visit www.thefishingvillage.co.uk

* Computer generated image is indicative only. Prices correct at time of going to print. February 2014.

2014

www.placespeoplelove.co.uk

6

Designer living The housing schemes winning plaudits Skilling up Medway’s bold plan to meet employers’ needs Made in Medway TIGER funding fuelling fierce growth Heavy hitters Medway’s big guns gather to map its future

Medway1 #6  

Medway1 is a publication highlighting the work of regeneration organisations in the area and is accompanied by a website and email news bull...

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