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issue 8 2015 medway making history

medway making history

COUNTRYSIDE

CREATING PLACES PEOPLE LOVE.

Our superb developments in Medway have a signature style and character designed to work for the way people live today.

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Find out more at countryside-properties.com Information correct at the time of going to print. May 2015.

summer 2015

The Housing Design Award winner Horsted Park in Chatham, and St. Mary’s Island, Chatham Maritime – Britain’s only planned new island community – exemplify our commitment to design and creating beautifully crafted landscapes, building lasting value for all.

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Innovation From incubators to industry leaders Collaboration Microsoft flies with Dovetail Games Regeneration New neighbourhoods, access to markets Celebration Cultural events and community cohesion


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contents

issue#08_summer ‘15

medway 1 Editorial director: Siobhán Crozier Editor: Maria Shahid Chief reporter: James Wood Head of design: Rachael Schofield Designers: Kelly Flood, Kate Harkus Production assistant: Chris Hazeldine Business development director: Paul Gussar Business development manager: Chris Joyce Office manager: Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox

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Printed by: Bishops Printers Cover image: TS2013 Art by Dovetail Games Images: Dovetail Games, John Sturrock, Maria Coombes, FrancisKnight.co.uk, Goodman, Trenport, Kent Enterprise Hub, David Tothill, mhs homes, qingqing, Dean & Chapter Rochester Cathedral/MALSC, Innovation Centre Medway, ZC Social Media, Microsoft, BAE Systems, Eric Isselee, Iakov Filimonov, Jimmy King, Medway Council, St Mary’s Island History Group, Countryside Properties, Berkeley Group, Bellway Homes, Rikard Österlund, Danny Clifford, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, Porl Medlock Published by: 375 Kennington Lane London SE11 5QY 020 7978 6840

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For Medway Council

Gun Wharf Dock Road Chatham Kent ME4 4TR 01634 331323 Head of regeneration and economic development, Medway Council Frances Toomey frances.toomey@medway.gov.uk Subscriptions and feedback: medway1.com © 3Fox International Limited 2015. 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.

05 News

A round-up of Medway developments.

13 Innovation

A new board and strategy are helping to create a hothouse for startups.

21 SME success

Council funding opportunities are fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

30 Map and projects

All the latest regeneration schemes happening in Medway.

39 Neighbourhoods

Medway is creating communities that are making a mark.

45 Culture and events A rich cultural programme is attracting visitors.

50 Markets

Facts and figures on what makes the area’s economy tick.

53 Training for skills

A new university technical college is providing the perfect launchpad to a career in construction and technology.

59 Made in Medway

The Fountain Workshop is breaking new ground in water feature design.

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M E D W AY VA L L E Y, KE N T

The Village takes shape. Construction of the first phase of 1,000 high quality homes on the east bank of the River Medway at Peters Village starts later this summer. This follows Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s permission for detailed plans on the 152-home Phase 1 of the development by Trenport Investments, fulfilling the company’s long term ambition to create an all-new community close to the existing villages of Wouldham, Burham and Eccles.

This trio of communities once owed their livelihood to the riverside’s former Peters Lime & Cement Works, which employed 1,000 people and operated a fleet of 80 Thames Barges at its peak before falling into disuse in the 1920s. The brown field site has since been re-envisioned by Trenport as the all-new Peters Village, complete with community centre, school and playing fields, shop, and traffic upgrades for its neighbouring villages too, plus a new road and rail bridge over the Medway, opening up new education, employment and leisure opportunities for this once isolated area of the Medway Valley.

CONTACT Sam Graham Cluttons 020 7647 7149 sam.graham@cluttons.com David Parry Smiths Gore 01732 879063 david.parry@smithsgore.co.uk

petersvillage.com

Ed Burdell Cluttons 020 7647 7272 edward.burdell@cluttons.com


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New scheme targets local business Work on a 24,765sq m industrial unit at London Medway Commercial Park, owned by Goodman, is expected to start on-site during summer 2015. The £25 million investment will be aimed at local businesses looking to expand, or employers thinking about relocating to Medway. The building features a 15m clear

internal height, 50m deep yard, as well as 53 additional truck parking spaces. Around 1,740sq m of offices and 236 car parking spaces will also be built. London Medway Commercial Park is located near the M20, M2 and M25, which Goodman said would assist with “both regional and national distribution”. Serviced plots are available for units from 2,320sq m to 113,800sq m.

The £25 million investment will be aimed at local businesses looking to expand

Gillingham and Twydall get council homes The first Medway council homes in 40 years have been built. In the first phase, the multimillion-pound project has seen 23 homes built in Gillingham and Twydall, delivered in a partnership between the Chartway Group and Medway Council. The homes are a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom properties, as well as homes designed with facilities for people with disabilities. The next phase of the scheme will see 32 one and two-bedroom bungalows being constructed at

Beatty Avenue in Gillingham. Deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and community services, Councillor Howard Doe, said: “These are the first of many new council houses to be built by Medway Council. We wanted to offer people the chance to rent good quality, energy-efficient homes that they can afford and now, here we are with the first phase finished. I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation events and all those who have worked so hard to get these houses built.”


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Medway Valley to be transformed Work on the first phase of a planned development to build 1,000 homes on the east bank of the River Medway will start this summer. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council granted planning permission to developer Trenport for the first 152 homes in phase one of the Peters Village scheme, which features 124 two, three and four-bedroom homes and 28 two-bed apartments. The site was once home to Peters Lime and Cement Works, which employed 1,000 people and operated a fleet of 80 Thames barges at its

Countdown to Medway Business Awards Medway-based companies are preparing to enter the 31st Medway Business Awards, which take place in November 2015. The awards were conceived with the idea of giving the area back some of the self-esteem lost at the closure of the naval dockyard and other manufacturing industries in the mid-80s. The awards celebrate businesses which contribute to regeneration and the economy. Any business that has been operating for a year in Medway up until 1 January 2015 is eligible to enter the competition.

peak, before falling into disuse in the 1920s. Development work will also see a community centre, a school and playing fields, as well as a shop built. In addition, there will be traffic upgrades for the neighbouring villages, and a new road and rail bridge over the Medway. This will all open up education, employment and leisure opportunities for what was once an isolated area of the Medway Valley. Infrastructure investment of £50 million has been made possible thanks to assistance from the government’s local infrastructure fund, administered

by the Homes and Communities Agency. The location includes a site of special scientific interest, a haven for rarities such as the great crested newt, the Adonis Blue butterfly, various orchids, and the Marsh Mallow moth – it is one of just two UK sites where this moth is found. Trenport director, Chris Hall, said: “Our site contractor Bam Nuttall started work on the site infrastructure last summer. The new roads network is well advanced, while construction of the new bridge is now under way. The first new homes will send a powerful signal about the regeneration of this site.”

Startups succeed in Medway More businesses were launched in Medway than in any area of Kent in 2014, a recent survey has found. Medway’s entrepreneurs are flourishing according to figures released by Companies House. There were 1,888 newly formed companies registered in Medway in 2014, while 6,865 businesses in total are PAYE-registered. The region’s educational institutions have contributed to the growth of startups, with measures in place to help entrepreneurs graduating from Medway-based universities. The University of Kent launched its Enterprise Hub in 2010 as a place for students, staff and alumni to set up new businesses. Since then, the university has become home to 74 startups, which employ 138 people, contributing £3.9 million to the local economy.

Medway’s entrepreneurs are flourishing according to Companies House figures


[ news ]

Opening act for housing association They were built by Medway contractors Jenner Group and funded by a £650,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency. Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, alongside representatives from Jenner Group and Medway Council attended a launch event for the scheme in March of this year.

Crouch said: “I am delighted to see that the former Theatre Royal auditorium site has been transformed into affordable homes. This new development is just a small part of the regeneration taking place across Chatham. I would like to thank everyone that helped to make this scheme such a great success.”

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New leader takes charge

Council director moves on Medway Council’s director of regeneration, community and culture, Robin Cooper, has left the local authority, and will take on a new role to head up Ebbsfleet Garden City. Cooper has been at the council for 10 years and previously told Medway1 that he was proud to have attracted significant investment into Medway in that time. He said about his departure: “I have really enjoyed myself over the last 10 years and we are fortunate to have such dedicated staff providing services for the people of Medway. We are now in a great place to continue regenerating the area. I wish Medway well – it is a great place to be. Thank you for having me.”

Homes go into Orbit Orbit Homes has finished work to develop 16 homes in Gillingham. The derelict Nelson Road site has been transformed into six flats and 10 houses, which the developer said are available for affordable rent. Orbit Homes delivered the project in partnership with contractors Fremel, and residents started moving into their homes in late 2014. The company has also started the redevelopment of a block of flats in ‘The Brook’ area of Chatham. Of 38 new-build flats, 30 will be available for affordable rent, with the remaining eight offered for shared ownership. Orbit South will take responsibility for the management of both.

Councillor Alan Jarrett has been appointed as leader of Medway Council, following a full council meeting at the end of May. He replaces Rodney Chambers, who had been leader for 15 years, and the only one in the unitary authority’s history until now. Chambers will remain as a local councillor, and has been appointed as portfolio holder for inward investment, strategic regeneration and partnerships. He released a statement, thanking those he had worked closely with over the last 15 years: “Medway has witnessed tremendous change over the period of my leadership. Our regeneration programme has gone from strength to strength with both Rochester Riverside and Chatham Waters moving ahead. “Victory Pier in Gillingham has developed, and ambitious plans for Strood and Chatham are progressing well. A lot of this has been achieved by successfully bidding for funding from government and other sources. Much has been achieved that I am proud of.” Jarrett, who has been appointed as leader for the next four years, also announced the members of his new cabinet at the annual meeting of the council.

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Theatre Quarter, an mhs homes development consisting of 26 apartments, has been built on the site of Medway’s Theatre Royal auditorium. The properties will be available for affordable rent, market rent and shared ownership, with two of the homes at affordable rent being accessible for wheelchair users.


[ news ]

Queen’s Award for Strood company

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Strood-based freight company, CRM Logistics, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. The firm employs 16 people and has seen its overseas earnings grow by 575% in the last six years. The firm, which is based at the Medway City estate, was formed in 2003, and was praised for its after-sales reporting as well as using software which allows customers to track and trace cargo.

Family friendly zones Work to develop a centre to help Medway residents discover information about their family history has been given the go-ahead. The Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre will move from the Civic Centre in Strood to the former Strood Library site in Bryant Road. Strood Library was one of six locations considered for the project, and was chosen as it was the “most desirable and cost-effective location”. The library moved to a new community hub on the High Street which opened in March, and features a children’s zone. The hub also provides access to council services. Councillor Howard Doe, deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and community services, said: “People love researching their family tree and finding out about the history of where they live, and

Growth deal extension to boost airport jobs the new centre will help them do it in a welcoming location.The town will now have two new superb facilities that will bring a real benefit to the area.”

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has agreed a £19.4 million expansion to its growth deal with the government, part of which is being used to create up to 500 new jobs at Rochester Airport. The funding could support plans to build a science park, which will include more than 160,000sq m of employment space with the potential for 60 businesses

to be accommodated at the airport, creating a hub for SMEs in aeronautics and transport technologies. This is in addition to the £442 million funding originally committed by the government to the Local Growth Fund in summer 2014. The South East LEP growth deal is part of a plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies.


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[ innovation ]

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The Innovation Centre Medway houses 55 startups, including ZC Social Media, owned by Zoe Cairns.

Growing places

With a new innovation board and strategy, as well as a centre for startups that is in hot demand, Medway is proving to be the perfect destination for innovative businesses, as Maria Shahid finds out


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D

ovetail Games is a local company with a global outlook. In 2014, it signed a worldwide licensing deal with Microsoft, granting it exclusive rights to develop and publish all new flight simulation products based on Microsoft’s technology. Based in Chatham, the company, and its chief executive, Paul Jackson, epitomise Medway Council’s dedication to innovative local startups. Jackson, a leading local businessman and veteran of the British video game industry, won the 2014 Medway Business Awards, and is now using his expertise to help grow other startups in the area by chairing the Medway Innovation Board, which had its inaugural meeting at the end of March. The Innovation Board is charged with the development of business innovation initiatives, growing high value skills and employment, and boosting the strength of the Medway economy. It is made up of leading Medway businesses including BAE Systems, Delphi, Amaro Group, Cura Energy and The Fountain Workshop as well as the Universities at Medway. All were given an overview of Medway’s innovation strategy at the first meeting in March.

The strategy sets out a clear vision to build on the work already in progress at the centre. In her foreword, Councillor Jane Chitty, portfolio holder for planning, economic growth and regulation, notes that the overarching aim is to see that “Medway is recognised across the UK, and globally, as a centre for business innovation, high value employment and university-industry partnership”. Jackson’s enthusiasm about being involved in the board is palpable: “I have lived in Medway all my life, and the opportunity to both grow my own business here, and support the development of other businesses in a collaborative drive with like-minded people, is one that I feel very proud to lead. “We have already set out very clear objectives that all board members are keen to support: support for innovation-led funding bids, work to positively influence government

thinking, and acting as ambassadors for Medway’s business innovation agenda are at the forefront of our collective role and responsibility. We also need to work hard to simplify the business support landscape, notably the vast array of funding support that may be available for business innovation development.” The first meeting was well attended by university academics. This involvement of higher education representatives allows local businesses to connect with the research and development services that are on offer at these universities, which produce top level graduates. Martin Davies, director of research and enterprise at the University of Greenwich and Innovation Board member says: “I’m delighted to be involved. We have formed a group of private, public and academic representatives that want to support a step change in innovation support in Medway. The universities at Medway

“Medway is recognised across the UK, and globally, as a centre for business innovation”


[ innovation ]

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TOP LEFT, left and right: Dovetail Games, based in Chatham, designs world-renowned flight and train simulation games. Above: The ICM forms part of the council’s strategy to encourage and support startups.


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ABOVE LEFT: BAE Systems is one of the partners involved in the ICM, and is also on the Medway Innovation Board. ABOVE: Councillor Alan Jarrett, leader of the council, presenting at a business breakfast at the ICM. LEFT: Startups have access to facilities, including conference and meeting rooms, at the ICM. RIGHT: Dovetail Games’ train simulator makes use of local landmarks.


[ innovation ]

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are key to doing this and can help local businesses with growth, employment, funding and research”. Jackson adds that what makes the Innovation Board important is that innovative businesses, such as his, keep a track of innovation worldwide in their respective industries. “I’ve been in the video game industry since 1987, and I’ve seen how companies can grow from nothing and become very big. This experience is something that I can bring to my work on the board. “Medway is already a very innovative area. What this board does is it co-ordinates and encourages that. Innovation centres are a really powerful way of creating a business, helping it to grow and then moving it on. “One example of where we’re assisting businesses is funding. There are a lot of avenues open to them and a lot of people wanting to help. What we’re doing is helping local government to understand that a new business wants things to be as simple as possible when it comes to funding, so that they can focus on what they do as a business.” Another vital component of the council’s strategy for encouraging

“Innovation centres are a powerful way of creating a business, helping it to grow and then moving it on” innovative startups is the Innovation Centre Medway (ICM). Describing itself as “a space to learn, evolve and gain confidence before progressing to a full commercial space”, the ICM is an incubator for hi-tech startup businesses, which would benefit from intensive assistance to help them to grow. The centre currently houses 55 local startups. All are given access to a flexible space, which can mean anything from a virtual office, a shared desk space, access to conference facilities and meeting rooms, executive support or a suite of serviced offices. Adding to its attractions to startups is its location, within the Kent Innovation Corridor, close to the M2, and within easy reach of London and the rest of Europe. With a waiting list of more than 30 companies, all keen to take advantage of the many facilities and opportunities on offer to budding businesses, the centre is

integral to Medway’s growth plans. The ICM provides local startups with the perfect space. Connect-it Communications, a telecommunications provider, is just one of the startups based there. Bryan Davis is the director and owner and says that his company has been at the centre since 2013, and has really benefited from the interaction with like-minded individuals based there. He adds that, as a result of the “dynamic business environment” on offer, the company has been able to develop a new product, Office in a Box. Zoe Cairns also has space at the ICM. Her company, ZC Social Media, has just moved back into the building. Cairns is another Medway businessperson to be making a mark on the global stage: she has just been invited to be a keynote speaker at NATO’s event on social media. Cairns explains that one of the key advantages of being based at the ICM is


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Above left and LEFT: Dovetail Games is a company that epitomises Medway’s innovation. ABOVE: Paul Jackson, chief executive of Dovetail Games, is now chairing the newly formed Medway Innovation Board.

the opportunity it gives to network with other businesses. “Farley Norman, the manager of the ICM, is also a great connector – he puts all the companies based here in touch with each other,” she adds. Part of the council’s strategy is to raise the aspirations of the businesses already located at the ICM, or considering locating, there. SMEs will sign up to a business innovation programme, which will include awareness raising training sessions, which may take the form of smaller masterclass events with a sectoral focus, coaching or mentoring for key business life stages and a series of events around Access to Finance. Andrew Kent is business innovation co-ordinator at Medway Council, and is responsible for leading an innovation support programme that is open to all SMEs wanting to innovate. He explains that the programme

is a New Deal for Innovation (NDI) project, and takes the form of an online toolkit providing tailored advice to help businesses. The toolkit provides advice on matters such as how to improve efficiency, funding, financial management and protecting a brand. The toolkit was launched earlier this year at the Kent 2020 Vision LIVE event. It is currently still in its testing phase but Andrew Kent explains that the feedback to date from those who have used it has been incredibly positive. He adds that the long-term plan for the toolkit is to make it the focal point of the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, which will be a one-stop shop to help SMEs with all of their business needs, using funding made available by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. It is no wonder that Medway Council is proud of the ICM: it was awarded the prestigious BIC quality mark in 2012 and

“Part of the council’s strategy is to raise the aspirations of the businesses located at the ICM”

is the only centre outside London to be awarded European Business Network (EBN) and Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) status. The EBN is a 160-strong network of innovation centres that stretches across Europe, with associate members on other continents. It opens up opportunities for Medway businesses to link up through the ICM with accredited organisations and facilities across mainland Europe, as well as in other parts of the UK, to develop their products and markets. The development and construction of the ICM was part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and Medway Council. Other partners are the University of Greenwich, which plays an important role in developing and implementing the strategy of the centre, and BAE Systems, which played an active part in supporting its development. In her foreword to the Medway innovation strategy, Chitty comments that the aim is to make the area a beacon for innovation. If current initiatives are anything to go by, Medway has already gone a long way to fulfilling this aim, providing the perfect launchpad for those with entrepreneurial aspirations. M


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[ sme success ]

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Burning bright Simply being in Medway unlocks the door to a raft of ambition-boosting initiatives for young and growing businesses. Lucy Purdy learns how Medway helps aspiring SMEs

L

ife coaches can often be heard saying that the greatest personal growth comes from taking courage in our hands and stepping on to the edge of our comfort zone. A similar theory lies behind the New Deal for Innovation (NDI) project, which has been encouraging

businesses in Medway to grow through innovating since 2012. The ERDF-funded project has attracted SMEs that want to grow; taking risks in the short-term, which will ultimately lead them to a thriving long-term future. “The businesses we have worked with

want to grow, and to do that by taking on new challenges; it might be an approach they haven’t tried before or a new way of working they can implement into their business,” explains project co-ordinator Andrew Kent. continued overleaf

»


“Lean and targeted, NDI has already helped 20 companies hit the ground running – and fresh ground at that” medway 1

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NDI goes by the theory that innovation is essential in making businesses competitive, but for SMEs, it is rarely about a technical invention or new products being brought to market, but rather a new configuration of resources either within or outside of the business. With that in mind, it operates a system of innovation vouchers – each with a value of up to £4,000 – that can be put toward knowledge transfer projects to bring about innovative solutions. It could be in the form of technology or innovation audits, tailored training in innovation management, development of fresh business models, product testing, efficiency improvements or supply chain management; the ideas are resolutely practical in focus. Innovation workshops cover topics including social media, marketing, digital

accounting and brand building – exactly the kind of infrastructure support that SMEs in the growth phase require. Lean and targeted, NDI has already helped 20 companies hit the ground running – and fresh ground at that. Kent says: “By looking at innovation management for example, we are covering things like how to empower staff to take projects on. Through workshops and masterclasses, we have tried to ensure that the people making decisions in Medway companies have the opportunity to think about how to grow their business in different ways.” The web-based Innovator’s Toolkit – another part of the project – has proved a particularly satisfying return on the European Regional Development Fund’s cash injection into NDI. The toolkit offers

advice and expertise to help businesses innovate and is tailored for use on tablets and smart devices: ideal for the SME founder who is rushing between weighty meetings. It provides guidance on nine key topics that range from finding ideas and being more efficient, to building a winning team and growing sales. The toolkit was prepared by filtering advice from existing online sources. “We have tried to scour the internet for every piece of useful information we could find,” explains Kent. “It is all linked to and referenced in the toolkit: documents, PDFs and spreadsheets which are easy for users to read and will really provide SMEs with practical help.” Medway businesses have also been given French lessons. Perhaps going ‘back continued overleaf

»


[ sme success ] TIGER funding TIGER provided interest-free loans, from the Regional Growth Fund, to businesses in North Kent and Thurrock. The scheme was launched in 2013, with the government allocating £14.5 million to be drawn down

over two years. This had been exhausted by last November, six months ahead of the final date. In Medway, 15 businesses have benefited from £4.4 million in loans, creating a total of 309 jobs in the area.

The majority of these businesses are in engineering and manufacturing, a sector which is proving buoyant, providing 9% of jobs in Medway but 18% of GVA – as they tend to provide higher value skilled jobs.

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Digital Contact In December 2014, Digital Contact received £1.17 million in TIGER equity funding. This was a “huge boost” to the business, and allowed the company to remain in north Kent and grow further. Being based here has been key to Digital Contact’s future, enabling it to reduce staffing costs, employees’ travel times as well as office overheads. The funding has also allowed Digital Contact to acquire a new office space, which is being designed and refurbished with staff in mind, creating a setting that promotes innovative and creative work as well as being enjoyable to be in. Gareth Mann, the company’s CEO, says: “Going forward, the vision for Digital Contact is to become the number one service for big data products and services, across all industries. With the help of TIGER funding, we are looking to focus our business across three different markets: B2C financial, B2B big data products and B2B big data services.” Due to be launched soon, Digital Contact’s first product is trading.co.uk – a B2C financial services tool which enables traders to monitor financial news and live stock prices, for free. The greatest challenge for Digital Contact, being an SME in Kent, is the lack of knowledge and expertise surrounding big

data technology and its benefits. This has led to a shortage in talented, high-quality staff available on the market. “The SME scene in Medway, especially for a technology company such as Digital Contact, is full of potential opportunities,” says Mann. “As technology companies tend to migrate towards London, similar companies are few and far between in the area, meaning direct competition is not as strong and we have a greater potential for building our client-base within the area.” LEFT and ABOVE: TIGER funding has allowed Digital Contact to create an innovative office space which is fun to work in.


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Puretone A family-run business that was established in 1976, Puretone manufactures quality digital and analogue hearing aids, tinnitus management systems and covert equipment for surveillance. The company has grown to become the UK’s premier manufacturer of quality hearing aids, tinnitus devices and faceplate kits, with products being exported to more than 60 countries worldwide. Puretone is the last privately owned British designer and manufacturer of hearing instruments in the UK. As well as contracts with the likes of the NHS, Puretone has been a key player in the technical revolution of in-ear monitoring, supplying custom-made devices for performers including David Bowie, George Michael and Rod Stewart. The company was awarded £55,000 from the TIGER fund which enabled it to buy new equipment, kitting out an impressive laboratory and speeding up processes. “We had been thinking about it for seven years,” explains general manager Gerry Allchorne. “When we received the TIGER funding, it was a no-brainer. Though we are a family-run business, we really punch above our weight and are the only UK independent company making the kind of products we do. The guys here are experts, and we are going fully computerised now. The machine we were able to buy puts us right into the modern age.”

Puretone appointed three new full-time members of staff as a direct result of the funding injection: one in the laboratory and two in the workshop. “Our sales are up 25% already this year,” explains Allchorne. “It has been down to a lot of hard work too, but the TIGER funding was certainly a contributing factor. We are the number one accessory provider of our kind to the industry and we just want to grow that. We have lots of plates spinning these days!”

RIGHT and below: Puretone is the UK’s premier manufacturer of in-ear monitoring, and supplies performers such as David Bowie.


[ sme success ]

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“The ICM is full and we have a waiting list of companies eager to move in, which shows what confidence there is at the moment” to school’ seems an unlikely way to bring about growth? Kent says not. “The best way for some companies to grow is to take what they are doing here in the UK and simply replicate it elsewhere. Nothing has to happen differently; the customers there need to be serviced. We are so close to France here in Medway that this makes sense, and so we have been helping build collaboration between companies here and in northern France.” Future commercial relationships are also being forged in another of the NDI’s strands, a partnership with the Medway campus of the University of Greenwich. NDI has linked up the university with companies in need, particularly those who can benefit from the campus’ equipment and resources. Connected vehicle solutions Icomera, based at Innovation Centre Medway (ICM) in Chatham, was

able to shock test a product related to mobile Wi-Fi for vehicles. The university’s testing equipment allowed the business to present the product to potential clients with new confidence. And when Extra Tuition Centre Medway wanted to develop overseas audiences, appealing to families with school-age children, the university helped link them up with UKTI and put them in touch with embassies in different countries – proving to be a fast track in its truest sense. “At the end of last year they went out and gave presentations at three different embassies,” says Kent. As well as partnering with the ICM and so making available its funding, network, test facilities, collaboration and research opportunities to SMEs, the University of Greenwich is a key member of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

Whether a business needs a particular technology in order to move forward or has its eye on progression through partnering with a like-minded company, EEN offers help – for free. It boasts ‘the world’s largest database of technology offers and requests’; matching SMEs with everything from help to understand EU regulations to finding technology partners. “There is definitely an optimism in Medway right now,” explains Kent, when asked to sum up how this raft of schemes has impacted upon the area. “The ICM is full and we have a waiting list of companies eager to move in, which shows what confidence there is at the moment. They want to go straight into that environment with other companies that want to grow and to do new things. There is so much positivity.” M continued overleaf

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Russell Distillers – RIVET Distillery TIGER match funding of £243,954 was awarded to Russell Distillers in July 2014, enabling the company to buy specialised, bespoke equipment for its new distillery. It will sit in the majestic Victorian building known as Pump House No. 5 at Chatham Maritime, and will be known as the RIVET Distillery, taking its name from the heritage of the former Royal Dockyard in Chatham. The name RIVET was chosen for its association with craftsmanship, drawing on images of the meticulous manufacturing processes that helped build mighty ships at Chatham. In a more abstract sense, says Bob Russell, one of the company directors, it pays tribute to the holding together of the Medway community. “It’s also a captivating word for a master brand such as this: it’s distinctive and enduring, just like our spirits and our passion,” adds Russell. The distillery will be a family-run enterprise. The ambition of the directors, multi-generational residents of Medway, was to use the award in a way that also benefited industry and commerce in Medway. To this end, the contract to build the stills was awarded to a company based in Chatham. Local builders, electricians, joinery firms, freight and warehouse operators will also benefit. “It is intended to use locally grown Kentish grain and barley, and grain neutral spirit will be produced ‘in house’, ready for the distillation process,” explains Russell.

“Botanicals used in our gin will include some sourced locally. We believe that our concept will be unique in England, in that the distillery will have been built specifically for the production of small batch, high quality vodka, gin and English whisky. The award of TIGER funding will enable the RIVET Distillery to offer a range of quality jobs in sales and marketing, as well as in management, as the distillery grows. It is intended to offer these jobs to local people wherever possible.”

LEFT: Pump House No. 5 at Chatham Maritime will be the setting for the RIVET Distillery.


Elvija Vitola, Fashion Media & Promotion

GATEWAY TO THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES Now the second largest specialist creative arts university in Europe, the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has a 150 year track record of educating creative practitioners. UCA’s history in Medway goes back to 1886, when the Medway College of Design was founded in Rochester. UCA Rochester Campus development

designer Stephen Webster MBE, fine artist Tracey Emin CBE, as well as Oscar winners Arnold Schwartzman OBE, Daniel Greaves, Michael Dudok de Wit, Suzie Templeton and Martin Handford amongst many more. The University offers a rich practice-based and industry focused learning experience. Students are taught by academics who are active practitioners in their field, ensuring that each of UCA’s disciplines remains relevant to the sectors they serve. Whilst studying at UCA, students have opportunities to build connections with industry and 91.9% of graduates are employed or in further study within six months. This year, UCA cemented its position as the top specialist provider of creative education in the UK in the Complete University Guide, having risen an unprecedented 43 places in the last 3 years.

UCA’s history in Medway goes back to 1886, when the Medway College of Design was founded in Rochester. The college later became part of the renowned Kent Institute of Art and Design which was incorporated into the then University College for the Creative Arts in 2005. Alongside this proud heritage is the history of UCA graduates who have become leaders in their chosen fields and made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Medway as well as nationally and internationally. Included in this roster of achievements are notable alumni including the fashion designer Karen Millen OBE and the legendary Dame Zandra Rhodes, jewellery

INVESTING IN MEDWAY As part of its ongoing commitment to Medway, UCA has recently unveiled exciting plans to invest in its Rochester campus which occupies a highly visible and historic location on the former Fort Pitt site. Working with acclaimed award winning architects DRDH, UCA has developed a project that will completely transform the look and feel of the original building. The first phase of the plan includes the reconfiguration of internal spaces to develop new opportunities for students. This consists of a new project space that

will accommodate experimental creative practice and support innovative teaching approaches as well as community and social events. Alongside this, UCA has reimagined many of its other facilities to further enhance the student experience and provide flexible and contemporary spaces for exhibitions and learning. The library has been remodelled as an extension of the studio, where students can collaborate on creative projects whilst still maintaining the traditional relationship with research. The refurbished library will also act as a gateway to the different services that students may need to access, such as financial advice, disability support and counselling. Phase one will also introduce the dynamic new visual language that makes up UCA’s new brand identity at the campus with vibrant new signage and carefully coordinated furnishing and lighting schemes. Phase two of the project will see UCA construct a bold new pavilion entrance overlooking the Medway in the direction of Chatham station and faced in gleaming waxed brass panels. The new entrance will rationalise the approach to the building and open into a new exhibition and teaching space, making the most of the extraordinary views that the building commands over the river and towns. CONTACT US enquiries@ucreative.ac.uk 01252 892883


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

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

Chatham Waters - extensive mixeduse regeneration of Chatham Docks.

MidKent College - £86million 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

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

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

■ Calais

No.1 Smithery, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Brighton

Major transport infrastructure

A strong tourism economy ■

High speed trains to London in 33 minutes.

Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.

London Thamesport - deep water port.

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 ■

A corridor of business innovation and growth

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

World-class university research and teaching

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®, 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


Mapping medway Rail station improvements page 35

Rochester Riverside page 36

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Regeneration projects under way in Medway, as well as those that have been delivered

It could all go wrong

Horsted Park page 35

London

Strood Riverside page 37


St Mary’s Island

[ site map ]

page 33

Blossom Park, Hoo St Werburgh

Old Pump House page 37

page 36

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Victory Pier page 34

Medway

Chatham Waters page 33


For more information visit SITEMATCHLONDON.COM or contact the Sitematch team on 0207 978 6840 Advisers

Partner

Organiser


[ projects ]

Chatham Waters

Medway University Technical College (UTC) for 14-19 year olds is due to open at Chatham Waters in September 2015. The UTC is sponsored by the University of Greenwich and BAE Systems, Delphi Diesel Systems and Bouygues UK. It

The final phase of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Countryside Properties’ St Mary’s Island development – Azure – was due to begin in June 2015, as Medway1 went to press. Construction at the 7.3-ha site will be split into three parts. Parklands, the first part will feature 54 three, four and five-bedroom homes. This final phase of the development will eventually feature 339 properties, including 62 within an extra care block

for older residents. A restaurant, cafe, hairdresser and nursery will also be built. Azure will be finished in 2020. The long-standing scheme has seen 1,319 properties delivered, as well as a primary school, doctor’s surgery, pharmacy and community centre. St Mary’s Island was part of the Royal Naval Dockyard, which closed in 1984. When complete, the scheme will feature more than eight hectares of space for outdoor activities such as football and cricket.

aims to give pupils the skills they need to go straight into employment in the construction and technology industries. The £30 million Chatham Waters project also features 950 residential units with views of the River Medway and leisure units below, seven office

buildings, retail units, exhibition and events space, as well as a civic square and parkland boulevard. A 6,809sq m Asda superstore is also set to open at the site in the autumn. The large parkland boulevard is proposed through the middle of the

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St Mary’s Island

development surrounded by commercial buildings. A civic square is also planned for the front of the site to be anchored by Event City, an exhibition and event space, which will create a focal point on the quayside. A hotel and other proposed leisure uses are due to front Pier Road.

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Victory Pier

A Premier Inn hotel has opened at Berkeley Homes’ 10.5-ha Victory Pier scheme in Gillingham, which has created 35 jobs and is forecast to contribute over £5 million to the town’s economy. The hotel features a restaurant as well as 80 bedrooms, with each room

catering for up to two adults and two children. There are 141 homes at Victory Pier, with the latest phase, The Peninsula, due for completion in summer 2016. It consists of two tower blocks of 13 and 16 storeys featuring suites, as well as one and two-bedroom apartments.

Prices start at £152,500 for a studio apartment. Seventy per cent of the properties were sold pre-launch and the developer now hopes The Peninsula could be sold out within six months. The Boardwalk residential block, due for completion later this year, is already sold out.


[ projects ] Horsted Park, by developer Countryside, won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award for Housing Design in 2014. The scheme, close to a Napoleonic fort, occupies the site of the former MidKent College and features a mix of three and four-bedroom houses, one and two-bedroom apartments, and extra care housing, with landscaped open spaces. Tony Travers, of Countryside, said:

“Horsted Park sets the standard for creating a place of character and quality. “The development has been designed to the highest standards to suit a variety of purchasers from first-time buyers, right through to extra care housing, because we wanted to create a place where people will feel at home.” Homes were designed by Proctor and Matthews Architects to reflect rural Kentish farmsteads, using materials such as textured brick panels, clay tiles and dark wooden boarding.

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Horsted Park, Chatham

Rail station improvements

Network Rail’s £26 million Rochester station is on course to be ready by December 2015. The new station will have three platforms to accommodate 12-car trains. The new transport hub will also have bus interchanges and a £1.8 million pedestrian subway leading to Rochester Riverside. Alongside building a railway station at Rochester, Network Rail, Southeastern Trains and Medway Council have also committed to redeveloping the station building at Strood rail station. The works include the construction of a new ticket hall, an improved retail offer and a new forecourt area to improve the customer experience and support the ongoing regeneration of Strood Riverside. The cost of the works is being funded by Network Rail and Southeastern Trains, and is being matched by funding from the council via the Local Growth Fund. The new station building is due to open in 2016. Investment of £1.4 million from Network Rail, Southeastern and Medway Council will also result in upgrades to Chatham rail station.  The improvement works will include changes to the interior with the installation of a lift, as well as major changes to the outside of the station. The partners are working together to create a high-quality environment for station users and visitors to the town.  Current paths to the station are narrow and poor quality, so plans are in place to widen the pavements and make it easier to get to the town centre and high street.  Design work has begun and the improvements will be delivered within the next two years.

continued overleaf

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Blossom Park, Hoo St Werburgh

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Bellway Homes’ Blossom Park  is a development of two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses in Hoo St Werburgh. It is within close proximity to a selection of schools, pubs and small stores, while the nearby town of Strood has large supermarkets and a range of high street chains.

Strood train station is a short drive away, which provides direct rail services into London St Pancras. The M2 is also nearby, offering connections by car to the A2, M20 and M25. For travel further afield, the M20 offers links to Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel, while Gatwick Airport is approximately an hour’s drive away. Prices at Blossom Park start from £249,995 for a three-bedroom home.

Rochester Riverside

In January 2015, the council and the Homes and Communities Agency, issued a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union seeking a development partner for Rochester Riverside. It is anticipated that negotiations will take place over the course of the year, with a preferred contractor being appointed by late autumn.   The council is also in negotiations with a preferred developer for land at Stanley Wharf, on the southern most edge of Rochester Riverside. It is expected that a planning application for the scheme will be submitted in summer 2015, with work starting on-site by the end of the year. Rochester Riverside is a residential-led, mixed-use development comprising 21ha of development land with a 2.5km river frontage. The council’s development brief, adopted in September 2014, promotes the delivery of 1,400 new homes, commercial office and retail space, a hotel, restaurants, a primary school, community facilities and an accessible waterfront. A key part of the development proposals is the relocation of Rochester railway station to a new site on the northern edge of Rochester Riverside. The new station will deliver a better railway experience – longer trains and a more reliable service – and will provide a new ‘gateway’ linking the station and Rochester High Street to the riverside development. The council is actively working with Network Rail to support the delivery of the new station, which is due to open in December 2015.


[ projects ]

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Strood Riverside

This is a priority regeneration scheme for Medway, as part of its 20-year waterfront development programme. It will deliver 400-500 new homes, alongside public spaces and community support facilities.

The council has secured £4 million from the Public Works Loan Board to deliver flood mitigation works on the site to enable its comprehensive redevelopment.  A new flood mitigation solution is currently being developed – it

is anticipated that planning consent will be achieved towards the end of the year. The council is currently considering different options for bringing the Strood Riverside site to market, which will happen concurrently with the flood defence works. 

Old Pump House, Chatham Dockyard

An application has been submitted to Medway Council to convert Chatham Dockyard’s Pump House No. 5 – a Grade II-listed Victorian building – into the area’s first distillery, producing premium vodka, gin and whisky. Russell Distillers plan to establish the RIVET Distillery, as well as opening a visitor centre, at the former boiler room. The malt will be sourced from local farmers, and the equipment will also be produced in Medway. It is proposed that the waste heat will be used to heat the building. The craft distillery would create eight full-time and four part-time jobs.


Medway1 partners group Joining together to support Medway Discovery Park Anna Stone anna.stone@discovery-park.co.uk The Hyde Group Mike Finch mike.finch@hyde-housing.co.uk Locate in Kent Mandy Byrne mandyb@locateinkent.com Jenner Dean Elvidge delvidge@jenner-group.co.uk Orbit Homes Maggie McCann maggie.mccann@orbit.org.uk Quinn Estates Mark Quinn mark@quinn-estates.com TB Holdings Paul Graham paul@tbholdings.com

TERANCE BUTLER HOLDINGS

3Fox International Chris Joyce chris@3foxinternational.com

For more information about these companies visit medway1.com/partners


[ neighbourhoods ]

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coming together With a new outdoor gym, an enhanced riverside walk and contemporary art installations, thriving neighbourhoods designed both for living and working in are being created in Medway, as Suruchi Sharma discovers


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egeneration of a very particular kind occurred in Chatham in the mid-90s. Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin had travelled in the Havengore across the River Thames in 1965, as part of his state funeral. In 1995, 30 years after it was decommissioned, Australian businessman Owen Palmer bought the historic vessel to rebuild it at Chatham Maritime, the site of Medway’s former Royal Naval Dockyard. The Havengore crossed the Thames again in January 2015, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death. Medway has a grand tradition in shipbuilding and its long maritime history is remembered with fondness. Just like the Havengore, the riverside areas that were home to this industry are now having a revival. Numerous regeneration projects scattered along the winding River Medway are set to give a facelift to this historically rich region, ensuring that Medway continues as an enticing prospect for potential homeowners and businesses. The Rochester Riverside project, managed in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), is

Medway Council’s transformative regeneration programme to be built on 21ha of brownfield land. To be completed over 15 years, it will create an entirely new neighbourhood with a primary school, offices, beautiful open spaces, retail and leisure facilities and 1,500 homes, including affordable housing. The scheme also features the £26 million Rochester railway station that will open to the north of the site in December 2015. Transport links are vital to improving the economic prospects of Rochester – both the riverside and town centre, as Kate Greenaway, Rochester Riverside’s project manager, explains: “The changes that have happened, and those in the pipeline, will enhance what the town has to offer. With the new railway station opening in December and the ongoing development at Rochester Riverside, the town is seeing increasing levels of investment and people wanting to locate here. Rochester is a fantastic place and this investment will ensure that it continues to thrive.” Modifications that have already happened on Rochester Riverside include the installation of a fully equipped outdoor

gym, promoting healthy living as well as the increased use of the picturesque Riverside walk. The fitness space was officially opened by Paralympic gold medallist Charlotte Evans in March, and others have been introduced in Strood and Chatham as part of the council’s Fitness For All Scheme. The Rochester Riverside project has also been given a financial injection of £4.4 million from central government through the Growing Places Fund (GPF), which promotes economic growth and development of key sites. The majority will be spent on infrastructure improvements such as the construction of a multi-storey car park to serve the new railway station. Temporary art installations for a project called IN-SITE will also be introduced to Rochester Riverside with the purpose of championing the area’s artists and the council’s regeneration plans. Funded again by the GPF and Arts Council England this project has six artists exhibiting or performing works – ranging from music and dance, to sculpture and textiles – from June to August with a creative seminar pencilled in for July.

“The changes that have happened, and those that are in the pipeline, will enhance what the town has to offer”


[ neighbourhoods ] regeneration projects over the next three years. “This includes a £10 million investment into 80 new homes in The Brook, Chatham, across three sites for a mixture of tenures. A further 89 homes are planned for Corporation Street, Rochester, to coincide with the completion of the new Rochester railway station, including homes for private sale for the first time in our history.” In March, mhs homes completed a scheme of 26 high-quality apartments on the site of the former Theatre Royal Auditorium in Chatham. Clark says: “The site had lain derelict for 60 years before we developed it to provide a significant number of high-quality, two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent, shared ownership and market rent.” As mhs homes celebrates a quarter of a century it has launched the 2015-18 Strategic Plan outlining its objective to be the “best housing provider in Kent,” with the aim of owning and managing 9,000 homes by 2018. “Our ambitious plans for growth, combined with our wealth of local knowledge and experience, make us the perfect partner for future development opportunities in Medway and the surrounding areas,” adds Clark.

Opposite, ABOVE and left: The IN-SITE arts programme – here featuring the Bluebell performance – and an oudoor gym, opened by athlete Charlotte Evans, are just some of the initiatives contributing to the transformation of Rochester Riverside.

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It will be a welcome addition for the joggers, rollerskaters and walkers who regularly use the route. The neighbouring town of Strood is championing change with its own improvements including the provision of new workspace units providing accommodation and support services for existing businesses and startups in Medway. The council was awarded £600,000 last year from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund that will help create workspaces at Watermill Wharf in Strood. This new hub will become a satellite unit of Rochester’s existing Innovation Centre Medway. The grant funding will provide the capital to develop the units, with business support funding available to firms who move into the workspaces. “We are looking to encourage small or medium-sized businesses with ambitions to establish and grow their business,” says Greenaway. “Supporting startups is a key focus to make sure Medway has a diverse and resilient business base. We want to ensure that these startup businesses are provided with the support they need.” The regeneration of Medway requires commitment from major housebuilders such as Berkeley Homes, which is helping the local economy, and invigorating Medway’s waterfront. This can be appreciated through its efforts in creating the Victory Pier development in Gillingham. Designed by award-winning architects PCKO, the project, which will run until 2019, is being built on brownfield land overlooking the River Medway. The building designs draw on the local maritime history, and the end result will include 841 homes, retail and commercial space, a hotel and a student village. Matthew Biddle, managing director at Berkeley First, estimates that by the project’s conclusion, 226 jobs will be generated with emphasis on youth employment and apprenticeships. He says: “Victory Pier was to be a catalyst for

mhs homes Birthdays are important to reflect on what has been achieved so far and what can be accomplished in the future. Celebrating 25 years at the heart of the community Medway’s largest independent landlord, mhs homes, has a track record of delivering high-quality properties to meet local housing needs. Reflecting on its successes, operations director at mhs homes group, Gary Clark, says: “We are currently delivering our largest development programme yet, with more than 400 homes on-site as part of plans to build 640 by 2018. We are committed to regenerating the homes and communities that we serve, with almost 170 homes set to be delivered through


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left and below Left: Countryside’s transformation of St Mary’s Island. Bottom left and Below: Berkeley First brings businesses and facilities to Victory Pier, in addition to the new housing. RIGHT: Residents enjoy riverside living at Chatham Maritime.

the regeneration of this part of Gillingham. Berkeley Homes, Medway Council and the whole community can be proud of the award-winning development, which has not only created a new community, but improved the existing environment and contributed to the local economy.” The first phase of the development completed in 2009 under the banner Liberty Quays, run by student accommodation provider Liberty Living. A second phase with further student accommodation was built within three years with retailers such as Tesco, Domino’s Pizza, Subway and charity shop Barnardo’s occupying commercial units at the development. The student population is made up of pupils from the universities of Kent, Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church and MidKent College. The latest phase under construction is The Peninsula, which includes a collection of suites and one and two-bedroom apartments set across two towers that will provide riverside views. The intention is to attract non-student communities including young professionals and families. Biddle says: “The commercial facilities on the ground floor of the student accommodation continue to thrive and are also popular with the existing community, while the restaurant, bars and retail spaces in the forthcoming phases will undoubtedly reinforce Victory Pier as a flourishing waterfront destination in Kent.” Constructing a community isn’t just about building homes, as can be seen in the exemplary work of the 60.7-ha


[ neighbourhoods ] overall impact on the environment and creating a strong community feel.” At present there are residential units, a primary school, church, community centre and doctor’s surgery, and when finished there will be more than eight hectares of space for outdoor activities such as football and cricket. McPherson says: “St Mary’s Island has attracted buyers from first-timers to downsizers, who value community, stunning scenery and tranquil, secure surroundings.” Countryside is expecting the launch of the final collection of homes, Azure, to be just as popular as the ones before them. It’s not surprising that these riverside properties are attracting new residents, especially with great transport links, beautiful backdrops and a ready-made wedge of history. Just like the Havengore, Medway’s riverside areas are no longer neglected, but have found custodians with the vision to help bring new life and purpose. M

“Victory Pier has not only created a new community, but improved the existing environment and contributed to the local economy”

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residential redevelopment on nearby St Mary’s Island. Located at the northern end of Chatham, the area is Britain’s only strategically planned island community, with the objective of creating a whole neighbourhood. It forms part of the 141.6-ha Chatham Maritime project, which originated in the late 90s through a joint venture, now operated by Countryside Properties and the government’s Homes and Communities Agency. St Mary’s Island formed part of the Royal Naval Dockyard, which closed in 1984. Huge efforts have gone into invigorating the area, according to Iain McPherson, managing director at Countryside: “At every stage of the development, emphasis has been placed on minimising environmental impact and maximising the community atmosphere. The range of facilities has been designed to encourage residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle, thereby limiting the


[ culture and events ]

roots and culture With a castle and cathedral dating back hundreds of years, Medway is rich in history, and with 35 days of free festivals planned in 2015 its cultural draw is not limited to its past, as James Wood finds out

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ondon’s lure is a stone’s throw from Medway, and for those seeking an injection of culture, one of Europe’s most dynamic destinations is about an hour’s drive away. But Medway’s cultural attractions are by no means limited to its proximity to London, and for those looking for entertainment a little bit closer to home, Medway Council has laid on 35 days of free-to-attend festivals in 2015. The authority is doing its utmost to ensure that its residents and visitors have access to a wide range of cultural and

community events throughout the year. “We’re always trying to find ways to put Medway on the map,” says Carl Madjitey, head of service for festivals, arts, theatres and events. “The festivals across Medway are designed to reach out to the entire community. Ultimately, the objective is to enrich the area for visitors and benefit the people that live here. That’s what a good festival should do.” One of the ways the council is hoping to attract visitors is by celebrating Medway’s historical buildings. Rochester is home to England’s second oldest

cathedral, founded in 604 AD, with the present building dating back to 1080. Rochester Castle, which sits upon the River Medway, was built in around 1127 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, William of Corbeil. It is 800 years since the siege of the castle, and this anniversary coincides with one of the most significant events in British history – the signing of the Magna Carta – an important symbol of liberty over the ages, making everyone, including the king, subject to the law. To commemorate both events, the majestic buildings will take centre stage

in Medway during 2015. A 12th century manuscript, the Textus Roffensis, is set to be displayed in the crypt of Rochester Cathedral as part of the £5.7 million ‘Hidden Treasures, Fresh Expressions’ project. The Textus Roffensis is said to have been written 100 years before the Magna Carta and is widely regarded by historians around the world to have played a part in its foundation. Medway Council has also been awarded £37,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to stage Siege 2015 – a continued overleaf

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The council has organised 35 days of free events, including the annual Medway Fuse Festival. RIGHT: The Textus Roffensis, a 12th century manuscript, is due to be displayed in Rochester Cathedral.


[ culture and events ] series of community events aimed at helping people to understand and engage with Rochester’s medieval past, castle life, medieval warfare and the town’s role in the development of the country as a constitutional monarchy. The authority’s heritage team has activities planned across Medway, and will work with a number of local organisations during the Siege event, including students at the Strood Academy and University of the Creative Arts. Madjitey says: “The objective is to encourage the creative entrepreneurs that Medway’s educational facilities foster. There is a fantastic standard of universities across the region and it’s about harnessing some of that creative skill and giving people a platform to demonstrate their talent.” This is particularly true in relation to the annual Medway Fuse Festival, which takes place throughout the towns in the summer, and is penned in for between 12 and 14 June this year. Taking its inspiration from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Fuse features street performers and free-to-attend arts and community events. The festival aims to engage with the community by encouraging participation in cultural activities, particularly targeting creative students at the region’s universities. The Under Siege concert takes place on 19 July, featuring performances by Medway’s talented youngsters. Fuse will

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“By engaging with the community at large, we’re tying into the council’s healthy living agenda”

also feature re-enactment battles, where scenes from the 800 year-old siege will be recreated. As well as sustaining the economy in Rochester through tourism, the community events, which include face painting and various dance shows, are aimed at addressing the wellbeing of Medway’s vulnerable residents. Madjitey says: “Working in conjunction with bodies such as the NHS, one of the aims of the various street festivals is to target vulnerable groups, such as older people, as well as people who suffer from social isolation or general health issues. It helps them to get out and active. “By engaging with the community at large, we’re tying into the council’s healthy living agenda.” It was suggested earlier this year that the council was struggling to fund the Fuse festival, but Madjitey has moved to reassure those concerned by this news. “We’re trying to find mechanisms to fund Fuse for the future,” he says. »


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“The message is to create inclusive communities, offering enriching cultural experiences ... drawing visitors in from the outside”

ABOVE, right and below: A series of summer concerts take place annually in Rochester Castle. Status Quo are making a return this year after a successful appearance two years ago.

At Rochester Castle, a series of summer concerts take place every year in July. The venue has previously featured acts such as Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and Squeeze. It is also home to an annual performance by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Proms – where punters listen to ‘flag-waving favourites’ such as Sailor’s Hornpipe, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. Catering to fans of pop music, Peter Andre will make a return to the castle in 2015, having previously been on the bill in 2011. He will perform on the same night as the successful boyband, Blue. Status Quo are also billed to appear this year, after a well-received show in 2013, and are being supported by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, famous for the 1975 number one hit, Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me). Other acts performing include R&B singer, Billy Ocean, former members of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contestwinning band Bucks Fizz and the long-standing BBC DJ, Sara Cox, who currently presents Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s on Saturday nights. Ticket buyers will be hoping the July weather proves more reliable than last

year, after a UB40 concert was cancelled because of rain. From the medieval to the modern, the council has also installed a giant screen at Chatham Waterfront, which gives passers-by practical information on transport times. It also promotes activities in the region, displaying phone numbers for various charities and helplines, and broadcasting short entertainment pieces. The authority has not ruled out the possibility of showing key sporting events on the big screen in the future, such as the Wimbledon tennis finals, as well as football matches. For Medway Council, the message is to create inclusive communities, offering enriching cultural experiences to its residents and drawing visitors in from outside. By tapping into its medieval past, putting on a wide variety of concerts at the castle and engaging residents on its streets with arts events throughout the year, Medway has taken its place on the cultural map. M


Home Builders Federation Customer Survey

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Call: 0845 548 3006 Click: www.bellway.co.uk Pictures for illustration purposes only. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Available on new build homes up to £600,000 subject to the Government ‘Help to Buy’ terms and conditions and only available to customers where a primary mortgage is secured. Not available on second, additional homes, buy-to-let or letto-buy properties. HomeBuy agent eligibility check required. The equity loan is interest free for the first five years and needs to be a minimum of 10% of the purchase price up to a maximum of 20%. After five years, an annual fee of 1.75% of the outstanding equity loan is charged. This is increased annually by RPI plus 1%. Subject to status, terms and conditions apply.


Medway by numbers A snapshot of Medway's population, culture, economy and regeneration initiatives

medway 1

50

37.7 £37,700 awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund to stage Siege 2015

Investment towards upgrades to Chatham rail station £1.4 million

Average age of Medway's population – lower than the national average (ONS figure, 2014)

35 free-to-attend festivals will take place around Medway in 2015

271,105 £4.4 MILLION

The population of Medway in 2013 (ONS mid-year estimate)


[ markets ]

More than

companies have been the recipients of the Kent, Medway and Thurrock TIGER loans scheme

1,700

6,865 The number of PAYE-registered businesses in Medway in 2014 – a 6% increase over the 2013 level

people helped back into work by Employ Medway

1,500

77

homes to be delivered at Rochester Riverside

The number of primary schools in Medway

financial injection from central government in Rochester Riverside

51

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[ training for skills ]

medway 1

53

tools of the trade A new University Technical College is aiming to provide more skilled workers to help meet the demands of employers and boost Medway’s economy, as James Cracknell finds out

I

t’s all very well knowing what Pythagoras’ theorem is, but can you use it to solve a real life problem? A new school opening this year at Chatham Maritime hopes to equip pupils not just with mathematical theories but with the skills needed to apply them. Medway University Technical College (UTC), a school for 14-19 year olds, is due to open in September 2015, and is being built on the Chatham Waters regeneration site. It is sponsored by the University of Greenwich and several private sector companies, and aims to give pupils the skills they need to go straight into

employment in the construction and technology industries. Dr Karon Buck was appointed in summer 2014 as the school’s first ever principal, and explains how Medway UTC intends to fill the “skills gap” that has been holding back the growth of these industries up to now: “Pupils often say things like ‘why do we have to learn Pythagoras?’ They don’t understand the relevance of what they are being taught. So we will be showing them why it is important and how it can be used. “This will be a more grown-up environment. We won’t put anyone in at

the deep end and expect them to swim – we’ll show them how to do it.” Buck, a former chemistry teacher, has previous experience at schools specialising in technology and is keen to take her ideas forward at Medway UTC. “Since starting the job last September I’ve been leading the project management of the building, recruiting staff, making sure the curriculum is where we want it to be, and working with partner companies to make sure what we are delivering is academically sound and that we have got buy-in to it.” continued overleaf

»


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54

“Our partner companies are very keen to know our students well; they want to employ the very best ... It is a fantastic opportunity for young people if they have an interest in construction�


[ training for skills ]

opportunity for young people if they have an interest in construction. “They will also go out to visit the companies. They might work on the health and safety side, or accounting – it is not just about being in hard hats and boots.” Each partner company has someone sitting on Medway UTC’s board of governors. It means they have a stake in the performance of its pupils. “Although the school is 100% government-funded there is a monetary value to what the partners are providing for us. They will be putting in their time and experience.” Buck explains why Medway is the right location for the UTC: “I think the UTC is here because of the history of Chatham. The dockyard was a key employer here. Lots of major companies such as BAE Systems are based in the area and we are

right next to the University of Greenwich and MidKent College. “Because of the whole regeneration agenda and the need for young people with skills, the university sees construction as a key subject and was very interested in having the UTC here. “We can go and use the facilities of our partners. Our pupils will be out and about, and it helps to make university a less scary place for the students when they eventually leave the UTC. “The regeneration of this area in itself is almost going to act like a classroom for us. A lot is going to be happening during the next few years.” The first intake of 300 pupils at Medway UTC were sent offers in March, and when they arrive in September they’ll find a brand new four-storey building, with a ground floor dedicated to »

55

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There are currently 30 UTCs around the UK, all opened as part of the expansion to the academies programme started by the previous government five years ago. They are designed to fulfil the need in Britain’s economy for more people skilled in the technology sector. Medway UTC’s private sector partners include some of the major employers in the region, such as BAE Systems, Delphi Diesel Systems and Bouygues UK. “The skills gap is vast and we need to fill it. It’s about boosting the economy,” says Buck. “Our partner companies are very keen to know our students well; they want to employ the very best. “All of our partners will have people coming in to work with the youngsters. They will be meeting them and looking at their future careers. It is a fantastic

Clockwise from left: Students at the UK’s 30 UTCs learn invaluable technology skills in a practical setting.


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RIGHT: Students at UTCs have access to state-ofthe-art equipment.

“Our pupils will be out and about, and it helps to make university a less scary place” engineering and a second floor that is devoted to construction. “There is modern state-of-the-art equipment here at the UTC that our partners have suggested we acquire, and modern IT dual screens for use with AutoCAD and CAD/CAM. “It gives pupils the opportunity to get to grips with what construction companies want. We will put a maths teacher alongside an engineering teacher. It is about learning by doing, but it is also about making sure we have the right staff to deliver the curriculum. “We are coming at it from two different angles. One thing employers often find with young people is that their CV is awful and they have nothing to say about themselves, but all of our youngsters will have work experience and mock interviews to prepare them. “Everyone who leaves a UTC has gone into employment or higher education.” M

Employ Medway Advice Centre During the height of the financial crisis, when unemployment was rapidly rising and the economy rapidly shrinking, Medway Council decided to intervene. There was a danger that a generation of young people in Kent would be left behind, while those with experience would get left on the scrapheap after being made redundant. But the council was quick to spot this danger and decided to tackle unemployment head-on. The result was the Employ Medway Advice Centre in Chatham High Street, which opened in August 2009. The centre provides free information and advice for those recently unemployed or facing redundancy. Medway Council says that since it opened, it has been “a huge success” and has helped more than 1,700 long-term unemployed people into work. “Employ Medway continues to be at the forefront of tackling unemployment in Medway, responding to the needs of the people in the area,” comments a spokesperson for the centre. Working alongside public sector partners such as Jobcentre Plus, the Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund, it provides advice on many aspects of job hunting, such as CV writing, interview training, basic IT skills and how to obtain new qualifications. It also helps employers by giving free support in the recruitment of local people, providing an employer-jobseeker matchmaking

service and free vacancy exposure. One of the unique aspects of Employ Medway is the assistance it provides for local businesses, in addition to jobseekers. Among the partner programmes available is IMPRESS, which is a project for employers wanting to recruit locally. Rainham Coach Company, for example, approached Medway Council with a view to employing more staff and improving its offer. The firm advertised a minibus driver vacancy through Employ Medway and was able to fill a position with a local resident who had been unemployed for more than six months. Through the IMPRESS project, half of the training costs were paid for. Richard Graham, general manager at Rainham Coach Company, says: “As a business that is committed to investing in the local community, the Employ Medway and IMPRESS scheme was a natural fit for us. It gave us the opportunity to give a Medway resident professional training to start them on a new career path, and offer them employment.”


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[ made in medway ]

water feature The Fountain Workshop’s innovative design and construction approach has created fountain schemes that have transformed how communities interact with their surroundings, as Maria Shahid finds out

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LEFT: ‘The Water Labyrinth’ in the South Plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a winding ribbon of 195 fountains.

continued overleaf

»


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F

ounded by David Bracey and Ian Kirkpatrick in 1996, and working from a studio and workshop in the historic dockyard of Chatham, The Fountain Workshop is a Medway company that has created state-of-the-art fountains which are enjoyed both at home and abroad. With water features such as that at Granary Square in King’s Cross, the hugely popular interactive fountain at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London and Bradford City Park’s multi-award-winning water feature, the company is setting the standard when it comes to innovative design. Bracey and Kirkpatrick have a passion for fountains and how water can be used to enhance and transform the

environment, and the pair now lead a multi-disciplinary team of like-minded and dedicated professionals with complementary yet diverse skills. “The majority of our work is repeat business from existing clients, whether developers, architects or landscape architects. We are really proud of the fountain schemes that we have delivered over the years,” explains Kirkpatrick. “Many of our schemes have been selected for awards by bodies such as The Civic Trust, CABE, RIBA, BALI and The Landscape Institute.” The company prides itself on bringing a fresh approach, not just to fountain design, but also to the construction and management of water features: “The acid test to enable us to measure our


[ made in medway ]

“Innovation is right at the heart of everything designed by The Fountain Workshop” performance is how well these schemes are used and enjoyed, and how reliable they are to operate and maintain,” explains Kirkpatrick. Innovation is right at the heart of everything designed by The Fountain Workshop. Their latest invention is the Granary Squirt, an app that allows anyone with a smartphone to control and play with the fountains at Granary Square, described by the Architect’s Journal as “London’s finest new public square”. The fountains consist of 1,080 individually-controlled fountain jets, and underwater lights arranged in a geometric matrix than can morph and dance through choreographed sequences and displays. By downloading the Granary Squirt app, visitors can play interactive games

such as Snake, allowing players to take control of a line of jets, which, according to the King’s Cross website, “takes the idea of playing with the fountains at Granary Square to a whole new level”. Granary Square also allowed the company to put into practice its unique web-based control system, enabling it to monitor and control the fountain from a remote company PC or mobile phone. “With the correct passwords and protocols we are able to ‘dial-in’ to many of our major projects, proactively checking their status and functionality,” explains Kirkpatrick. It’s this innovation that has garnered The Fountain Workshop awards such as the Medway Business Awards in both 1998 and 2010 and The Best of the Best

61

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LEFT and BELOW: The Water Labyrinth at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has choreographed water jets springing from the pavement. FAR LEFT (top and bottom): Granary Square at King’s Cross features over 1,000 choreographed fountains, each individually controlled and lit.


[ made in medway ]

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“Our intention is to continue to grow organically, and we’ve decided to stay in Chatham to do so” Award from all past winners in the 30th anniversary of the awards in 2014. Kirkpatrick is proud of his links to Kent, and is clear that Medway is the right location for the company. “We have always championed the cause for Medway as an area. We were recently invited to sit on the new Medway Innovation Board. This is alongside our existing seat on the Medway Cultural Partnership board. “Kent is our home and we are proud to be based here,” he adds. “There are also real advantages to being so close to London, Our intention is to continue to grow organically, and we’ve decided to stay in Chatham to do so. We’ve just finished negotiations with English Heritage to carry out some building work within The Lead and Paint Mill to enable

us to accommodate our new staff. “It’s an exciting time to be designing fountains”, says Kirkpatrick. And there’s no shortage of work: The Fountain Workshop has been acting as design consultant on phase one of the Battersea Power Station development, and secured the construction element from the main contractor, Carillion, in September 2014 for four water features, which are due to complete in May 2016. The company is also working on phase three of the same development, where seven water features are proposed. “It’s a niche market, and we’ve stolen the march on our competitors,” says Kirkpatrick. It doesn’t look as if this Medway company’s work will be drying up any time soon. M

RIGHT and above: The award-winning Mirror Pool in Bradford features over 100 fountains. The largest of these, the ‘Bradford Blast’, rises to 30 metres.


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medway 1

issue 8 2015 medway making history

medway making history

COUNTRYSIDE

CREATING PLACES PEOPLE LOVE.

Our superb developments in Medway have a signature style and character designed to work for the way people live today.

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Find out more at countryside-properties.com Information correct at the time of going to print. May 2015.

summer 2015

The Housing Design Award winner Horsted Park in Chatham, and St. Mary’s Island, Chatham Maritime – Britain’s only planned new island community – exemplify our commitment to design and creating beautifully crafted landscapes, building lasting value for all.

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Innovation From incubators to industry leaders Collaboration Microsoft flies with Dovetail Games Regeneration New neighbourhoods, access to markets Celebration Cultural events and community cohesion

Medway1 #8  

News and developments from Medway.

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