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MEDWAY 1

ISSUE 12 2019 medway making history

medway making history

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autumn 2019

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Promised land Proof of delivery Riding high Wheels on fire First date Matching skills to business Harvest time Orchard treasures

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Struggling to sell? We’ll buy yours so you can buy ours with our Part Exchange scheme *

We’ve helped 100’s of buyers just like you find their dream home with as little as 5% deposit with Help to Buy **

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Have you a Property to sell? Moving couldn’t be easier with our Express Mover scheme †

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Supporting our customers for 100 years

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Bicknor Wood, ME15 85Q

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Bluebell Walk, ME17 1BN

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Crown Fields, ME5 0BG

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Hawksview, TN18 5DA has been selling Park, TN24 0NG 6 Hinxhill Morgan Timber top quality timber in the

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Nightingale Rise, ME3 9JD

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area since 1910. We forward to continuing 9 look Oakley Medway Park, TN8 6GA Pelham Place, BN27 1PG

to serve our customers from our current location as part of the Temple Waterfront Development.

Coming Soon

• Environmentally certified timber • Quality hardwoods and softwoods • Cladding, flooring and decking • Structural and restoration timber featuring homes Bellway boasts a charming collection of developments across Kent, • Selected by experts and machined to your specification 11

We offer great incentives and schemes to help you with your move, a little helping hand from us to you.

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Discover Bellway Kent today Brand new 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes in desirable locations all benefitting from the same high Bellway quality and outstanding 5 star customer service.

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Crown Quay Lane, Sittingbourne

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Seaford Grange, Seaford

built with beautiful modern designs and great additions in many sought-after locations. Whether you are looking for a well located apartment for commuting, or for spacious open-plan living to enjoy or start family life, you will be impressed Call us on 01634 290909 by the selection of 1 - 5 bedroom homes you can choose from. www.morgantimber.co.uk

PEFC/16-37-018 www.pefc.org

Morgan Timber Knight Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 2BA 879 787 01233

www.bellway.co.uk Call or visit one of our Sales Centres to speak with our experienced team or visit

MORGAN our stunning showhomes, take a look around and envisage your new dream home. TIMBER Timber Merchants, Importers & Sawmillers

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Crown Fields, ME5 0BG

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Hawksview, TN18 5DA

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Oakley Park, TN8 6GA

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Pelham Place, BN27 1PG

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Tylman Place, ME13 8UJ

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Seaford Grange, Seaford

Coming Soon 11

Crown Quay Lane, Sittingbourne

Bellway boasts a charming collection of developments across Kent, featuring homes built with beautiful modern designs and great additions in many sought-after locations. Whether you are looking for a well located apartment for commuting, or for spacious open-plan living to enjoy or start family life, you will be impressed by the selection of 1 - 5 bedroom homes you can choose from.

01233 879 787 www.bellway.co.uk Call or visit one of our Sales Centres to speak with our experienced team or visit our stunning showhomes, take a look around and envisage your new dream home.

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Terms and conditions apply. Please speak to a Sales Advisor for further details on Help to Buy. **Passenger journey time from London St Pancras or Victoria to Chatham. Source nationalrail.co.uk. External images indicative only. Pricing correct on 11 June 2018. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT

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Dock Road | Chatham | Kent | ME4 4UB *

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01634 788 242 | www.kitchenerbarracks.com

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Only 38 minutes from London St Pancras and 48 minutes from London Victoria**

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Prices from £300,000

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Available with Help to Buy*

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2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes

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Discover Kitchener Barracks, a beautifully designed new neighbourhood of 300 homes in Chatham Dockyard

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issue#12_autumn ‘19

MEDWAY 1 Editor: Debbie Ashford Design: Tammy Kerr Design Production manager: Christopher Hazeldine Business development director: Paul Gussar Business development manager: Jake Westhead Office and projects manager: Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox

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Printed by: The Manson Group Cover image: HMS Medway at Chatham Maritime – Matt Perry, Eye in the Sky Media Images: Medway Council / The Imageworks, Simon Kelsey@ PraxisDesign, University of Kent, Meday Council, Xinhua / Alamy, Countryside Properties, Richard Gooding Photography, Hardscape, SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd), Nick Johnson, Guy Holloway Architects, Justin Sutcliffe, Mike Jarman, Phil Lee Photographics, Justin Sutcliffe, John Sturrock, Simon Kelsey, Paul Eccleston / Arthouse Ltd, High Level Photography, bptw, Countryside, Andrew Lapthorn, Richard Gooding Published by: Sunley House, Bedford Park, Croydon, CR0 2AP 020 7978 6840 For Medway Council

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06 News

Updates on what’s happening in Medway

Gun Wharf Dock Road Chatham Kent ME4 4TR 01634 331323 Head of regeneration delivery Sunny Ee sunny.ee@medway.gov.uk Subscriptions and feedback: medway1.com © 3Fox International Limited 2019. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written ­permission 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 ­responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this ­magazine are not ­necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited.

11 We Said, We Did

Council leader Alan Jarrett reviews progress on the promises made to boost the area

16 Riding for Life

Opportunities to take to two wheels are growing across Medway

21 Changing Chatham

How different developments are beginning to make a visible difference to Chatham

26 Opening Bid

As Medway launches its campaign to become UK City of Culture 2025, supporters give their views on the bid

32 Map

Locations of the area’s key development schemes

35 Projects

Rundown of the latest proposals, projects and plans

41 Job Application

Education and businesses are working together to fill the projected surge in employment opportunities

46 Made in Medway

Hiding its light under a bushel, AC Goatham is Britain’s largest apple and pear grower

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IT COULD ALL GO WRONG

Medway aims to join City of Culture club Medway has taken its bid to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2025 to MPs at a launch event in Parliament, hosted by Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham. Speakers at the event in September, attended by MPs and decision-makers from across the country, included the MP; Leader of Medway Council Alan Jarrett; Liz Moran, University of Kent, who is chair of the campaign’s steering group; Emmanuel Enemokwu, who launched his own fashion brand while studying at Kent Business School; and Amanda Cottrell, patron of Medway’s bid.

Chishti said: “Medway has so much to offer, including its historic sites, award-winning country parks, fantastic sports facilities, excellent schools, universities, thriving high streets, a growing economy, an array of new housing, fantastic links into London and the Continent, and not forgetting the people. That is why I believe Medway deserves to be recognised nationally.” Medway Council hopes its aspiration to be awarded the honour will further boost its economy, which is one of the fastest growing in south east England

and is currently worth about £5.2billion. It made its first public announcement of the bid in the summer to thousands of people gathered at Rochester Castle for the start of the 12th annual Medway Mile running event. Head of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, has given backing to Medway’s ambition. He said: “‘Placing culture at the heart of placemaking, that is user inspired and clearly needed, is a great example of why I think Medway has such huge potential to be a cultural beacon for the South East in the future.”

Council leader Alan Jarrett said it was a very exciting time for Medway: “Having looked at other areas - Hull and most recently Coventry, what it’s meant for them and what it’s brought to their places - it’s quite obvious to us that there are big opportunities there. It’s not just a label, it’s an opportunity to actually increase the recognition of the area and that brings economic benefits as well, so there is really more to it than meets the eye.” Hull is the current City of Culture, with Coventry adopting the mantle in 2021. (See pp 26-31)

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The newly restored amphitheatre at Fort Amherst saw its first production to celebrate recent improvement works as part of the Command of the Heights project. Chatham-based ICON Theatre presented a specially commissioned play, the Chatham Witch, to local people and dignitaries in an area of the fort that had been closed for many years. The unique promenade performance featured 150 actors, dancers and singers from the local community, specifically commissioned music, a large-scale visual installation created by local artists and residents, and powerful use of projection on the historic bricks of the Fort. The amphitheatre’s creation from Spur Battery, the highest part of the fort, was carried out by Fort Amherst Heritage Trust and Medway Council, funded by £1.8million Heritage Lottery Fund, and has restored previously hidden features, opened up views to the river and made it a more integrated feature of the town. A significant archaeological discovery made while uncovering Barrier Ditch defence at the riverside,

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of three large brick chambers that used to house cannons, will be incorporated into the finished scheme. .

“150 actors, dancers and singers from the local community”

Medway sails the Medway Chatham had the honour of hosting the formal commissioning of HMS Medway, a new River-class offshore patrol vessel, to mark her entry into active service in the Royal Navy’s fleet. At a ceremony at Chatham Maritime, the 90m-long ship was formally commissioned into the Navy command. It is rare for a ship to be commissioned at the location it takes its name from. The crew were also granted freedom of the borough.

HMS Medway, which raised the White Ensign for the first time in March, is the second of the Navy’s five secondgeneration River-class ships being built to safeguard home waters but also to deploy around the globe. The 2,000-tonne ship has a crew of up to 58 with a helicopter flight deck and can travel at a top speed of 24 knots. She was called to her first mission in the summer to monitor a Russian warship in the English Channel.

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Match making for businesses Medway is holding its first skills and employability summit to create a workforce that can meet the expected increase in employment opportunities, projected to be 17,000 by 2035. Bringing employers and education together will help marry supply and demand of skills that will be needed for future employment. Hosted by MidKent College on its Gillingham campus on 30 October, the event will include workshops and a range of speakers from City & Guilds, the Careers & Enterprise Company, local businesses and education. The summit follows the release of Medway Council’s Skills and Employability Plan for Medway 2035. As well as ensuring jobseekers have the right skills, phase one of the plan from 2019-2024 aims to increase Medway’s talent pool, improve training opportunities and ensure every young person has the guidance and support they need. A crucial aspect is the involvement of businesses and partners in providing skills and employment opportunities while also plugging existing skills gaps and shortages. Plan: medway.gov.uk/skills Summit details can be found at: medway.gov.uk/skillssummit

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Council takes on shopping centre lease Medway Council has acquired Chatham’s major high street shopping centre to create income for the town’s regeneration and services in the region. The unitary authority took over the lease of the Pentagon Shopping Centre for £34.8million in April, with up to £45million added to the capital programme to allow for the acquisition of the centre’s head leases, fees and additional enabling works. The aim is to provide the council with the chance to generate an annual income of £1million to support its finances and services for residents, as well as contribute to the ongoing regeneration plans for Chatham.

Perry Holmes, chief legal officer at Medway Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Medway with lots of investment projects underway to help improve the area for our residents. The acquisition of the Pentagon Centre complements the improvement works which have already taken place in Chatham town centre as part of Medway’s monumental 20-year regeneration programme. “Medway is an innovative council and we are continuing to demonstrate that we are committed to shaping the future of our town centres to further boost the local economy and provide more opportunities for our residents.”

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Council bids to continue its investment A bid for £170million from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund that would help unlock potential on the Hoo peninsula was submitted earlier this year. The investment would significantly improve road and rail connections, with a new station and potential upgrade to an existing freight railway line, as well as exploring options for building a new relief road.

The funding would also help secure the area’s green spaces and shoreline, including a country park and wetland enhancements to benefit both wildlife and residents. It could unlock further growth through developer contributions, providing additional social infrastructure, such as schools and health provision. Medway Council has recently succeeded in its bid for £1.6million

to invest in Chatham’s historic high street within the Star Hill to Sun Pier Conservation Area. With support from other partners, the proposed £3.2million scheme will create a creative quarter both honouring the area’s history and securing its future. The investment would support business development and culture as well as enhancing the area’s character.

The council is developing further detailed proposals to transform Chatham High Street, after progressing to the second round of the bidding process for the Future High Streets Fund. The bid could unlock £14million that would be invested to further economic growth, increase housing and employment, and help create a vibrant city centre.

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“will create a creative quarter both honouring the area’s history and securing its future”

Swimming champion Peaty coaches youngsters at Strood Olympic Gold medallist Adam Peaty spent a day coaching young swimmers at Strood Sports Centre in August in his inaugural series of five race clinics across England. The 100 places for eight to 17 year olds at the only clinic held in south east England were fully booked in two hours. The 10-times world record holder said he would be happy if Strood residents challenged his records in

the future. He said: “I’ve seen a few applicants for that spot. It’s got to go back to a British person, I wouldn’t be British if I didn’t say that. It’d be great to continue that legacy until I retire and then having one of these kids as the next world champion or Olympic champion.” Strood Sports Centre previously had a £1.9million makeover with a new reception, fitness suite and gym.


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Bardell Wharf will deliver 331 apartments including 35 affordable and 20,000sq.ft of new retail, leisure and professional space.

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Taking Inspiration from Rochester’s heritage, Bardell Wharf is a development of the utmost quality to support Medway’s regeneration objectives and status as an extraordinary place.

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Quinn Estates are proud to be delivering exceptional projects in Medway

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WE SAID, WE DID Medway Council has promised that it would revive the area’s fortunes and make it a better place to live, work, learn and visit. Now council leader Alan Jarrett tells us how it has turned words into action

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n over four years as council leader, Alan Jarrett has been turning Medway’s potential into reality, and now he can point to concrete proof of delivery that is gathering pace. He says: “We have been planning for

years. It takes time developing the right schemes, assembling land and getting projects to market. I was deputy leader for 15 years so have been able to give continuity of approach but I’ve urged a faster pace since I became leader. Now there’s a lot happening at once.” He is buoyed by the success of Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s development of 1,400 homes on the banks of the Medway. He says: “The homes are selling like hotcakes. It took 10 years of planning with Homes England and finding the right developer, but then we went from outline planning permission to moving people in within 18 months. Now we have a good developer in Countryside and they are bringing forward more units more quickly to meet demand. “We work hard to put partnerships into place, knowing that we can achieve more than we can on our own. It’s proving

a very busy time. We don’t have a huge operational capacity but we have to run things concurrently or progress will stall.” Jarrett is excited about the number of projects that are now coming to fruition. He sees establishing Innovation Park Medway, a centre for high-tech companies on Rochester airport site, as a game changer, creating a total number of 3,000 jobs, and acting as a catalyst for innovation and business growth across Medway. It follows the success of the nearby Innovation Centre, and the Innovation Studios in Strood. “Again, it was 10 years in the gestation. There were a lot of barriers, and agreeing all the legal arrangements took time. But with a planning framework now in place that will speed up the planning process, and securing enterprise zone status, we have created a climate to encourage new continued overleaf

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ABOVE: Medway Park, the borough’s third centre for high-tech industries, will create 3,000 employment opportunities

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LEFT: 1,400 homes are underway at Rochester Riverside BELOW: Innovation Studios Medway BOTTOM: Improvements for pedestrians in Strood

“We work hard to put partnerships into place, knowing that we can achieve more than we can on our own.” business. Work on infrastructure has started and we aim to have first occupancy from 2021. “We have already completed the Chatham placemaking scheme, a £4million project to better link the station to the town and waterfront, and improve pedestrian facilities, funded through SELEP, the local enterprise partnership. We can now go ahead with developing two housing sites, the waterfront area and Whiffens Avenue, and that is going to help make Chatham the city centre of Medway. “Fast forward about three years’ time, the centre will be unrecognisable. We want to make Chatham a destination of choice where people live and spend their disposable income on an evening out. With the purchase of the Pentagon shopping centre, we now own much of the property in the city centre, including the

huge office block Mountbatten House and car parks, so we are looking at how we can reconfigure the city centre. “Work to revitalise Strood is ongoing. We have recently reconfigured roads and built up flood defences, and are ready to go to market on the old civic centre site and the waterfront. The former site is our jewel in the crown of Strood. It’s a prestigious spot with views across the river to Rochester Castle and the cathedral.” Jarrett is also proud that HMS Medway, the Royal Navy’s new 90-metre offshore patrol vehicle, was formally commissioned into the fleet in Chatham in September, with events to mark the occasion, acknowledging the area’s extensive military heritage. He continues: “There is of course the continuing challenge of housing delivery.


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[regeneration] LEFT: Chatham’s makeover includes bespoke benches and paving at Military Square

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Figures add up Medway’s record of delivery has attracted interest and investment, making it the biggest regeneration zone in the Thames Gateway, with a local economy worth £5.2bn. Successful bids include: • £1.6m for a £3.2m project to link Chatham and Rochester High Streets (Heritage High Streets) • £4m to improve the environment in Chatham town centre, and links to the waterfront (Local Growth Fund) • £9.6m to establish Innovation Park Medway as a high-tech employment hub on Rochester airport site, and securing enterprise zone status (Local Growth Fund) • £1.1m to develop Innovation Studios Medway, Strood, with all business units quickly filled • £9m to improve traffic flow and surroundings in Strood town centre (Local Growth Fund) • £1.8m to revitalise the historic Fort Amherst (National Lottery Heritage Fund) We have a number of smaller affordable housing sites underway and a significant bid in to unlock more housing on the Hoo Peninsula. Our Medway Development Company, which we set up last year, is dealing with four sites – Chatham Waterfront, Britton Farm in Gillingham, Whiffens Avenue and White Road. It gives us complete control on site and money is invested in other council priorities.

“We want these schemes planned properly with the right infrastructure and I am working regionally and nationally to influence this.” He has recently become deputy chairman of the Key Cities Group, which is an alliance of cities across England and Wales, and set up regular liaison with four other north Kent local authorities, representing almost 800,000 people.

“In the 20 years since Medway was created, we have built up a clear emerging vision of where we are going and have attracted extensive funding. We now have good name recognition in Whitehall and with politicians. Crucially, when we say we will do something, we do it. We have done an enormous amount of work that is unseen over the years. Now, the stand-out projects are the icing on the cake.” M

High hopes for bids for: • £170m to unlock growth on the Hoo peninsula (Housing Infrastructure Fund) • £14m to further boost Chatham (Future High Streets Fund)


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saw the coming together of a variety of businesses and organisations from Medway to create an agenda to put Medway on the map and drive local growth. The creation of the Medway Place Board sparked a major project to develop and launch a strong place story and visual branding to help develop and promote Medway and raise confidence in its future. The next step has been the creation of a local Champions scheme bringing businesses, voluntary organisations and residents together as powerful advocates for the area who want to help influence how Medway is seen and portrayed, and

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ABOVE: Medway Champions breakfast meeting in the crypt at Rochester Cathedral TOP ROW: Simon Cook, Carol Ford SECOND ROW: Helen Banyard, Andrew Dennis

spread the word about the great opportunities available. The Medway Champions programme is effectively a place network that gives businesses and organisations the chance to learn about the development of Medway and see how they can support and promote Medway the place, as well as creating relationships that benefit themselves and the area. Meeting every two months, the Champions work together to identify promotional opportunities and also benefit from access to useful collateral to support their own marketing and recruitment initiatives. This includes helpful narrative and messages on the area and a comprehensive photobank to use.

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Sydney, Barcelona, New York, London and Coventry - what common characteristics do these leading examples of recent place making success stories all share? The unifying factor has undoubtedly been strong, vibrant communities with a clear sense of energy, pride, ambition and purpose who came together to back the drive for improvement, recognition and investment. Medway is now following closely in their footsteps with a number of impressive initiatives over the past 18 months aimed at putting Medway firmly on the map.

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A dedicated website wearemedway.co.uk promoting Medway to its different audiences has been created. It features local businesses, developers and visitor attractions, and it is a community led initiative that sends a powerful joint message about why Medway is a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit. Social media feeds are gathering new followers across all media day by day and local and national media coverage is shared regularly to the Champions community. More than 100 businesses and organisations have signed up within the first year, keen to play a part in raising Medway’s profile. Engagement and support from the different communities is a strong sign of the passion people have for the area. The Medway place branding is gaining momentum and is being used across the area with support from medium and large companies alike. Residents too are actively engaging with social media using #wearemedway hashtag and posting photos of places they love in Medway. • Southeastern trains rebranded their five Medway stations’ signage with the place branding imagery, reinforcing the Medway name to all commuters passing through. • Three Medway universities have used the branding and imagery to support their student recruitment drives. • Many businesses are using the branding on their own signage and websites. • Medway developers are using the imagery on their hoardings across the area. • The branding has been used at all Medway Council festivals and events enjoyed by thousands of people across the year.

• The local newspaper, the Medway Messenger carries the Medway branding as a front page banner on its weekly newspaper. • Local Arriva buses will be carrying the branding. It’s still early days but with interest growing day by day the future is looking rosy for Medway.

WHAT THE CHAMPIONS HAVE SAID Simon Cook – MidKent College Principal and Medway Place Board Chair “I am absolutely delighted with the strength of response and participation from local people in this initiative over the last year. It is so important for Medway’s future for us all to get behind this and work to put Medway on the map. We will all benefit from a stronger economy, thriving business, tourism and cultural sectors and an excellent range of education providers giving greater opportunities to future generations.”

Carol Ford – Commercial Director - AC Goatham & Son “AC Goatham & Son is delighted to be a Medway Champion and we are excited to be a part of Medway’s Place making programme. This is a fantastic opportunity for the local community as a whole and for local businesses, charities, groups and individuals to work together, to help bring further changes to benefit everyone in Medway. We are very proud to call Medway our home.”

Medway Champions brochure

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“...my family has always loved the area for its vibrancy, its quirkiness and its history.” Helen Banyard – Director at Zest The Agency

Andrew Dennis Medway resident

“Zest The Agency is a Medway company and we say that with a large amount of civic pride. “Medway competes with the best in the UK through its rich heritage, cultural history, and unlimited potential. Our location, talent, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to not only survive challenges but fight back stronger, is what makes Medway people special. “Medway is changing and the changes are tangible and exciting. We are proud to be part of the Medway Champions and want to contribute to the development of Medway not just as an area but as a strong and vibrant city that places it in the heart of the south east of England as a go-to place to live, work and visit. “

“I have lived in Medway for 14 years and, since arriving, my family has always loved the area for its vibrancy, its quirkiness and its history. My project, called Love Where You Live, works with school and community groups, using photography and social interaction, to enable others to see our area in a positive light – seeking out the nuances, the hidden corners and the undiscovered stories which make a place what it is.”

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uilding a BMX pump track on a disused, contaminated site proved to be a feat of both sheer determination and engineering for Medway Council. But it was a task the council willingly took on, and, with the help of £170,000 from the government’s Local Growth Fund, delivered a much-wanted new feature at Queen Elizabeth Fields in Gillingham in November 2018. A pump track - a closed circuit with mounds, banked corners and jumps gives cyclists of all ages and skill levels the chance to move using momentum

rather than pedalling, and is a way for the whole family to enjoy cycling in a fun, safe and traffic-free setting. It was built and designed by Velosolutions, renowned for creating world-class tracks. With excavation prohibited, they imported over 3,300 tonnes of material to create the asphalt track, which has a course for beginners and a 220m main track. The facility has been so popular that there is already talk of expanding the site. “It is making a very positive impact,” says Martin Hall, greenspace access and bidding programme manager for Medway

Council. “Families and the community see it as something they are proud of and go to on a regular basis. And we definitely envisage creating more recreational facilities in the park. There’s a real ambition [there] and the catalyst has been the cycling.”   Gillingham’s track has won the ultimate praise from British Cycling, the nation’s largest cycling organisation and the national governing body. “The actual pump track is fantastic,” says Luke Anderson, south east regional manager for British Cycling. “I was really pleasantly

surprised at just how good it was. A lot of our local clubs have used it.” The pump track is just one of the council’s many commitments to getting its residents on their bikes and encouraging healthier, fitter lifestyles. Not only has it invested £2.5million to expand cycling facilities across the area, but it holds regular festivals and events, along with its own social group rides. It was an accolade when British Cycling chose Rochester to host the HSBC UK National Circuit Championships 2019, one of the highlights of the national road

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LEFT AND RIGHT: Elite cyclists took to Rochester streets for the HSBC UK National Circuit Championships BELOW: Other enthusiasts got their turn in the Big Ride

“I knew there was a gap in the racing calendar, and Medway was keen to fill it.” racing calendar for the UK’s top elite male and female riders. In a dream weekend for sporting enthusiasts in the summer, the elite riders thundered round a 1.6km course through historic Rochester watched by thousands of spectators. Before the main races there was a Big Ride mass participation event giving people the chance to experience all but a small part of the race course. And it was local boy Anderson who was key to bringing one of the country’s headline events to Medway. He says: “Back in the 1990s, Medway hosted a lot of circuit events in town centres like Rochester and Chatham. It has always had a vibrant cycling scene. I’m from Medway myself and with my job remit I had a vested interest in bringing it back home. I knew there was a gap in the racing calendar, and Medway was keen to fill it. It

was also something we could do to bring in the community.” Along with the elite event, there were other family events at Rochester Castle Gardens, roller racing, and at the BMX pump track. Anderson says: “[There is] interest in a legacy from the National Circuit Championship. It’s early days to guarantee what we can do. But, there’s definitely keenness to see what else we could develop or provide.”  It is not just the council and British Cycling keen to do more for cyclists in Medway. Network Rail’s contribution of half towards a £1.4million upgrade to Chatham station includes new facilities for cyclists. The council is extending these by providing dedicated routes around the town as part of its regeneration. There are also plans to install a new, purpose-built continued overleaf

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cycle hub at the station: the Department for Transport has set aside an £800,000 grant to fund new £1.1million facilities, which is expected to provide 280 cycle spaces and electric charging points for hybrid bikes. It will also feature two tool stands and two pumps for cyclists to use. Ultimately, what cycling does is help keep Medway’s residents healthy and it’s a passionate goal of the council, which already has 81 miles of cycle paths and

national networks in its borough. David Palmer, the council’s health improvement coordinator, organises group rides, Active Medway Cycle Groups: “Through these we try to encourage people to get on their bikes and start cycling. We are trying to get people to come ride with us in small groups and teach them how to use these networks.” Run by volunteers, the groups started in 2012 and attract an average of 100

people a month. “That’s way above target,” says Palmer. “Our success is measured in how many people are coming with us, and how many new people too. For me success is also down to the stories I hear from people. And we could always do with more cycling.” This is exactly what the council hopes to achieve with its plan to expand cycling, giving residents better and safer opportunities to get involved, through

ABOVE: Residents can enjoy cycling at any level


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[liveability] LEFT AND BELOW: The BMX pump track has proved a popular feature in Queen Elizabeth Fields, Gillingham

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£2.5million funding secured from the government’s Local Growth Fund and through its new building projects. Large-scale schemes, such as Rochester Riverside, incorporate paths for cyclists as well as pedestrians. As Hall says: “Helping people move from a car-based lifestyle and thinking about trains, buses, walking or cycling, can only be done if you can provide really good, direct cycling routes which are safe and attractive for people.” He adds that giving communities valued amenities, like the pump track, has “given confidence to the local community that the council, once it sets its mind to do something, delivers, and delivers really high quality projects. [The pump track] has shown that we do want to invest. And we have been working with various sports bodies to look at setting up training schemes and getting local people qualified as trainers to start clubs, so that is really good community investment.”  Investment not just for those using the pump track, but a positive knock-on effect for the rest of Medway. M

“We are trying to get people to come ride with us in small groups and teach them how to use these networks.”

Pedalling Medway 81.5 miles of cycle paths and routes 9.5 miles of cycle paths added since 2015 Improvements to the cycle network include:   • Gillingham Business Park:   1.06 miles • Copperhouse Lane &   Riverside Country Park:   2.17 miles • A289 Owens Way to   The Strand:  791 metres • Rochester Maidstone Road:   2 miles • Lordswood Lane:   1.07 miles • City Way:  1.8 miles


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CHANGING CHATHAM Debbie Ashford finds out how Chatham is transforming from historical highlight to a future place to be

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hich ever way you arrive in Chatham, you can’t fail to notice that there are big changes taking place. Coming out of the railway station, a bright new forecourt leads to new roads, drop off areas and public art. Already a series of improvements and more art are improving routes to the waterfront and around town, as part of the council’s £4million project to change its look and feel and bring a new sense of pride. Huge investment in the whole area is making the centre more attractive to businesses. The railway arches, located in a prominent position close to the station are now home to a glass-fronted restaurant and bar, The Fire Station Café. The works are paving the way for

large-scale changes to secure Chatham’s future, but acknowledging the area’s important heritage at the same time. Kent-based public art consultancy, FrancisKnight, carried out extensive research and consultation with local people to create the new vision for the centre. The council recognises that close liaison with the community is essential for bringing about enduring successful change. Its Chatham Centre Forum brings the business and retail community together with the council and Kent Police to revive the fortunes of town centre businesses. Chairman of the Forum, Gian Chahal, who runs the High Street’s McDonald’s franchise, says: “Town centres are changing from their traditional base as continued overleaf

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ABOVE: Chatham Waterfront area will become Medway’s city centre

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“a unique opportunity to start the transformation of a city” simply a place to shop to somewhere to spend leisure time. As a local businessman, I am joining with other businesses to see what we can do collectively to improve the local offering in the town centre.” Despite the challenges from online sales and changing shopping habits, 332 business units were occupied in July out of a total of 373, a vacancy rate of 10.9%, which is close to the national rate. Chahal, who also sponsors one of the Medway Youth Award categories, is on the board of the Safer Medway Partnership and is part of Medway Champions programme, continues: “Already, changes to the Military Street end of the high street are making a difference and it feels nicer to be there. Alongside an impressive ongoing regeneration programme, the council is developing more high-end town centre

Commanding Views

residential properties to increase footfall and the level of disposable income to be spent locally.” Jay Kent, manager at the Pentagon shopping centre who has worked there for over 40 years, is also upbeat about the town’s prospects. He is excited about the council’s recent purchase of the mall and emerging plans to reshape the town centre: “We are pretty fully occupied and get an average of eight million shoppers a year. People can get here by public transport as well as by car, and we act as a community hub. There are lots more plans and great ideas for development coming forward.” Chahal agrees: “The high street has a bright future. The council has won funding to develop a full business case for a bid that will further improve the high street. It will take some time to get everything continued overleaf

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The recent restoration of Fort Amherst - one of the best-preserved Napoleonic fortresses in the country - has not only recreated the missing link between Chatham’s internationally significant heritage and its waterfront, it is helping reconnect the people of Medway with their local history. The fort was built to defend Chatham and the historic Dockyard from land attack in the 17th century at the height of French and Spanish invasion threats and was a world leader in defence systems at the time. It is now a free historical attraction with 20 acres of green space linking to the Great Lines Heritage Park, which also played its part in past defences.

Funded by £1.8million Heritage Lottery Fund and £400,000 from its own budget, Medway Council worked with the fort owners, the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust, to: • Transform Spur Battery, the highest part in the fort, into an amphitheatre with seating for up to 250 people (see p7) •U  ncover and restore the outline of Barrier Ditch, an integral feature for defence •R  estore the historic entrance at Barrier Road • I ncrease visitor numbers through a new interactive educational programme, new website, and involving local people in an allotment scheme.


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Derelict railway arches are not the first place most people would choose to locate a new stylish restaurant and bar, but since opening in June this year, The Fire Station Café, offering coffee and food all day with live music some evenings, has been a roaring success. It’s a new venture for wedding venue Cooling Castle Barn near Rochester. Director Rebecca Collins says: “The reception since we opened the Fire Station has been brilliant. We are really pleased how the residents of Chatham have embraced what we are trying to do.” Collins admits she was sceptical when she first saw the site: “It was an awful building. There were no utilities, but Medway Council planted the seed of inspiration. We could see then that it could be something special. The council’s property team helped us complete all the work within 10 weeks, from signing the lease to opening. “The location is a lynchpin in terms of visiting the area and coming out of the station. Lots of people commute into London but stay to socialise there. We wanted to bring that offer to Medway. “People have been missing a trick: I think Medway is a great place to live. There aren’t many places with this mix of history combined with the great arts and social scene. The area’s been overlooked but I think that will change with all the plans for new housing. We are opening a boutique hotel in Rochester early next year. It is all part of our commitment to growing hospitality as a career and providing new places to socialise for the people of Medway.”

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A place for art ‘Chatham is full of history, streets where wars were won, celebrations were held and Charles Dickens walked.’ This was how art consultants FrancisKnight conceived of Chatham as it worked with a team of artists to create a clearer sense of identity for an area that had been neglected and under-appreciated for many years. Lead artist Christopher Tipping worked closely with the design team made up of LDA Design, Project Centre, and other artists to interpret past and present viewspoints. The final artworks include curved granite steps with sandblasted

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in place but as long as we can create a feel-good factor, we will not only survive but thrive.” He believes that development of the waterfront will be key to success, with the construction of 175 new homes bringing residents into the heart of the area. The hoardings are up as Medway Development Company starts work on the striking scheme that aims to create a lively new waterfront and kickstart a night time economy. It will cater for the increasing number of people who will live in and visit the area, attracted to the river amenities and restaurant, cafes and shops. Mike Pearson, from Guy Hollaway Architects who developed Chatham

Waterfront’s masterplan says: “This is a unique opportunity to start the transformation of a city that has been through tough times with the loss of military bases and the dockyards. “It’s a very complicated site. Not only is there a network of utility routes to avoid, Historic England considers the site to be of paramount historic significance so design has to make sure it doesn’t detract from the long views and settings of Fort Amherst and Fort Pitt. “This project can be the catalyst for a new Chatham: a new culture and sense of distinction. If we can create a place where people come to meet and spend time, that will be amazing.” M

references to Chatham, and 17m-diameter circle of words made of 400 monolithic blocks of granite at Military Square. Six bespoke benches were made by furniture designer Andrew Lapthorn, who has a workshop in the Historic Dockyard, from elm donated from the dockyard stores.“The community is at the heart of the project,” said Louise Francis, director of FrancisKnight, along with Laura Knight. “Inspired and informed by the local language, this unique project captures the voices of Chatham, by quite literally ‘setting them in stone’ for future generations.”

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BID FOR GLORY As Medway begins its campaign to become UK City of Culture 2025, Jane Thynne looks at why the initiative will be good for the people who live and work there

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n 2009 the then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham announced plans to create a UK City of Culture. It was decided that urban areas would compete for the title, which would be bestowed every four years, sparking regeneration not only in terms of infrastructure and job creation, but also in arts and civic pride. Working with a raft of big-name partners such as the BBC, Tate Britain and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, it was hoped that the designated city would not only stage high-profile events and exhibitions throughout its 12-month tenure, but that the role would secure its legacy as a thriving creative environment and bring the lasting economic and social benefits that Liverpool saw from being European Capital of Culture in 2008. Londonderry in Northern Ireland was the first city to hold the honour, followed by Hull, which both saw significant growth. In 2021, the honour will fall on the West

Midlands city of Coventry, a decision that, even with two years to go, has been transformative for the area. “The moment that Coventry was announced [UK City of Culture 2021] live on the BBC’s The One Show, something changed in the city forever,” says chief executive of Coventry City Council Martin Reeves. “Phrases like ‘game changer’ and ‘momentous’ are often used too readily, but in terms of the confidence and pride this instilled in the city, this has been exactly the transformational impact winning has had. When you add to this the projected economic benefits, which will be well in excess of £350million, then you start to understand just how big this is.” Medway, which already boasts an enviable mix of attractions and activities, is in an ideal position to make the most of the behest. Made up of the five towns of Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Rainham and Strood, the area is home to several

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high-profile tourist destinations, notable museums and four universities, including the University of the Creative Arts. “This is an incredibly exciting time for Medway,” says Richard Hicks, director of regeneration, culture, environment and transformation and deputy chief executive of Medway Council. “This is a great opportunity to showcase Medway’s fantastic cultural offer including its rich heritage, award-winning country parks, spectacular sporting events and innovative businesses.” For Dr Amanda Cottrell OBE, patron of Medway’s bid and former chairman of Visit Kent, the drive offers communities the opportunity to build something tangible with lasting benefits. “To have the honour of being named City of Culture would have a wonderful legacy for the Medway area,” she says. “It’s a way of bringing the area together to create a greater sense

of belonging and unification. When it comes to inclusion, diversity and social regeneration, we all know that it’s the arts that start the movement.” Cottrell says that although the bid is still gaining momentum, the unifying nature of the project has already drawn support from several key bodies, including community arts practitioners, heritage organisations and educators. Liz Moran, director of arts and culture at the University of Kent, and chair of the bid steering group, is keen to emphasise just how positive not only the fulfilment of the bid would be for Medway, but how much can be achieved by just creating the bid. “It is wonderful for the university to be involved,” she says. “We have a civic responsibility and this has given us the opportunity to play a part in the cultural activity of the area. It’s our job to inspire

and engage our students to be Medway’s writers, performers and artists of tomorrow. There is so much to celebrate here. Medway is a vibrant, exciting place and we want to let more people know about all that is going on here. Essentially, we are creating the heritage of the future.” Her sentiments are echoed by David Stokes, chief executive of the Halpern Charitable Foundation, the body behind the area’s Nucleus Arts, which has championed creativity in Medway and Kent for 17 years. He says the bid is the ideal platform for putting Medway on the cultural map. “Medway is a fabulous place to live and work,” he enthuses. “There is a really thriving arts scene too which will benefit not only from winning but even from the process of bidding, as it will keep the focus on the arts. There is so much creativity continued overleaf

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industries of the future with companies such as simulation specialist Dovetail Games and The Fountain Workshop, just two of the array of creative businesses that trade out of Kent and Medway. As a whole Medway has one of the fastest growing economies in the south east, worth in the region of £5.2billion and UK City of Culture recognition would only boost that figure. In terms of economic benefit, the investment the title would bring cannot be underplayed. Previous holder Hull saw visitor numbers swell by almost 1.25 million from being named as the City of Culture in 2013 to it taking over the reins in 2017. Figures from the city’s university suggest that during 2017-2018, tourism income topped £300million, a rise of £15million on the previous year’s figures, with more than 800 jobs created. “There is a real momentum around the ongoing regeneration of Medway that sees potential being delivered, not

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here. The bid is going to involve everyone who cares about the arts. We need it to come from the grassroots of the scene. People need to start believing that with their help it can happen.” And there is no doubt that in recent years, Medway’s presence on the creative scene has seen significant growth. People outside Kent may not be aware that the area, particularly Chatham Historic Dockyard, is the go-to venue for Hollywood producers in search of a characterful setting. It has been used as the backdrop for the Oscar-winning Les Miserables, the blockbusting Pirates of the Caribbean and the X-Men series. Add to this an abundance of museums, castles, the country’s second oldest cathedral and the River Medway itself, which flows through all five towns, and it becomes clear just how rich and vital the area’s cultural offer is. And while its history is impressive, Medway is very much open to the creative

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“ I wholeheartedly believe it can be done. The journey itself will be a wonderful story.” just talked about,” says Bill Ferris, chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. “The aspirations surrounding the City of Culture bid will lead to considerable investment, creating a tangible legacy of projects. The legacy of engagement and leadership with community at its heart will be transformational, leading to Medway being a ‘place of choice’ whether for living, working or visiting.” Cottrell says that “pride in place” is one of the most important factors in terms of regeneration. “It’s about engaging local people. Once we get our local people behind this, I think we are guaranteed

success. We want to engender the passion from within.” Having secured the support of various stakeholders, the team must now work hard to hit key milestones if the bid is to succeed. The group now has to begin recruiting supporters and groups across not only the arts but sport too, encouraging participants young and old to get behind the bid. “We are all taking the journey together,” says Cottrell. “I wholeheartedly believe it can be done. The journey itself will be a wonderful story.” M continued overleaf

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FESTIVALS Medway hosts more than 30 free events each year, catering for residents young and old, including Sweeps Festival - a colourful mix of traditional music, dancing and entertainment over three days - the annual River Festival, the English Festival celebrating St George’s Day, and Dickens Festival.

THE DICKENS CONNECTION Follow the great author’s footsteps from his childhood spent in Chatham, via Rochester’s Eastgate House, featured in two of his novels, and the cathedral, the setting for his final unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The year 2020 will mark 150 years since Dickens’ death. There will be a number of events commemorating this significant anniversary. UPNOR CASTLE Located on the western banks of the Medway, the Elizabethan fortress was once a key base in the defence of England. Family events and tours run throughout the year. MUSIC The area is home to a rich mix of live music venues including

everything from traditional taverns to concert halls, as well as an internationally acclaimed ‘sound’ known as the Medway Delta, which draws on the music of the 1950s and 1960s. HUGUENOT MUSEUM This familyoriented centre in Rochester not only marks the arrival of persecuted French Protestants on our shores, but also acts as a creative space for local arts groups. It is the first and only museum dedicated to the Huguenots. FORT AMHERST Featured in movie blockbusters Darkest Hour and Sherlock Holmes, the battlements are Britain’s best-preserved example of a Napoleonic fort. Take part in re-enactments, explore the maze of

tunnels and find out about the fort built to defend Chatham Dockyard. MEDWAY QUEEN This historic ship once again celebrates the maritime importance of the area thanks to its preservation society. Hosting numerous events throughout the year, it also serves as a training point for maritime industry apprentices. THE ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM Based in Gillingham, this hands-on museum celebrates Medway’s military heritage and details the story of the Royal Engineering Corps from its inception, through two world wars to its role in current conflicts. The space also hosts visiting events, such as this summer’s Frankenstein Gallery, and art exhibitions.

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THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD CHATHAM Based on the site of a formal Royal Navy dockyard, it serviced warships for more than 400 years, before closing its doors in 1984. However, 80 acres which included the main 18th-century buildings were handed over to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust which today welcomes almost 190,000 visitors a year.

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A bird’s eye view of the projects in the offing, under way and delivered in Medway

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Invest

“A high quality, very focused issue that truly reflected our regeneration and growth ambitions.”

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Waltham Forest Encouraging investment in Waltham Forest

Ways to connect

With support from a local MP models of working and the council, from risks attachedare helping with problem co-operative s in Waltham Forest, to self-emp workshops and food production.loyment to the cost of renting Lucy Clarke reports

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elf-employed people in Waltham Forest are new ways to work finding in a crucial step forward for entrepreneurs and business-m inded residents.

Collaborative organisations such as the co-operat ive working space Indycube and the Blackhors e Workshop public facility are intent encouraging freelance on success across the borough.

Festivals, film, focused design

Summer 2019

G R O U N D FO R C E

GA R D E N C I TY

BY DE BBIE A S HF ORD

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Indycube, in partnersh ip with the community trade union, is helping support Walthams to tow’s growing employed communi selfty.

Private/public: pulling forces

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation on Ebbsfleet Garden City magazine

CELEBRAT I O N Ebbsfleet’s first festival marks the health benefits of living in a garden city

The schools that will nurture the generations to come

The Labour MP for Walthams tow, Stella Creasy, hopes projects run by organisations like these gateway for promoting will act as a membership among trade union north-east London the 16.5% of her work for themselve constituency who s.

“A delight to work with such professionals across the whole team.”

As crucial prepar on Ebbsfleet Garde atory works continue, homes are growing n Whitecliffe, inspireCity’s largest development , newly named d by the cliff faces of the former quarry

E N T E RP RI S E

Evening economy, established enterprise

Above: Indycube seeks to unionise self-employed people – such as graphic designers – to provide workers’ rights support.

EBBSFLE ET GARDEN CITY ON SITE

Issue 3

A new way of building homes that could transform the construction industry

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Waltham Forest Council on Invest Waltham Forest

ME E T First pub and hotel bring new choice to the area’s leisure facilities

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2019

•ORRERY•

Issue Tw o

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“They understood what we wanted to create from day one, and have delivered a quality product.”

Clockwork craft

RRERY• Visionary design

Creative masters

•ORRERY•

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04/10/2019 10:24

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Resilient Southwark Parks

southwark

property London ng its si is m is der s. wer rung tting We’re pu k c a them b outhwark. in S

young London’s homes for to the city in affordable bute Living builds makers who contritheir first home. city buy -earning afford to buyers but can’t first time uity. ny ways only for . They’re able in perpet are unique and remain afford one. t homes day work locally their home from ive and e of over 100% of a pipelin is hasers own with and Pocket Living London by 2021, Mayor of quality homes ked by the affordable homes provide wark to ely 0 genuin with South . working me buyers ud to be gh’s first-ti the borou

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Green Flag Flying the the provision Prioritising in an urban of open space g benefits setting, bringin community to the local

the rest A cut above hub takes Hairdressing m, joining off in Peckhatheatres, much-loved breweries cinemas and

Raising a glass pubs meet Traditional in one new tap roomsKingdom’s of the Unitedg boroughs most bustlin

stable? Strong and h the Breaking throug ainty: Brexit uncertis confident Southwark ic future in its econom

nities Building commu between A key hinge zones could major regendestination become a right in its own

“I think we can safely say this is the best regeneration magazine in the world.”

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southw Issue 21

Spring 2019

DON’T PANIC As confidence wavers in the face of Brexit, investment is slowing and property prices stagnating. Yet, Southwark is confident that it can triumph in the face of adversity, as it did after the 2008 recession. Sarah Herbert outlines those reasons to be cheerful

wark. in South scheme is made Pocket Living developmentscheme will the first ton, the SE16 is . The local small Varcoe Road Maccreanor Laving Pocket homes able by d floor for space, Designed genuinely afford on the groun rking up of 100%e commercial space access to a co-wo communal have landscaped also featur Residents will e and two businesses. ample cycle storag a sun room,es with gardens. roof terrac tliving.com visit pocke information For more

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ment Road, new develop to Tower Bridgeand opportunities for all th ent in Walwor

54 issue 21 spring Rye Lane From2019

Issue 21 Spring 2019

S AND S, PUB PARK MAKING PLACE

Cllr Peter John, Southwark Council on Southwark magazine

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With an wellbein increasing populat g of resid ion, Sout ents and hwark’s gree workers better facil . And the coun n spaces play a cruc 21 2019 cil ities. Noe ial part in lla Pio Kivlis determined to provide mor the ehan repo e and rts

14 issue

areas, investm

spring

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19/03/2019 17:21

19/03/20

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19 13:52

dd 1 cover2.in

3Fox International has been putting together successful inward investment campaigns for over 14 years. To find out how we can help you with your project, please get in touch on 020 7978 6840 or email office@3foxinternational.com

020 7978 6840

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Strood Vital infrastructure works have taken place in preparation for creating a new neighbourhood in Strood with a mix of homes and amenities along the river. Construction and engineering company VolkerStevin reinforced flood defences and raised ground levels following a successful council bid for £3.5million from the government’s Local Growth Fund. The work included the construction of a new 850m-long steel sheet pile river wall, demolition of a concrete storage building, remediation works and the installation of 10,000 drains. VolkerStevin imported 120,000 tonnes of fill material to raise the ground levels. In the town centre, Medway Council

has improved the public realm and car park at Commercial Road and is altering the road layout in the town centre to reduce congestion. This work paves the way for future development of the waterfront, which lies across the river from Rochester Castle and is close to two railway stations. A collection of several sites forming a connected sweep spanning 11 hectares along the waterfront has been earmarked for potential development. The council’s development brief suggests the area could provide 1,600 new homes, including affordable houses and apartments, along with new businesses and public spaces. continued overleaf

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Rochester Riverside Following the start of construction last year, Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s £419million regeneration scheme on the banks of the River Medway, is making swift progress, with the first residents having now moved into the development. A previously derelict brownfield site, this new riverside destination will provide 1,400 new homes, with 25% affordable, when fully complete in 2030. With the marketing suite and show homes open to the public, sales are progressing strongly on the remaining homes in the first three phases. In fact, the first homes released have proved so popular that Countryside is reprogramming the build schedule to speed up availability. They comprise 489 homes of one and two-bedroom apartments and three and four-bedroom houses, designed by architects BPTW with HTA Design, who worked on the overall masterplan. Rochester Riverside is also providing community facilities, including a new primary school, over 2,200sq m of commercial space, a hotel, nursery and over 10 acres of green, open space, helping to create a

sustainable community at this landmark development. These amenities are progressing quickly, with an 81-bed Travelodge hotel opening later this year and the first commercial occupiers, a food retailer, moving in in November. The 50-acre site stretches from Rochester Bridge in the north to Doust Way in the south and connects River Medway to the town centre. The development is opening up this part of the river to the public through a new 2.5km riverside walkway, helping to integrate the new buildings into the wider community. The first stage of the riverside walkway is now complete, with the salt marsh creek open to the public. Countryside and Hyde have set up the Rochester Riverside Community Board to fund community projects, with an annual budget of £30,000. So far in 2019, the board has part-funded the Medway Neuro-Arts Festival through a £5,000 grant, helping the organisers highlight the therapeutic benefit of the arts for those with neurological conditions. It also supported a photography project for local schoolchildren, which culminated in a gallery exhibition at the marketing suite.

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[ projects ] Britton Farm Medway Development Company is set to start work at Britton Farm, an empty supermarket in a shopping mall on a prominent site in Gillingham town centre, later this year. The residential phase of the development will see 44 homes designed by Guy Hollaway Architects on the loading bay area. This will follow the commercial phase that will transform the vacant supermarket off Gillingham High Street into NHS offices, including treatment and therapy rooms for Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. The underground car park will be retained and used as public pay and display parking. There are also plans to convert the former supermarket storage area into business start-up units. 

Chatham Waterfront Preparatory work is beginning on site for the ambitious scheme by Medway Council to bring a significant new development to Chatham waterfront. The scheme will provide 175 high-quality residential units with views across the River Medway, and 1,150sq m of ground floor accommodation that will include co-working office space, as well as a restaurant, cafés and shops. Medway Development Company, the councilcreated housing business, will build the scheme, which was designed by Guy Hollaway Architects working with landscape architects Exterior Architecture. It will involve remodelling of the existing pump station and creation of a public

events space, fountains, play areas and a waterfront walk to add to the existing park. The scheme will play a pivotal role in connecting the towns of Chatham and Rochester, reinforcing transport and pedestrian links between the city centre and river walk.  The plans will complement other regeneration projects in the town including the Chatham placemaking project, which has enhanced journeys and commuter links between the station, the town and the bus station, and the restoration work at nearby Fort Amherst that is opening up historic links to the river. They will all contribute to making Chatham Medway’s city centre.

More homes in Chatham Chatham is set to gain over 100 further new homes at two sites in Whiffens Avenue and White Road, which will both be built by the council’s Medway Development Company. Work is starting on an under-used car park in Whiffens Avenue to transform it into 115 one and two-bedroom apartments, including nine for shared ownership. The new homes will boast views of the river and town hall gardens. The scheme, designed by Guy Hollaway Architects, will include a complementary

design befitting this historic site, below the imposing Fort Amherst, a scheduled ancient monument, with trees planted to blend with the area’s natural look. Subsequently, the company will build 20 new homes behind White Road community centre. The highly energyefficient two-bedroom modular houses, designed by TopHat and constructed off-site, will all be affordable homes and will help provide more choice for Medway residents. continued overleaf

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charter, ensuring local trades benefit from the construction project, recruiting local project managers and sourcing local suppliers where possible, and offering students from the technical college work experience. The first scheme to start was X1’s 14-storey block of 199 one, two and three-bedroom apartments overlooking the docks, which topped out in September, and includes retail, leisure and office space. A parkland boulevard is proposed through the middle of the development with commercial buildings around it. A waterfront walkway is also planned for the front of the site to be anchored by a new leisure and event venue, creating a focal point on the quayside. The site is already home to Waterfront University Technical College, a superstore and Marston’s family restaurant. Peel L&P has invested more than £5million on infrastructure works for the scheme, including remediation, flood defences, road improvements and servicing the remaining undeveloped land.

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Two schemes are underway at Chatham Waters, continuing the £650million development of the former naval dockyard by Peel L&P. The area is set to become a vibrant new destination, including 950 homes and 430,000sq ft of commercial office space, retail units and leisure facilities. Russells Construction began work in the summer on a £40million scheme to build 193 one, two and three-bed apartments for the private rental market. Two interconnected blocks, one six and one seven-storey, will be linked by ground floor retail units on the waterfront boulevard, with alfresco dining areas, set to give a ‘Mediterranean feel’ to the waterfront location. Designed by Manchester architects AHR, the building features a communal garden atop the single-storey retail space, a white, pre-cast concrete façade with bronze panels and punched balconies overlooking the dockyard. Private equity firm Long Harbour has funded the scheme and will own and manage the building on completion. Russells has committed to a local employment

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Residents are moving into the MHS Homes’ development of 89 apartments on Corporation Street, situated between Rochester town centre and the newly emerging Riverside development. The 53 one and two-bedroom apartments for shared ownership and 36 one, two and three-bedroom flats for private rent were designed by BPTW, who took inspiration from the surrounding architecture and the historic character of the town. The development uses high quality brick as its primary material further reflecting the local architecture. Windows and balconies are set out in a tartan grid pattern and outset balconies feature on the corners of the building, with views towards the town including the city wall, cathedral and castle.

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Kitchener Barracks will offer 49 one and two-bedroom units for shared ownership in six-storey Buckley House. Dating from 1757 and named after Earl Kitchener in 1928, the site is an important local landmark and a significant piece of Britain’s history. Kitchener Barracks is the second oldest military site in Medway and was most recently used as accommodation for the Royal School of Military Engineering.Â

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Modular developer TopHat is marketing its Kitchener Barracks development, a new neighbourhood of 300 homes on a 4.8-acre hill site overlooking the river. The scheme offers a mixture of two and three-bedroom terraced houses and four and five-bedroom town houses, many of which are located in the refurbished barracks building. Completion is due in phases to spring 2021. Home Group housing association

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EVENTS WORKSHOPS ● LAUNCHES ● TOURS ● RECEPTIONS CONFERENCES ● MEETINGS ● ROUND-TABLES

Natasha Pullan – head of events natasha@3foxinternational.com Ellie Mulhern – events assistant ellie@3foxinternational.com

020 7978 6840

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[employment]

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JOB APPLICATION

ABOVE: Training is vital to securing access to high value employment

A skilled workforce is going to be crucial to filling thousands of job opportunities expected in Medway in the next 25 years. Noella Pio Kivlehan finds out about new ways to help businesses find the staff they need

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he 30th of October is set to be an important date for Medway’s future prospects. It is then that the first summit on skills and employment is to be held at MidKent further education college, when the council will also launch its plan to develop Medway’s workforce and economic health.   The aim is to get businesses and education together to ensure Medway has

the skill levels needed to cope with the huge development and growth expected over the next 25 years with a projected 30,000 new homes built and 17,000 employment opportunities.  “Central to our growth plans are increasing high value employment, continuing to support business creation and growth, and matching local business demand and skills supply,” states

Councillor Rodney Chambers, portfolio holder for inward investment, strategic regeneration and partnerships, in the plan’s foreword.  “Focus here will ensure Medway continues to excel as a great place to live, work, learn and visit, and offers a firm foundation for growth for all. None of this will be possible without an excellent skills continued overleaf

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in these sectors. Medway Council has worked hard to meet targets set by the government, starting 93 apprenticeships in 2017-18, through the Medway Council Apprenticeship Academy. Daniel Ratcliff, skills and employment programme manager at Medway Council,

says: “Apprentices are a great way to grow talent for a business. I’ve seen many examples of apprentices thriving in business, adding value and showing loyalty along the way. Apprenticeships are crucial to developing the skills needed in Medway.”

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“I’ve seen many examples of apprentices thriving in business, adding value and showing loyalty along the way.”

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base that mirrors employers’ aspirations and demands.”  Setting out four key priorities in the first phase from 2019 to 2024 (see panel overleaf), the Skills and Employability Plan for Medway 2035 is a road map for fostering collaboration between business, education and specialist groups, who all have an interest in helping young people on to the career ladder. Skill shortages are among the first areas to be tackled. The council has identified five priority sectors: health and social care; advanced manufacturing and engineering; construction; IT and digital; and creative and cultural. It is through apprenticeships, work experience, and other initiatives that 14 to 18 year olds are encouraged into working

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ABOVE: Apprenticeships and work experience help direct talent into growth areas

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Plugging into National Grid

So crucial that the council gives incentives to businesses to take on apprentices. Ratcliff says: “[The council] offers £1,000 to Medway-based employers or companies with 50 or fewer employees to take on a Medway resident as an apprentice. We have slightly reshaped the scheme recently and are offering a new grant for priority sectors. This year we are focused on manufacturing and engineering and there might be extra incentives if the apprentice is in a priority group.” Medway Education Business Partnership also works with businesses to arrange work experience for students. Set up in 1989, it provides 2,500 block placements among the 1,800 employers continued overleaf

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National Grid Grain LNG has been working with Medway Education Business Partnership (MEBP) accepting work experience youngsters for the last 12 years. The terminal on Hoo’s Isle of Grain supplies 20% of the liquefied natural gas used in the UK. Spanning over 600 acres, it is the largest terminal in Europe and eighth largest in the world by tank capacity. For nine of those years it has been the job of Scott Atkinson to take the students under his wing. Arranged through MEBP, he takes around 20 pupils a year aged from 14 to 17, giving them the chance to meet a range of engineering teams and they may well then go on to become an apprentice. Atkinson says: “The two people I have just recruited have both been on work experience. The advantage is that they are youngsters we know. When

it comes to the interview, they are familiar, they know what the site does. I’m not saying it helps them out, but it definitely gives them a foot in the door.” Inspiration can be sparked at an even earlier age: the company also gives children at local primary schools a chance to build and race go-karts, helping promote interest in STEM subjects. With help from the terminal’s apprentice engineers, pupils make an electric car from a kit, design and make the bodywork and get to race them at an annual Grand Prix event held at Delphi Technologies in Gillingham. Atkinson explains:“It’s a bit of escapism for 11 year olds who are about to change schools, but they also learn a whole range of skills, like dexterity and communication. And two or three have applied to become apprentices here.”


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 From the education side, Chris Hare, executive director of MidKent College says preparing students for work is one of the college’s strategic priorities: “One of the best ways we can achieve that is to ensure that our students develop the skills and abilities that local businesses need to grow and build resilience. Our core training products are designed to reflect the demands of the local labour market.” Their training plans give students the opportunity through around 300 hours of industrial placement each year. Overall, Ratcliff says that the council plan that is being launched at the inaugural skills event “is really important in making sure everybody who wants to, has the opportunity to access the jobs market to find work. We want to help all working-age residents develop the right skills for recruiting businesses. We also want to work closely with businesses to help provide the right environment and opportunities for those who may have additional barriers.” M

Skills and Employment Plan The council has identified four priorities: 1 Matching business demand with skills supply 2 Developing a talent pool for the Medway economy 3 Establishing routes to employment, increasing awareness and uptake of training 4 NEET into EET: getting young people Not in Education, Employment or Training into Education, Employment or Training.

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closely with the local authority, sharing many of its aims.” Be Yourself programme, set up in November 2018 and run by the council and Chatham Job Centre Plus, also focuses on helping young people, but this time into work, offering them the opportunity to grow in confidence and learn new skills. Initially financed for six months, it has now been awarded funding for another year. Helen Elstone, youth development worker on the programme, says that it has been adapted to meet the emerging demands: “Increasing social confidence goes a long way to opening up future opportunities for young people who traditionally may struggle with engagement. Be Yourself is tailored to suit their needs and preferences.” Over 60 people have taken part in the programme and a number have moved on to apprenticeships or employment. New sources of support could lead to a further increase in participation.

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on its database, following the Gatsby Benchmarks, which are guidelines that help schools and colleges shape their careers programme. The partnership runs workshops and projects on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) particularly to address the projected skills gap. It also provides skills development training, with support from employers, to help prepare young people for work and citizenship. Its chief executive, Toni Clarke, says: “We increasingly work with ‘harder to help’ young people who are in danger of dropping out of school altogether, by supporting them in extended placements for a day a week in the workplace. We supported over 200 students this year. We have evolved over the years to meet the needs of local schools, students and businesses, focusing on getting young people engaged in school or college, or into the workplace, helping the local economy. We work

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LEFT & BELOW: Building skills and confidence through Be Yourself project


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INSPIRED IDE A S DELIVERED

For information, please contact: Terance Butler Holdings Limited • The Cabins • Aylesford Lakes • Rochester Road • Aylesford • Kent • ME20 7DX Tel +44 (0)1622 812285 • F +44 (0)1622 816880 • Email info@tbholdings.com

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

TERANCE TLER BUTLER HOLDINGS

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[made in medway]

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FIELDS OF GOLD Nestled in the Hoo countryside, family-run AC Goatham & Son is the largest apple and pear grower in Britain

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ruit grower AC Goatham & Son could be one of Medway’s best-kept business secrets. Located on the Hoo peninsula, it is the largest apple and pear grower in Britain, growing one in four of the British apples and one in three of the British Conference pears sold in the UK It is also helping grow new jobs, employing 250 full time and 700 seasonal workers. Started in 1947, the Goathams used to buy fruit crops from local farms, then harvest, pack and send them to wholesale markets. In 1980, the same year that Clive Goatham took over the business, a devastating hailstorm damaged many apple crops around Maidstone where they were based. The company went to Medway to buy fruit and ended up buying their first farm in Hoo and growing their own fruit for the first time. From then on, the present-day business began to take shape, using modern orchard planting and growing techniques, investment in new and favourite fruit varieties, and cold storage, packing and distribution facilities. Clive’s

vision - “We believe in doing things differently to all that has gone before” has created an industry-leading farming business supplying top quality apples and pears directly to UK supermarkets. In 2007 the sale of farmland for much-needed local housing in Medway provided funding for further investment, with expansion from farming 125 acres to 2,830 acres and 25 farms. It led to the planting of over two million new fruit trees, restoration of over 100 miles of native hedging and funded the business infrastructure to support it. “Excitingly Goatham’s has undertaken the largest new planting of Conference pear orchards in the UK in the last 40 years,” says commercial director Carol Ford. “We have invested in innovations such as ripe and ready to eat pears, and this year will offer a new variety of pink-skinned apple for sale: a first for British growers as all similar pink apples are grown overseas.” Profits are invested back into the business enabling it to compete with much larger overseas growers. British

farmers grow under 40% of the apples and only 8% of the pears eaten in the UK. Topically, Goatham’s are looking to increase these figures, to help produce

a more self-sufficient, sustainable food supply for the nation, and putting British apples and pears back into the baskets of UK shoppers. M


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The luxury of choice

Bellway Kent Developments

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ISSUE 12 2019 medway making history

medway making history

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autumn 2019

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Promised land Proof of delivery Riding high Wheels on fire First date Matching skills to business Harvest time Orchard treasures

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Medway1 #12  

Medway1 #12