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contents issue#04_spring ‘12

medway 1 Executive editor: Siobhán Crozier Production editor: Rachael Schofield Freelance editor: Sarah Herbert Editorial assistant: James Wood Designers: Smallfury Design, Katrin Smejkal, Gene Cornelius Head of business development: Paul Gussar Business development manager: Sophie Gosling Production assistant: Jeri Dumont Office manager: Sue Mapara Subscriptions manager: Simon Maxwell Managing director: Toby Fox Printed by: Bishops Printers Images: Medway Council, Bryan Gulliver, North Kent Joinery, Kitchen To Table, Veetee Rice, L Robinson (Jubilee Clips), SEEDA, The Peel Group, John Lyall Architects, David Lock Associates, Hyde Group, Crest Nicholson, Byrne Estates, Countryside Properties, Land Securities, Katie Blench Photography, Paul Peard pictures@peard.org, Tesco, MediaCityUK Published by: 189 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TB T: 020 7978 6840 F: 020 7978 6837 For Medway Council

16 04 News

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

08 Medway on the move

Transport connections to London, the south-east and Europe.

11 Pride of place

A year of celebration with Dickens’ bicentenary.

16 Quality of life

Affordable and well-connected to city and countryside.

20 Map

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

22 Projects

A round-up of Medway’s main development projects.

Gun Wharf Dock Road Chatham Kent ME4 4TR 01634 331323

29 Retail

Director of regeneration, culture and community, Medway Council Robin Cooper robin.cooper@medway.gov.uk

34 Markets

Subscriptions and feedback: www.medway1.com © 3Fox International Limited 2012. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written p ­ ermission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly f­orbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no r­ esponsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this ­magazine are not ­necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited or Medway Renaissance.

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Rochester’s quirky retail offer – and Chatham is on the up. Vital statistics – facts and figures about Medway.

36 Training and skills

Providing the skills that businesses need.

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42 Made in Medway

Thriving local companies on why they choose to be here.

48 Military Medway

A proud military history has a major economic impact.

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100k for trainees

Chatham Waterfront is the town’s hi-tech new bus station.

All aboard Chatham’s new state-of-the-art bus station was completed in October 2011, replacing the town’s out-dated and inadequate Pentagon bus station. Called Chatham Waterfront, the new multimillion site at Globe Lane has 19 stops, with a ground-level bus, taxi and cycle route on Waterfront Way. The bus shelters have living green sedum roofs and glass screens to protect the waiting areas from the weather, and the station itself has a travel information and ticketing centre and public toilets. Global positioning systems (GPS) on the buses provide passengers with up-to-the-minute arrival and departure display boards, backed by verbal announcements. A new base for drivers and managers has been created by refurbishing the nearby White House in Riverside Gardens.

NewBuy for Medway Gate Phase three of Medway Gate, a mixed-use development by Persimmon Homes, is now on the market and available on the government-backed NewBuy scheme. The one- and two-bedroom apartments and two- and four-bedroom houses are all set

in a 20-ha former quarry near Strood. Construction of the 400-home development began in 2007, and all houses and flats are built with Space4 timber frame technology to improve insulation and air-tightness, meaning heating bills will be 50% lower than the average UK home.

Medway Council is investing a further £100,000 towards apprenticeships for 2012-13. The council’s schemes have seen more than 250 apprenticeships created at businesses in Medway since 2011. The Medway 100 in 100 campaign exceeded targets and created 190 trainee positions and in October 2011 the council launched its own scheme to help businesses. The subsidy scheme offers small to medium businesses £2,000 towards an apprentice’s training or wage costs. 

 Funding for the £200,000 initiative was split equally by the council and European Regional Development Fund. This funding was only available until March 2012 but the council’s decision to commit its own investment this year continues the scheme and will bring more Medway residents into the workplace. 

 A range of employers such as accountants, schools, joiners, childcare providers and electricians, have all opted to offer apprenticeships. 

 The council’s Employ Medway Advice Centre has provided training to more than 800 people.
The council’s portfolio holder for strategic development and economic growth, Councillor Jane Chitty, said: “We believe apprenticeships are vital in helping people gain invaluable skills that will help them on to the career ladder.”

The council’s Employ Medway Advice Centre has provided training to more than 800 people


[ news ]

ICM joins European network

Green Flag for parks Five Medway parks have been named as among the best in the country. Green Flag status has been officially awarded to Broomhill Park, Strood, (pictured above) joining Medway’s four other green spaces that have all retained their Green Flag status – Capstone Farm Country Park, Riverside Country Park, Hillyfields in Gillingham and the Vines in Rochester. 

 Improvements to Broomhill include a junior play area, viewing areas out towards the River Medway, interpretation boards and a picnic area. Medway Council’s portfolio holder for

community services Cllr Howard Doe said: “These five open spaces in Medway have received this superb national accolade because they play an important role in bringing people together and improving quality of life.” The Green Flag Award is a sign to visitors that the parks are well-maintained and well-managed, with excellent facilities. Only green spaces that are free to enter and open to the public are eligible for an award, and the scheme is run by environmental charities Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace.

all BIC accredited services, which are particularly appropriate for growing environmental, life sciences, manufacturing, engineering and electronics businesses. The university’s Greenwich Research & Enterprise (GRE) team will provide business support services, working with the economic development team at Medway Council and partners from across Kent and Medway. Open round the clock and all year, the 30,000sq ft ICM is operated by Medway Council, offering state-ofthe-art serviced facilities for up to 60 start-up innovative and potentially high-growth businesses.

Medway’s no-fly zone Three plans for airports in the Thames Estuary are being opposed by Medway Council, with all parties and three MPs in agreement. Medway advocates maximising the use of existing airports in the greater south-east. Manston Airport in Kent has funding to connect it to the high speed rail network (HS1), while Heathrow’s owners want to extend it and there are possible expansion plans for Gatwick, post 2019. The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (business and local government in Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Medway, Thurrock and

Southend), has commissioned aviation experts Parsons Brinkerhoff to look at existing capacity in major and regional airports. The report is due in April. The first proposal, for the Isle of Grain Thames Hub, is promoted by Lord Foster. Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers says:
“A huge new airport on or near the Thames Estuary, which would cost up to £70 billion, is both unaffordable and unnecessary.” Chambers says: “The Isle of Grain hosts the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Europe and around a fifth of the UK’s gas supply is offloaded

by container ships and stored there. Aircraft and huge gas containers are a potentially lethal mix.” He adds:
“The sunken American warship, SS Richard Montgomery, is submerged a few miles from the location, laden with high explosives; London Array wind farm is being built nearby and the airport cuts through an area used by hundreds of thousands of migrating birds. Lord Foster appears to want to place his fantasy Isle of Grain airport on top of the LNG plant and a power station.” London mayor Boris Johnson proposes a £40 billion floating airport,

off the Kent coast. Chambers says: “The Thames Estuary airport and the necessary infrastructure would cost a ridiculous amount, devastating an environment that includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest, to which birds migrate annually.” A third scheme at Cliffe, proposed by John Olsen, was dismissed by the last government in 2002, amid public opposition. Chambers commented: “We showed before that an airport at Cliffe on the Hoo Peninsula was unworkable. We got that stopped and we shall do the same again.”

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Business support services at the Innovation Centre Medway (ICM) have been awarded the prestigious Business Innovation Centre (BIC) quality mark and are now part of the European Business Network (EBN). It is the only such centre in the south-east, outside London, with BIC and EBN recognition. The network creates opportunities for local businesses to link up through the ICM with accredited organisations and facilities across Europe, as well as in other parts of the country, enabling them to develop their services, products and markets. The University of Greenwich and Medway Council will co-ordinate


Stage is set for more new homes in the centre of Chatham Heart of Medway Housing Association, part of the mhs homes group will provide affordable homes in the heart of Chatham. Medway’s Theatre Royal has been the topic of much conversation since its closure in the 50’s. The Chatham theatre was once the largest theatre outside the West End, with stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Max Miller gracing its stage. Built in 1899 at the western end of Chatham High Street the 3,000 seat theatre was originally owned by C and L Barnard, who also owned the local music hall.

The front façade of Theatre Royal which remains in front of the blocks of flats.

Two new blocks of flats will be constructed behind it on the land where part of the Theatre Royal once stood. This derelict part of the theatre, was demolished last year following planning permission for the development of new homes on the site.

Landlord ‘Heart of Medway Housing Association’ will have one of the blocks of twelve flats for a mixed affordable tenure, whilst the other block will be sold by the contractor ‘Orchard Construction and Developments’. The flats in the town centre are at the heart of a large regeneration project in Chatham and are within walking distance of local amenities. Each one of the twelve flats will have Following a decline in theatre-goers, the Victorian building closed in 1955 and has been unoccupied since. In the 1980s underground parking. Two of the ground floor flats for affordable rent will be fully adapted for wheelchair users a campaign was started by local people to restore the and four of the properties will be available for shared building to its former glory and to reopen it as the largest ownership. mhs homes is contributing £1.6 million towards theatre in the region. However, in 2002, the volunteers of the development of which £614,000 has been granted by the Theatre Royal Chatham Trust were forced to abandon the Homes and Communities Agency. their campaign to raise the £20 million needed to restore or meet the costs of preserving the entire building. With property prices more than seven times the average wage and 9,000 families on Medway’s housing waiting ...providing affordable list, Caroline Proverbs, Operations Director for mhs homes said providing affordable homes is more important than homes is more important ever before. She said, “We work very closely with Medway than ever before... Council to provide quality accommodation that is both affordable and sustainable. These new homes will be Now the site, situated right in the centre of Chatham will built to level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and set the stage for the development of new homes with full Lifetime Homes criteria which means that they will be key input from ‘Heart of Medway Housing Association’ highly energy efficient for residents” the registered subsidiary of Medway’s main affordable Contact Details housing provider ‘mhs homes’. The impressive building Phone: 01634 565 333 facia remains. The classically styled Victorian front, with Fax: 01634 301 329 columns and arches will be restored and utilised as part of the new development with the possibility of a restaurant Web: www.mhshomes.co.uk or other commercial use on the ground floor. Heart of Medway Housing Association, Broadside, Leviathan Way, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4LL


news

New bridge for old fort

news in brief Student housing investment

Medway’s newest crossing, Prince William’s Bridge, was named best structure in the south-east by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE). The pedestrian bridge, set within the historic Fort Amherst in Chatham, forms part of a new footpath giving public access to previously inaccessible areas, as part of the wider Great Lines Heritage Park scheme. Designed and built by Mott MacDonald, the bridge spans

a historic defensive ditch, so has no intermediate supports and is simple in design – to not detract from the fort, a scheduled monument – robust and durable, using lightweight modern elements such as fibreglass flooring and a stainless steel mesh balustrade. The bridge was designed so that it could be erected in small, lightweight pieces, as access is restricted. It opened to the public in April 2011.

Young entrepreneur

A Gillingham 17-year-old has become the youngest person to receive a start-up business grant from Medway Council. Katie Blench (left) was awarded a £1,000 grant to start her business, Katie Blench Photography. Working from her family home in Nelson Road, Katie has her own studio. The Partners for Growth scheme offers budding entrepreneurs a grant of up to £1,000 towards their initial costs. Self portrait – Katie Blench Photography, a budding business.

Medway Park HRH The Princess Royal opened Medway Park in July 2011, at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships, a qualifying event for the 2012 Olympics. 
 Medway Park results from an £11 million transformation of the former Black Lion leisure centre, giving the whole Medway community access to a

world-class facility. It has a new 12-court, multi-use sports hall, an eight-lane athletics track and a modern gym. An official training camp for the Olympic Games, Medway Park can cater for 13 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports. Barbados and Senegal have already signed up, and the Portuguese trampolining squad will use the neighbouring Jumpers Rebound Centre. 



Theatre staged for homes?

Chatham’s former Theatre Royal is being redeveloped into flats under new proposals by housing association MHS Homes. It has two blocks of 12 flats with underground parking on the site. The Victorian frontage is being retained. The theatre was built in 1899 but closed in 1955; it was partially demolished in 2011.The development is partly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency.

£10m superfast broadband

Medway Park results from an £11 million transformation of the former Black Lion leisure centre

Superfast broadband speeds could be boosted across Kent and Medway after the government agreed funding of £10 million for the councils’ joint bid, Kent News reports. The county will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that superfast broadband will provide both for homes and businesses. The Kent and Medway Local Broadband Plan will reflect the government’s new national targets to make sure superfast broadband is available to 90% of Kent and Medway and that the remaining 10% can get speeds of at least 2MB.

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Student housing provider Liberty Living has secured a financing package totalling £300 million from HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, reports Estates Gazette. Liberty Living manages assets on behalf of the Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund. It is buying a 502-bed property in Gillingham from Berkeley First for £35 million. The development, for University of Kent students, Much of Medway’s regeneration is based around its riverside followingto thecomplete success of is scheduled inChatham 2013. Maritime.


With High Speed 1 slashing the daily commute and making it positively attractive, Medway’s transport revolution is spearheading its future growth and prosperity, as Paul Coleman reports

Medway on the move medway 1

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ommuting on High Speed 1 (HS1) trains at speeds of up to 140 mph will be the fastest Medway commuters will travel on UK terra firma. Since coming into service in December 2009, Southeastern’s sleek Class 395s – with wide windscreens, yellow nose cones and lightweight aluminium body-shells – have revolutionised the London commute. Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s director of regeneration, community and culture, says many Medway commuters happily pay a premium fare for HS1’s reliability, comfort and speed. And passengers report HS1 services have transformed their lives, encouraging many to buy homes and put down roots in Medway as it puts the area within easy reach of London. “Passengers are saving an hour each day and five precious hours each week,” says Cooper. “Satisfaction with the service is very high.” Southeastern High Speed achieved a 94% satisfaction rating in the rail industry’s renowned National Passenger Survey – the highest rating for a domestic commuter service in the UK. The six-car trains are built in Kasado, Japan, using technology from the bullet trains. They run on a dual voltage system, collecting electricity from overhead lines

and a third rail, while regenerative braking feeds expended power from the train back to overhead lines. All that extra power generates high speed. After a hard day’s work in London, it takes a mere seven minutes for Medway commuters to reach Stratford from St Pancras. Along the smooth ride beyond, Ford at Dagenham, the Queen Elizabeth II road bridge and Rainham Marshes swiftly appear and vanish, until commuters are dropped softly at Strood, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham less than 40 minutes after they set off. Now the trains are so good, Medway Council and Network Rail are working to improve the stations. Gillingham passengers will enjoy more circulatory space at an extended and refurbished station with a new glass entrance, a second entrance, cycle storage facilities, ticket vending machines and ticket gates. “We are also hoping to build a new Rochester station on a site nearer to the town and to Rochester Riverside,” says Cooper. The train revolution is an obvious success, but Cooper is keen to emphasise that Medway’s transport revolution focuses on improving all modes. “We’re not putting all our eggs into one basket,” says Cooper. “While people use trains

and buses, the majority use cars.” To avoid the park-and-ride formula, car parking spaces have been increased, fees reduced and firm but fair parking enforcement resolutely implemented. The Brook, a main road around Chatham town centre, is now widened to both increase traffic flow and enhance pedestrian and cycling access. Businesses are being encouraged to locate alongside the newly landscaped and flowing Brook. Improvement to bus transport is demonstrated by Chatham’s state-ofthe-art Waterfront bus station. In October 2011, bus services began operating from the £6 million hub, which sees 1,100 buses running 56 services each day. Five operators use the new station, including Arriva which runs the majority of bus services in Medway. Passengers receive real-time arrival and departure information on display boards, via GPS tracking. Even more popular is the bus station’s information centre. “You can speak to a human being who can give more detailed information,” says Cooper.


[ medway on the move ]

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Getting Medway moving

The sleek bus station, complete with toilets and topped with an eco-roof for butterflies and other insects, looks and feels like an airport. A cafe is due to open soon. It also dovetails with Chatham’s regeneration, opening up the waterfront, helping connect it to the town centre, which should make Medway’s biggest shopping area even more attractive for larger stores. But the focus is not solely on the town centre. Some 100 improved bus stops are being installed across Medway, many with shelters, bus-level access and real-time information screens. For Strood, a new Riverside bus service now links the town centre and its railway station, providing a connection to high-speed train services. It also offers transport links to the 500 or so firms on the Medway City Estate, especially vital for many younger people in skills training. Elsewhere, bus service improvements include traffic light signals in Rochester that give buses priority over cars, while half-fares for all aged under 16 will be introduced during school holidays to

encourage young people to use buses to meet their friends who live in other areas. Some buses are now Wi-Fi enabled. New cycle routes are also a high priority for Medway, which now boasts over 70 miles of cycle routes, in a mix of on-road, off-road and special green routes. A new cycle and pedestrian route now links Strood station with the Medway City Estate, while the circular Heron Trail – part of the National Cycle Network – links the villages of Higham, Cliffe, Cooling, High Halstow, Upnor and Hoo. Cooper accepts more transport resources are needed but says it’s worth reflecting on the improvements so far. “Not so long ago, the only way over the River Medway was to cross the Rochester Bridge in horrendous rush-hour traffic,” he says. Now a motorway bridge also takes the European-bound trains and the Medway Tunnel has opened up Chatham Maritime, the area’s main regeneration site. “Transport should offer people viable alternatives,” adds Cooper. “Medway has an impressive record on making sure people can move around efficiently.” M

On track: Journey time from Gillingham to London’s flagship St Pancras International station is 48 minutes; from Chatham, 43 minutes, Rochester, 41, and Strood, 35. On the road: Bluewater shopping centre can be reached from Medway in 20 minutes, the M25 in 23 minutes, the O2 arena in 39; Whitstable Beach in 38. On the buses: Bus passenger journeys have risen significantly over the past two years. Arriva figures show total passenger journeys rose from 2.1 million in Q2 2010/11 to 2.33 million in Q2 2011/12. An average of 163,000 bus passenger journeys are taken weekly across Medway – totalling 8.5 million per year. On your bike: Medway Council’s 18 strategically placed cycle counters record more than 50,000 cycle movements per month. Cycle movements have risen yearly by over 20% in the past two years.

ABOVE: Chatham Waterfront, the town’s new bus station, opened in October 2011. ABOVE LEFT: One of several operators, Arriva runs the majority of Medway’s bus services. LEFT: Well connected landscape – highspeed trains running alongside the M2 motorway.


[ pride of place ]

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Pride of place 2012 will be Medway’s year, with the Olympics in town and two huge 200-year anniversaries to celebrate. With its cultural riches too long underestimated, the stage is now set for it to show off its history and culture. And this year to remember also has potential for strong economic impact, writes Charlotte Goodworth

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edway Council has a vision for its town’s culture: ‘place, pride, prosperity and putting Medway on the map’. In 2012, this vision will be closer than ever to reality with Medway’s sporting venues chosen as official training camps for the London Olympics, the 200th anniversary of the Royal Engineers, and the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, an author with strong links to the area. A programme of largely free cultural activities associated with these milestones – as well as many other events, both established and new – will increase visitor numbers, promote the area’s heritage, support local creative industries and attract sustainable tourism and cultural

investment, collectively boosting Medway’s economy and reputation. Of all the events Medway is celebrating in 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will have the most significant impact on the local economy. As well as the Olympic Park being just 20 minutes away, Medway Park, which opened in 2010 after an £11 million refurbishment, and four other facilities in Medway have been approved by London 2012 organisers as a training base for 16 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports. Teams from Senegal, Burundi, Haiti and Barbados have also chosen it as their preparation base. Medway Park has already gained respect on the international sports scene, successfully »


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PREVIOUS PAGE: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, a major attraction in Medway. ABOVE: Olympians will train for the London 2012 games at Medway Park and Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium. CENTRE: Dickens World at Chatham Maritime entertains and engages young people with the work – and times – of the Victorian novelist. RIGHT: Fort Amherst is Britain’s largest Napoleonic fortress.

hosting the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in 2011, and as the venue for the British Transplant Games in August 2012. Such major sporting events bring numerous benefits to the area, including volunteering and sports development opportunities, an influx of visitors and worldwide investment interest. Perhaps even more importantly, this centre of sporting excellence has given local residents a fantastic community venue, helping to fulfil Medway Council’s commitment to using 2012 to help establish Medway as a centre of learning, culture, tourism and enterprise. Numerous events connected to the Olympics have been organised to encourage community participation and local pride, such as the Medway Games, a series of sporting programmes for schools and communities, the Olympic Torch Relay as it travels through Medway on 20 July, and the Medway Mile, a free-to-enter fun run, after which the opening ceremony will be shown on a big screen in Rochester Castle Gardens. Another beneficiary of Olympic largesse has been Gillingham Football Club’s Priestfield Stadium, approved by the London 2012 organisers. “We’re very much looking forward to 2012,” says Paul Scally, chairman of Gillingham FC. “We look forward to hosting Senegal, one of the competing teams in the Olympics. We’ve done an awful lot of work, the stadium is looking great and it’s all ready for them. It is good for Medway to showcase itself; that has to be a massive bonus for everyone in Medway. “We will be having joint celebrations during 2012: as well as it being 100 years since the club changed its name from

its original of New Brompton FC; it will also mark the bicentenary of the Royal Engineers in Medway.” For the Corps of Royal Engineers, 2012 is a multiple anniversary: 200 years of Royal Engineers in Brompton, 100 years of the Royal Engineers Museum, 100 years of the Royal Engineers Association, and the 25th anniversary of the Queen opening the museum. The corps is planning multiple events to celebrate. “Firstly, as part of 2012’s Armed Forces Day our corps team is playing football against Gillingham FC. It’s our intention to put a Brompton 200 team into the FA Cup – in 1875 the Royal Engineers won the FA Cup,” says Colonel Sean Harris.

“We look forward to hosting Senegal, one of the competing teams in the Olympics ... the stadium is looking great ...”


[ pride of place ]

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“Another event is an awareness tour by the museum around the local schools. The Royal Engineers have fitted into the landscape round here for the last 200 years and been a fairly major force. We designed and built the dockyards and Great Lines. To celebrate, we’re building a bridge from Great Lines to Fort Amherst, which will be finished in 2012.” Corps Secretary, Charles Holman, reiterates the impact of the Royal Engineers on the economy of Medway in 2012 and beyond. “The Royal Engineers will continue to expand and develop its relations with the local area, providing employment for many tradesmen and women. Its student body and staff are

also a potent spending force locally.” With so many significant milestones next year, Medway Council is capitalising on the opportunity to benefit local people, businesses and the economy. Council portfolio holder for community services, Councillor Howard Doe, says: “We will be organising a series of fun events throughout the year, which we hope will raise the profile of Medway and showcase all it has to offer. It’s also an opportunity to encourage people to visit, spend their money with local businesses and spread the word that our area is a great place that is worth visiting again and again.” To celebrate 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens, a series of events,

performances, talks and displays is being organised across Medway, in addition to the annual Dickens Festival. For example, a travelling Dickens conference, A Tale of Four Cities, is taking place in each of the locations in Dickens’ work, while the Guildhall Museum will hold a Dickens exhibition to which the Royal Engineers are loaning their collection of first editions. And then there is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. To celebrate, there are proposals for a river festival in June, including a university boat race, community activities on Chatham Waterfront, and six beacons as part of the 2012 beacons being lit nationally. All the usual free festivals and events

continued overleaf

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ABOVE: Gad’s Hill Place in Higham, near Rochester, bought by Charles Dickens in 1846. TOP: A restored crane at the Historic Dockyard Chatham. RIGHT: Rochester Castle, major tourist attraction and home to the Castle Concerts in July.

will also be held, including the English Festival at Riverside Country Park in April, the Sweeps Festival in May, the biggest folk and music festival of its kind in the country, and the Fuse Medway Festival in June, which celebrates the creative talent of the area. Every July, Medway sees the hugely popular Castle Concerts in the majestic grounds of Rochester Castle, drawing around 16,000 people. This summer’s line-up includes Jools Holland, Steps and Soul Party. The Castle Proms will feature classical greats from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Medway’s nomination for World Heritage Site status, backed by a vigorous campaign, is expected to be decided in 2013. Chatham’s World Heritage Site would include the Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst, Gun Wharf, Upnor Castle, the Great Lines, Brompton Village, the Royal

School of Military Engineering (Brompton Barracks) and the River Medway. Chatham is the world’s most complete example of a historic dockyard from the age of sail and the early age of steam. Chatham was instrumental in leading the world in industrial design, naval architecture and military technology. Richard Hicks, an assistant director at Medway Council, says: “We are pressing for Chatham Historic Dockyard and its defences to be the UK nomination for World Heritage Site status. “This would be fitting tribute to Chatham’s role at the forefront of British naval history for the past four centuries.” Hicks concludes, “When all this activity is added to our already impressive 28 days of free festivals and events each year, more than anywhere else in the south-east, Medway is certainly the place to be in 2012.” M

“We are pressing for Chatham Historic Dockyard and its defences to be the UK nomination for World Heritage Site status”


O PEN FOR BUSINESS MEDWAY WE’RE

”MEDWAY

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

HAS AN EXCEPTIONAL GEOGRAPHY, A RICH HERITAGE, A DYNAMIC,

CREATIVE POPULATION AND A RESURGENT ECONOMY. THESE ARE POWERFUL INGREDIENTS...” SIR TERRY FARRELL, THAMES GATEWAY DESIGN CHAMPION

Chatham Waterfront bus station – opening late summer 2011

Chatham Quays - opened 2010

Rochester Riverside, first phase of homes - started 2011

Victory Pier, first phase of homes - completed 2011

New opportunities for developers www.medway.gov.uk/medwayregeneration

01634 331323


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[ quality of life ]

Living etc

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Short commute times, low house prices and excellent education prospects mean Medway’s population is growing. Add pent-up demand and plenty of brownfield sites, and you’ve got a recipe for a housing developer’s dream. David Blackman reports

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LEFT: Ardmore Construction built The Quays at Chatham Maritime, Byrne Estates’ luxury development.

early 30 years ago, the closure of the 400-year-old Royal Naval Dockyards dealt an economic hammer blow to Medway and turned Chatham’s waterfront into a vast and very visible eyesore. Now, however, a string of regeneration projects is transforming the area, helping to open up a riverside which has been off limits for generations. Blazing the trail has been Countryside Properties, which over the past decade and a half has transformed the once heavily contaminated St Mary’s Island, part of the dockyards, into a 60-ha new community (see box on page 18). And where Countryside has led, other major house builders are queuing up to develop, thanks to Medway’s abundance of planner-friendly brownfield sites so scarce outside this part of the south-east. Persimmon Homes is on the look out for fresh sites following the success of its Medway Gate scheme in Strood (its fastest selling development in Kent), while Taylor Wimpey has a scheme at Upnor on the outskirts of Rochester. Byrne Estates has developed its prime waterfront site, The Quays at Chatham Maritime. Even upmarket residential specialist Berkeley Homes, which rarely strays beyond the confines of the M25, has ventured down to Medway with its Victory Pier development at Gillingham, and mixed-use development giants Peel Properties and Land Securities are planning big-ticket regeneration schemes in the area (see projects, page 22). So what’s the attraction? Mainly

its proximity to London, ready-to-go schemes, and the opening of the High Speed 1 (HS1) commuter rail line just over two years ago which has slashed up to half an hour off journey times from five Medway stations into London – now taking just over 30 minutes. On its way to St Pancras, HS1 also stops at Stratford International, with its direct connections to Canary Wharf – London’s second biggest office hub, and the Olympic site. Medway still benefits from pre-HS1 services into Charing Cross, London Bridge and Victoria stations. Two international stations at Ebbsfleet and Ashford in Kent give regular fast access to Europe. The area has good road links too. The A2/M2 to the south of the Medway conurbation provides easy access to Kent’s seaside towns in one direction, and the Dartford Crossing and M25 in the other. These transport connections mean a short journey to work without the hefty price tag that buying in the capital entails. The average property in Medway sold for £166,894 in the third quarter of 2011, according to the BBC, with detached properties fetching an average of £272,025 and flats £121,071. By contrast, the average property in Greater London cost nearly three times as much (£440,230). Figures like these help to explain why, according to an assessment of the north Kent housing market two years ago, the top ten sources of migration into Kent were residents from London boroughs. Not surprisingly, North Kent’s population is growing, set to increase by a sixth between 2006 and »

Medway’s heritage • The cathedral location of Rochester has been settled since Roman times. A key stop on the Pilgrim’s Way between London and Canterbury in the Middle Ages, Rochester boasts its own castle. • More hidden away is Upnor Castle, an Elizabethan river fortress two miles from Rochester city centre. • The area’s long and rich naval history is celebrated at Chatham Maritime’s Historic Dockyard Museum. • Charles Dickens was raised in the area, which featured most prominently in Great Expectations. The Dickens World theme park offers a flavour of the writer’s world, as does Medway Council’s 17th century Guildhall Museum in Rochester. • Gillingham meanwhile offers one of Medway’s three marinas and the popular Strand Park, which features a crazy golf course and a miniature railway. • Further afield, Bluewater – one of the UK’s biggest retail malls – is just 20 minutes away by car from Medway, while the O2 arena is just over twice as far. Heading in the opposite direction, Whitstable beach is less than 45 minutes away, while Paris is less than two hours from Ebbsfleet.


Rochester Riverside Rochester Riverside looked for many years like one of those regeneration projects that promised rather than delivered. This former industrial site was the subject of an extremely protracted compulsory purchase process, which was finally resolved in the early noughties. But by the time the preferred developer for the site, Crest Nicholson, had obtained planning consent, the credit crunch had intervened, rendering its scheme unviable. In 2010 Hyde Housing saw the opportunity of the project, masterplanned by leading residential architects HTA. With a £4.6 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, Hyde is building the first 73-home phase of the scheme.

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Overall, the project is designed to deliver 2,000 homes along with hotels, shops and offices, restoring Rochester’s links with its waterfront. For more information, see projects on page 25.

ABOVE: The Persimmon Homes’ energy efficient Medway Gate development at Strood is their fastest-selling in Kent.

2031, according to the Office of National Statistics. It’s a relatively young population too, which will increase due to recent expansion in tertiary education provision. Fifteen years ago, Medway did not contain a single university: now it has four. This dramatic demographic change has not been matched by housing provision. For much of the noughties, net housing completions ran beneath the target figure of 700 set out in Medway borough’s structure plan, adding up to a total shortfall of nearly 500 dwellings. Persimmon sales director Julia Price

St Mary’s Island One scheme exemplifies Medway’s regeneration: the 60-ha St Mary’s Island. This section of Chatham Dockyards was, 20 years ago, a contaminated wasteland. It is now a successful waterfront mixed community, where new four-bedroom homes sell for £399,000, well above the local average. St Mary’s Island continued to sell well in 2011. Countryside Properties has extended its investment in Medway to a fresh site in Horsted, on the site of a former further education college on the outskirts of the town. After securing planning consent for its Proctor Matthewdesigned scheme, Countryside is due to launch in the spring.

says this shortfall in development means that there is “pent-up demand” for housing in the area. There is particular demand for high-quality, detached and semi-detached homes to attract high-earning executives, with terraced housing accounting for the biggest share (38%) of the area’s housing stock, a much higher proportion than for the south-east of England as a whole. Hyde Housing assistant development director, Mike Finch, who is overseeing the development of the Rochester Riverside scheme (see box), says: “There is demand for good quality accommodation. There

is some poor quality, second-hand stock in Medway.” The 2009 housing market assessment shows that one in seven (14.8%) of Medway households live in unsuitable accommodation. There is also ‘hidden homelessness’ – people living with friends and family because they can’t afford to buy or rent a place of their own. All these statistics demonstrate the need for 15,800 dwellings over the next 15 years, including 3,300 social rented properties (500 households are already registered for the local Home Buy shared ownership scheme). M


700 acres 120 years of military activity 2 miles from North to South 1 vision... ...for a new community to take root, flourish, and branch out to existing communities. Land Securities is pleased to confirm that it has now submitted an Outline Planning Application to redevelop Chattenden Barracks and the Lodge Hill Training Area in Medway, Kent, on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. With a distinctive character and vitality grounded in the site’s unique natural and heritage assets, the benefits of Lodge Hill will radiate out beyond the site itself – providing a point of focus for Medway’s Hoo Peninsula not only in terms of services and amenities offered, but also in the higher profile representation of the Hoo Peninsula on a regional and national stage.

www.lodgehill.info


Lodge Hill page 24

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Rochester Riverside page 25

Chatham Waterfront page 26


[ site map ]

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Chatham Waters page 22

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


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Chatham Waters

The Peel Group, developer of the MediaCityUK scheme in Salford, has submitted an outline planning application to transform 10 hectares of brownfield land on part of Chatham Docks into an exciting £650 million mixed-use development. The proposed Chatham Waters mixed-use redevelopment will be employment-led, and attract £1 billion of private investment. Its 170,000sq m will include a commercial heart incorporating office

space, education facilities, the EventCity conference venue, and a hotel, alongside apartments and townhouses, plus landscaped public areas and a foodstore. The development has the potential to create 3,500 jobs. Commercial elements of the scheme will be in low-level buildings in the heart of the site, around a parkland boulevard extending through the core of the development, while residential units will be at higher levels at the dock’s edge, offering excellent waterside views. The mix of retail and leisure units,

on the lower floors below the residential part of the scheme, will bring life and activity to the waterfront. A large civic square, to be anchored by the EventCity building, will create a focal point on the quayside, while key pedestrian routes and space create linkages to adjacent developments at St Mary’s Island and Victory Pier, the university and town. At a public consultation in September 2011, 90% of the public were in support of the scheme and over 95% believed it would give the area a huge boost.


[ projects ]

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continued overleaf

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Lodge Hill

Land Securities submitted an outline planning application in October 2011 for the 285-ha Lodge Hill site on the Hoo Peninsula. The scheme has the potential to create 4,500 to 5,000 new homes, of which 30% will be affordable, together with community facilities and new employment opportunities over the next 15 to 20 years. Development will be grouped into four key areas: the central hub, which will fulfil the market town role, with high street and market square, knowledge park and secondary school; and the smaller hubs of Eastgate, Westgate and Chattenden which will provide the local services, all within walking distance of homes. The scheme will be built in phases over the 20-year development period. Over 65-ha of new parkland will be created, including a new countryside park, and two hectares of allotments. Development will be set back from sensitive woodland. A proposed food store would be surrounded by agricultural land and allotments, next to a market square, while a health centre with six GPs will also be provided, along with a range of residential accommodation for the elderly or residents with special needs. A new secondary school with a sixth

form could also include a library, sports hall, games area and football pitches, while two new primary schools could each accommodate up to 630 pupils. It’s expected to provide about 44,000sq m of new business space, of a quality and style currently unavailable in the area. It will be able to house over 3,000 employees, in all sorts of offices from incubation units to flagship headquarters. Including retail and leisure jobs, Lodge Hill is anticipated to create 5,500 new jobs. The 20-year project would be completed in three stages. The first stage, from year one to eight, would include a new access road, the countryside park, residential development and improvements to facilities at Chattenden. In the second phase, up to year 16, development will move westwards, with the remainder of the central hub created, along with the primary school at Westgate. In the final phase development will be finalised at Eastgate and Chattenden. Great Chattenden Woods, Rough Shaw Wood and Lodge Hill Wood are all Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and will not be developed. They will be protected by an ecological buffer area of between 50m and 200m.


[ projects ] Rochester Riverside

continued overleaf

»

25

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The flagship project of Medway’s regeneration, Rochester Riverside, is now making progress. Funded by Medway Council, a new £2.5 million road and footway, by FM Conway, and new utilities have enabled Hyde Housing to build 73 rental and sharedownership homes, comprising 32 one- and two-bedroom flats and a 41-unit extra-care building, designed for assisted living. Development of these homes is now under way. These first new affordable homes on the Rochester Riverside regeneration site, which will be accompanied by one retail unit, are backed by a £4.6 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, and will complete by early 2013. Once they’re finished Conway will return to add final surfaces to the road and footway. When the whole Rochester Riverside scheme is finished, this previously run-down area will have up to 2,000 new mixed-tenure homes; bars, cafes and restaurants; offices and shops; two hotels, including one with conference facilities; a new 2.5km river walk, open spaces and parks; and bridges and links to Rochester’s historic city centre. As Medway1 went to press, the council had yet to decide on a development partner or timescale for the remainder of the site. The council is hoping to invest a further £4 million in a continuation of the access road through the site, using the government’s recently announced Growing Places Fund. This will help to open it up for further development.


Chatham Waterfront

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John Lyall Architects’ regeneration scheme for Chatham’s waterfront was awarded planning permission in April 2011. The mixed-use scheme on land owned by Medway Council and A2Dominion will comprise 111 private and affordable apartments and 7,488sq m of commercial space, including an 80-bed hotel, which appears to ‘float’ on its pillars, all set in a pedestrianised landscape. The development will redefine the skyline of Chatham when seen across the river from Rochester, integrate the public waterfront with the town centre and kick start the regeneration of the wider area. The project was passed unanimously, having received widespread approval from the planning committee. Councillors remarked that the scheme was “fresh and forward looking”, “vibrant”, and that it will assist considerably in the town’s regeneration. It is likely that the owners will look to market the site later this year.


[ projects ]

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Station upgrades

Medway Council and Network Rail are working to improve stations. Passengers will enjoy more circulatory space at an extended and refurbished Gillingham station. The £2.6 million upgrade was funded through the national stations improvement programme and Community Infrastructure Fund, in partnership with Medway Council. It included extending and refurbishing the station, providing more space for passengers to move around, with a striking glass entrance allowing more natural light into the building, and upgraded toilets and

waiting rooms. New bicycle storage facilities and CCTV cameras make it more convenient and secure for passengers who cycle to the station, while a new entrance has been created on to Railway Street. The station has remained open to passengers with minimal disruption throughout construction. “We’re working with Network Rail to examine the feasibility of building a new Rochester station on a site nearer to the town and our regeneration site,” says Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s director of regeneration, community and culture.


Chatham

sula

oo Penin

ridge, H

Stoke B

tion

Bus Sta

Mott MacDonald

Global skills, local expertise

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

EN.CO

STEPH

M

AC.CO

OTTM KER@M

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

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

M

AC.CO

OTTM WWW.M


[ retail]

Great Expectations Chatham’s reinvention as a major shopping and cultural destination won’t happen overnight, but those who stay the course will love the road ahead, writes Elizabeth Pears

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C

hatham is a town in transition. For the past few years, Medway’s main shopping district has been a labyrinth of road works that sometimes frustrated residents. Like the course of true love, there’s no guarantee the road to regeneration will run smooth. The pay-off, however, promises to eclipse any short-term irritations because the most exciting chapter in Chatham’s rich history is really gathering pace – and the road works are now all finished! With the dust settling on a £20 million

two-year programme of road and other infrastructure improvements, traders and shoppers are starting to see the first flashes of the vibrant commercial and cultural quarter Chatham is destined to become. Having suffered an image issue, exacerbated by the closure of Chatham Dockyard and its defences in the eighties, Charles Dickens’ boyhood home has been crying out for rejuvenation. The good news is that Medway’s star is on the rise: its historic dockyard has been shortlisted for

World Heritage status and 2012 coincides with the bicentenary celebrations of its most famous literary son, making the area a major draw. Riverside developments like Chatham Maritime are already enjoying swathes of success, but it is Chatham’s town centre that will be at the heart of the action. Chatham is identified as having the strengths to become the go-to place for those living and working there, and also the necessary ingredients to assert itself as a regional shopping destination.

continued overleaf

»


Though competing with the likes of Kent’s gargantuan Bluewater – among the country’s largest five shopping centres – would be a very big ask for any town centre, trade in Medway’s main shopping district is good but simply hasn’t been living up to its potential. Putting this right is now the priority. A permanent solution was never going to be anything short of radical and Medway Council has risen to the occasion and committed to a 20-year regeneration project, which could be worth £6 billion. To do nothing, council leader Rodney Chambers said as he announced the ambitious vision, was simply not an option. The first major project was to open up Chatham’s waterfront which had been cut off from the rest of the town by the unattractive Sir John Hawkins flyover. The result of its demolition in 2009, helped reconnect the two areas creating more open and inviting public space and a significantly more attractive skyline. Two years earlier, Chatham was freed of its “concrete collar” – a one-way ring road – and got a two-way system that has made journeys easier and improved access to the town centre. Better bus, taxi and cycle routes were also implemented. Toni Doran, town centre manager, says: “After an extensive period of roadworks, it was difficult to see the bigger

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ABOVE: MediaCityUK was catalytic in the regeneration of Salford – its developer, Peel Group, proposes a £650 million scheme at Chatham Waters.

picture but all the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together. The change in Chatham isn’t going to happen overnight – we’re thinking 10 and 20 years in total. The important thing is that it is now happening. “The waterfront was just a goldmine of untapped potential so any plans to regenerate it and make it more accessible is a good thing for the rest of the area. We have increased the number of gateways into Chatham, which will be Medway’s flagship town centre,” adds Doran. When the proposed £650 million Chatham Waters development (see picture on page 26) at Chatham Dock is completed, the waterfront will boast new apartments, a hotel, office space, cafes and shop and a major arts/entertainment venue spanning a 10.5-ha site. It is being developed by the Peel Group, the firm behind the BBC’s MediaCityUK complex, in Salford Quays, creating 3,500 jobs. Work could begin in 2013, if planning permission is approved and would shift regeneration into fifth gear as well as attract £1 billion of private sector money. Investment on such a large scale is a positive endorsement of Chatham’s future as a destination and the group is already in negotiations with tenants for the hotel and supermarket. Additionally, Sainsbury’s has planning consent to build a new store and Tesco is

looking to expand its Chatham store. Like many firms, they are eager to capitalise on Medway’s estimated growth in population, from 250,000 to 280,000 over the next 15 years, and of the many looming changes set to put it on the map. In October 2011, the Chatham Waterfront Bus Station opened – a breath of fresh air to the out-of-date and unwelcoming bus station that stopped inside the Pentagon Shopping Centre. GPS technology means passengers are able to get up-to-date details of the 1,100 buses that pass through the new bus station each day. The experience for 60,000 passengers each week on arrival is of an ultra modern facility overlooking the River Medway. The change of location triggered a temporary loss of trade for the shopping centre, but there is a long-term strategy factoring in the future waterfront developments, which will be connected to the town centre and, more importantly, frees up space for the proposed expansion of the Pentagon. Based in the heart of the town centre, the Pentagon offers shoppers a competitive choice of 80 shops hosting high street stalwarts like Boots, New Look, The Body Shop and Burtons / Dorothy Perkins. It is set to increase by a further 14,900sq m, paving the way for more


[ retail]

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variety and allowing it to expand on its leisure and food facilities which already include 10-pin bowling – ideal for families and young people – plus a number of cafes where friends can meet for a coffee or relax in between bouts of shopping. Martyn Stone, director at Pentagon Centre, said: “This year we’ve undertaken a marketing campaign with the Chatham Town Centre Forum and Medway Council, to promote the area to customers who may not have visited for a while. “The council’s regeneration work represents a positive desire to improve the town centre and we hope it will be one of many significant investments Chatham will see over the coming years.” The Pentagon currently attracts over 200,000 visitors a week – reaching 300,000 in peak festive periods – drawn in by the other delights of the high street, which stretches from Gundulph Road to Luton Arches. Here, shoppers bargain-hunt in value-for-money stores,

Chatham is a one-stop shop and very affordable, which is important just now. Everything you need is within a short distance ... With time, it will be even better” including an award-winning flagship Primark, TK Maxx and Debenhams. As well as high-street brands, Chatham has retained many independent stores such as its oldest family-owned business Varley Electrical, which was established in 1949, Red Menswear and music shops like Sound & Image, which boasts two floors of CDs, second-hand vinyls and a guitar collection. Nearby is the Dockside Outlet Centre, housed in a £63 million Grade II-listed dockyard boiler house, offering designer products at affordable rates. It opened in 2003 on the Chatham Maritime estate – which is also home to the Odeon cinema complex, Dickens World visitor attraction

and the Ramada Encore Hotel. Doran adds: “Chatham is a one-stop shop and very affordable, which is important just now. Everything you need is within a short distance, making Chatham a great place to visit. With time, it will be even better.” Just a few miles east of Chatham is Rochester (pictured above), the perfect antidote to the attack of the clones that has sanitised many of Britain’s high streets of all character. Global brands have pushed out independent traders but Rochester’s high street is a breath of fresh air: old sweet shops selling treats by the pound, independent boutiques, England’s largest

continued overleaf

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“Why would you go to a high street where everything is the same? Rochester is not just about shopping – it’s an experience”


[ retail] LEFT: Chatham’s Dockside Outlet Centre has an array of leading brands at discount prices, and is set in a Grade ll-listed Victorian former dockyard boiler house.

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second-hand book store and vintage shops selling sought-after collectors items – silk scarves ordered from Paris or Christian Dior chandelier earrings, circa 1970. Rochester’s cobbled streets offer an enticing fusion of food, fashion, art and history, all just a 34-minute journey from St Pancras International on high-speed rail, making it a favourite among tourists and day-tripping Londoners. Godfrey George, owner of Baggins Book Bazaar, says: “Why would you go to a high street where everything is the same? Rochester is not just about shopping – it’s an experience. “Shopping in Rochester has thrived throughout the recession because we have built around the Dickens Summer Festival and the Dickens Christmas Market which helps us to attract new customers to the area,” adds George. “Rochester has its own character and charm and that’s what makes a high street successful.” Highlights include the wonderful Elizabeth’s of Eastgate, a French bistro serving up award-winning food made of locally-sourced ingredients. The 16th century building is also mentioned as the home of Pip’s Uncle Pumblechook in Charles Dickens’ famous novel, Great Expectations. Capture the Castle is a haven for home furnishings and accessories and among shelves of scented candles, soft throws, lanterns and picture frames, the boutique has a gorgeous in-house cafe serving English teas, freshly-baked cakes and delicious homemade soups.

Owners Philippe and Anke Hatch source their products from suppliers in Denmark, Germany, France and Morocco; their ethos is to give customers an ethical alternative to mass produced goods that proliferate on the high streets. Violet Hardiman, from Kent, says: “My husband and I come down to Rochester a few times a year, normally looking for gifts for friends – anniversaries, birthdays,

things like that – and we always get good feedback. Because the presents are usually unique, it makes them more special. It’s not just something we’ve grabbed from down the road. “It makes a lovely day out and we find that we never see the same thing twice,” she adds. “The stock is always so different. Most importantly, it reminds us of the old high streets but with a modern twist.” M


Medway by numbers Facts and figures about Medway’s population and investment in regeneration, its economy and transport links

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‘The five Medway towns possess an exceptional geography, a rich heritage, a dynamic, creative population and a resurgent economy’ Terry Farrell

Historic Dockyard

has the greatest concentration of listed buildings in the country

2007 London 34 minutes

by high speed train from

Medway to

80,000+ people

attend the annual

2008 31% 2001

Dickens festival

in Rochester

– increase in Medway’s economy between

2001 and 2008

1765

Britain’s most famous wooden warship

HMS Victory,

Admiral Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar,

was built and launched at Chatham Dockyard in 1765


2021 280,000 Medway is the largest urban area

[ markets ]

in the south-east outside London, with a population set to increase to

200th anniversary

2012 in 2012 celebrated by the

Royal Engineers,

whose regimental HQ is in Chatham

3 new academies Strood: £29.27 million Bishop of Rochester: £25.39 million Brompton: £24.35 million

under construction, plus a new

University Technology College out for consultation

£2.8 billion per year –

what Medway economy is worth

more than 13,000 businesses

2010 Medway:

Britain’s second safest authority

for road accidents in 2010

4th time in a row in the

top 10

2011 – honours all round

Rodney Chambers OBE Leader of Medway Council Bill Ferris OBE Chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust Medway bands and musicians

The Acquitaine Progression, Bender Crack Corn, Slap Alice, Porch Swing Blues, Lupen Crook and the Smoke Fairies, the Bresslaws, Archie Wah Wahs, Groovy Uncle further and higher education

Four universities and a new MidKent College, all based in Medway

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Brain gain medway 1

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Universities and colleges employ highly trained, specialist staff and often house state-of-the-art facilities. But these assets are no longer reserved just for students, as colleges are using them to make innovative contributions to Medway’s economy and the area around it. Jessica Pickard reports

I

OPPOSITE: At the Universities at Medway campus the Drill Hall Library combines modern design with a heritage building.

n these leaner times for business, when a company needs to fine tune a product or reduce operating costs, it may find just the expertise it needs by putting in a call to the local college. “That’s what I did,” says Mark Heselgrave, owner of online retailer Funzee, “And I was very pleased with what happened.” Funzee produces leisure clothing but despite being a successful and growing Medway company, Heselgrave makes a surprising point: “We are marketing experts, not specialists in garment construction.” That’s where staff at the University for the Creative Arts came in. The research and enterprise department runs Edge, which generates income for the university by selling its expertise and services within a range of industry sectors. Edge assigned its consultant, Denise Ward, a lecturer who is a textiles expert with 23 years of experience in industry – including Karen Millen, Whistles, Marks & Spencer and Laura Ashley – to work with Mark. They were able to develop a standard sizing chart for his all-in-one Funzee lounging suits – just like a babygrow for adults – as he had found that too many were being returned due to sizing. These garments are made in Sri Lanka and India and the Edge consultant helped draw up designs and specifications to make their manufacture more accurate.

She was able to advise on sizing, the right fabric mixes and on labelling. “I’d definitely go back to UCA again,” says Heselgrave. “There is a great depth of knowledge there. I think it’s just a shame more people don’t know about these services.” “Lack of awareness of all that colleges have to offer is a barrier,” agrees Claire Bridger, who has been a training consultant at MidKent College for nine years. “People don’t realise the wealth of professional consultancy available.” She cites the college’s Business Improvement Techniques, a service that recently helped a local company save £2.3 million in six months. The scheme sends teams of college staff out to companies to train small groups to become alert to where money could be saved. The Telegraph Group at Chatham is just one company to have benefited from this approach. “We used these perspectives on ourselves too,” says Bridger. “As a result we no longer print thousands of pages of training specifications that keep changing and need reprinting on a regular basis. Now we keep the information on memory sticks and just wipe it off when it’s not relevant. It saves a lot of paper, storage space and labour time.” All Medway’s colleges have business support departments and, to some extent, these have started to stand in for local services that have been lost. The »


[ training and skills ]

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RIGHT: Just like a babygrow for adults – that’s Funzee. ABOVE RIGHT and OPPOSITE: Students in further and higher education are acquiring the skills employers need. BELOW: The Edge consultancy team advises businesses.

regional development authority, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), closed down in early 2012, together with its research function. Other local advisory services like Business Link have been scaled back. “Now universities are trying to help fill the gap on innovation and business growth,” says Carole Barron, director of innovation and enterprise at the University of Kent. “There’s been a complete change of focus and a real drive to talk to business about the issues they face and how we can help,” she says. “There’s much more openness in these relationships and more collective work. We can really help businesses grow in these challenging times.” As part of this drive, Kent University’s Business School recently launched its BIG initiative – Business Improvement and Growth. The service aims not just for greater knowledge but ‘real behaviour change’. Strategies include sending out teams of experts, customised training, master classes and seminars that encourage peer-to-peer exchanges between companies facing similar problems. One of those convinced by the results is Martin Daniell, managing director of Siegrist Orel at Broadstairs. This company produces specialist equipment for trains and planes operating in harsh conditions. Daniell credits assistance from the university for helping to produce £600,000 of extra income. But how do institutions dedicated to teaching get their information about what local companies need and want? “Nowadays we have to be very flexible and entrepreneurial,” says Bridger. She and her colleagues carry out extensive networking, keep in close touch with the local Chamber of Commerce and buy labour market intelligence for the whole of the south-east. As well as monitoring which companies are moving into the area, they track, for example, planned changes in land use. This strategy brought to light a potential project by a

Danish company to build wind turbines on the Isle of Sheppey that could bring 2,000 new jobs. Bridger made contact with the company in Denmark to begin a discussion that could see changes to the college curriculum. “Courses have to keep up with changes in employment and in technology,” she says, citing the recent developments in learning about solar panels, bio mass energy and smart meter reading. Many students are, of course, already employed before they start college. Gordon Thompson, a director of water treatment company, Chemidose, has supported two students through NVQ-based apprenticeships at MidKent. “Obviously you do pay a bit because, if the person has day release, you are still paying that day’s wages”. But Chemidose is a growing company and Gordon was keen that Andrew Harland, its first apprentice, would gain his qualifications as an electrician in the context of work experience related to water treatment. “What we needed was a bit more specialist than just a qualified electrician – so the package worked well for us.” To support the national drive to create more apprenticeships, Medway Council

“In most parts of the economy about 30% of employees are graduates but in the creative sectors, it’s closer to 80%”


[ training and skills ]

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has launched its GAPs Initiative. Small to medium sized businesses – defined here as those employing fewer than 50 people – can now receive £2,000 per apprentice (up to two per firm) as a contribution to that person’s wages or training costs. Sectors targeted by the scheme include construction, engineering, sports, creative industries, care and tourism. Like the rest of Britain, Medway has suffered economic losses recently, particularly in its service and financial sectors. At the same time, however, there has been a concerted effort to grow its cultural industries. This is visible in publications like Made in Medway, which publicises the work of local artists in this ambitious project, Medway Council and other stakeholders, to develop a derelict building – an old joiners shop in Chatham’s Dockyard – as an incubator hub for self employed artists. Uwe Derksen is assistant director of research and enterprise at the University of the Creative Arts and is also completing a PhD in regeneration and the cultural industries. He is convinced of the importance of the creative sector to the area’s long-term prosperity: “Creative industries have been active in this area

for a long time and have roots here. There are a number of government studies that underline the growing contribution made by the creative industries to the national GDP and showing that they are more resistant to recession.” Derksen presents a strong case for the link between this sector and high-level training. “In most parts of the economy about 30% of employees are graduates but in the creative sectors, it’s closer to 80%. “It’s a high skills area and we need to produce highly skilled graduates for the knowledge-based economy to help this industry compete nationally and internationally,” says Derksen. “Medway training colleges and universities are key to tackling current economic challenges,” according to Katherine Harvey, senior policy adviser at Thames Gateway Kent Partnership. “These organisations, along with the local employment partnership, are central to attract new high value, hi-tech business to the area. Upskilling the local workforce, making the most of our excellent educational institutions and linking them yet further to the local economy will be a key plank in the area’s future. There’s enormous potential here.” M


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Made in Medway Medway’s small businesses rub shoulders with a surprising number of big name manufacturers, creating opportunities along the supply chain. Mark Smulian meets some of the success stories

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edway is a well-connected place in which to do business. It’s at the heart of the Thames Gateway regeneration area, close to London, is served by the M2 motorway and is near to the M20 and to the M25, which in turn gives local firms access by road to the rest of the UK. That network also puts it in easy distance of the rest of the UK for road distribution and the Channel ports for export by sea. Medway will also be just a short drive from the massive container port planned to open at London Gateway across the Thames in Thurrock in late 2013. It is also close to Ebbsfleet‘s High Speed 1 station for trains to London, Paris and Brussels and onward connections by rail on the continent.

For businesses that use goods moved by water, the River Medway can oblige, as it runs through the area. Unlike much of southern England, the Medway area has a tradition of business and manufacturing and has a skills base to match. It has long been a thriving industrial area in its own right, and not a dormitory for London. The area has numerous industrial estates located close to the road network and, more unusually, some 140 businesses are working in the Historic Dockyard at Chatham. These advantages have long attracted businesses to Medway, and have retained them there when they start to grow. This is what four of these local success stories have to say about why they stayed in Medway.


[ made in medway ]

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North Kent Joinery Appropriately for a company that works with wood, North Kent Joinery is housed in the Brunel Saw Mill at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, a building designed by Marc Brunel, father of the celebrated engineer IK Brunel. Not every company, after all, gets to work in a scheduled ancient monument that is Grade I-listed. North Kent Joinery was founded 27 years ago by woodworkers already working in the Medway area. The company’s formation coincided with the closure of the dockyard and with spare space readily available, it moved into the former Wheelwright’s Shop. That was later converted to a tea shop for visitors, and the company then moved to its present home. “It is fitting that a business concerned with joinery production is located in the Brunel Saw Mill,” says company secretary Kathy Collins. She explains North Kent Joinery’s role: “From our workshop we provide a wide range of bespoke architectural joinery and specialist doorsets, all to the customer’s own design specifications. Many of our customers are architects, builders and surveyors, and we are often asked to recreate heritage joinery on listed property projects.” Indeed, the company’s work can be seen in the new wing at Silverstone Motor Racing Course, the University of Kent and the restoration of a 16th century

Gatehouse to Shurland Hall, on the Isle of Sheppey, a manor house associated with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Such a diverse output needs good road communications, which is where Medway scores as a location. “Medway is such a hub, a focal point, and very easy for people to find and get to and from,” Collins says. “Most of our joinery is distributed in the south-east and around London by the motorway network, which we can reach easily from here. “We also occasionally export to Europe, including to Norway, France and Spain,” Collins adds. The company does not import timber directly but sources it from a number of suppliers, who import from many countries; the good motorway links enable suppliers to easily make deliveries. North Kent Joinery views itself as part of the Medway community, sourcing goods and services whenever possible from local companies. It also supports a local charity, the Home-Start Medway group, which recruits and trains volunteers who offer support to parents with young children. North Kent Joinery employs 15 skilled woodworkers and benefits from a stable workforce, most of whom are local people. “Whenever we do need to recruit we are able to find the people we need as there is always a good skill base in Medway,” Collins says.

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L Robinson (Jubilee Clips) The humble Jubilee worm drive hose clip was invented in 1921 by Commander Lumley Robinson, and nearly a century later the company is still in Medway making the clips and other engineering products, led by the commander’s great-grandson Ian Jennings. The company operates from a 3,700sq m facility in Gillingham from which it produces and distributes some 580 different product types. It success has seen it take about half of the UK hose clip market and it also exports to Europe – in particular Germany, Holland and Poland and more widely the Middle East and East Asia markets. Jennings explains: “We’ve been here a long time and have bought a new site at Pier Road. We decided to stay when we consolidated the five previous sites we had locally into one. “There are good infrastructure links here, as we are connected to the M2 in both directions, which we need as we export globally. “We use the road network through to the M25 for UK sales, the Channel ports for Europe, and container shipping to important markets in the Middle East, Japan and the USA, for which we use

Southampton and Felixstowe ports,” explains Jennings. “We are well connected to Southampton, and as well connected to Felixstowe as anyone can be!” Jennings comments that the Medway location enables him to be at the company’s German offices and warehouse much faster than he can get to many parts of the UK. The UK hose clip market is a mature one, and accounts for about half of the sales of Jubilee Clips. It now also views Europe as part of its home market, with a particular presence in Germany, Holland and Poland. L Robinson employs in the region of 130 people, many of whom are skilled engineering staff. “In the past we would have recruited many of them from the dockyards and the Royal Engineers, which turned out apprentices, but we now work with local training firms as we need toolmakers, designs skills, mathematics and things like woodworking, for the maintenance of the building,” Jennings says. He admits that skilled labour is less plentiful than in the days of the docks, but Jennings says he can still find in Medway all the skilled people to meet the company’s needs.


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Kitchen To Table Kitchen to Table is unusual in being an internet-based business that also operates a showroom for customers. Owner Mike Moloney set it up after working for 20 years as a finance director in the food industry and chose Medway as his location. “I have business partners in Portugal who wanted premises well placed to serve both the UK and northern Europe,” he says. “So, I needed to be near to the M25, the Channel Ports and Ebbsfleet station and this area did all of that. I live nearby in Meopham, so I know it.” He chose a 370sq m warehouse at Stirling Park, near Rochester airport in 2009, which is only one and half miles from the M2. Moloney points out that Ebbsfleet can

be reached in only 16 minutes from central London so he can collect trade customers from there by car to visit his showroom and warehouse, and they can be there and back to London quickly. The same can be done for customers arriving from France and Belgium. Kitchen To Table sells kitchenware, cutlery, glassware, utensils and catering equipment, 75% of it via the internet and the rest to trade and personal customers. “We export to Sweden, France, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe and mostly use couriers who will go through the Channel ports, while the M25 locates us well for everything,” Moloney says. The road network also makes it convenient for suppliers to deliver by road from Portugal and elsewhere in the UK. Kitchen to Table works closely with Medway’s catering colleges. “We’ve got a demonstration kitchen where clients can see our products and also see it laid out in a table setting, since presentation is everything in this business,” Moloney says. “Sales are mainly through catalogues, but that is not the same as being able to touch, feel and see the materials.” »


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Veetee Rice This international processor and seller of rice started life in London but arrived in Medway 20 years ago, when expansion meant that it needed a waterside location to import rice from around the world. Chairman Moni Varma was offered a large grant to choose Cardiff but opted instead for Medway, with no such inducement, for family reasons. “When we moved here we used to import rice from around the world, which would be taken to Rotterdam or other ports and broken into smaller loads to be brought in by barge, so I needed a site by water and at Medway we have our own jetty,” Varma says. “We have facilities for handling 120,000 tonnes an hour. And we now source it from all over the world.”

Rice is nowadays imported in shipping containers and delivered by road: “So I don’t really need the wharf any more, but it is important that we are near to motorways,” he says. The rice is brought to Medway, where it is milled, processed, cooked, packed and sent out again around the world. Varma has consolidated his three previous sites on to one and is now seeking more land on which to further expand his business. Veetee employs about 200 people and, says Varma, “There has been no problem in finding the skilled workers we need in Medway – never has been.” Veetee Rice is now one of the UK’s largest suppliers of rice to grocers, and also has factories in India and Pakistan. It exports to more than 50 countries. M


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

Environmentally certified timber Quality hardwoods and softwoods Cladding, flooring and decking Structural and restoration timber Selected by experts and machined to your specification

Call us on 01634 290909 www.morgantimber.co.uk Morgan Timber Knight Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 2BA

MORGAN TIMBER Timber Merchants, Importers & Sawmillers

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

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


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The military has been central to Medway’s economy for the past 400 years. Today, in uncertain economic times, the Royal Engineers are one of its greatest assets. Estates Gazette’s Nick Whitten reports for duty

ABOVE: Medway’s military and naval history, comemmorated here in Great Lines Park. ABOVE RIGHT: A Sapper at Barker Crossing over the River Derwent at Workington, Cumbria, where the Royal Engineers built the temporary bridge after the floods.

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ike any major university city the Medway’s towns are indebted to students to help keep the local economy ticking over. But unlike most university cities, 4,000 of its students are military trainees. Medway is the home of the Royal Engineers – or Sappers as they are more commonly known – who have been present in every conflict involving British Forces since the late 18th century. Established in Chatham in 1812 by Major Charles Pasley as the Royal Engineer Establishment, it was renamed the School of Military Engineering in 1868, with the ‘Royal’ prefix added in 1962. The Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) runs courses for 4,000 students a year, equivalent to 6% of the population of Chatham. It is the

largest residential construction college in Europe, currently running 675 courses a year. More than 10% of its trainees gain civilian qualifications, with many going on to use those new skills working in the local economy. The college, based at Brompton Garrison, provides training in all engineering disciplines, including skills often recycled back into the local economy, such as the command and management of engineer tasks, technical and professional engineering, communications, driving specialist engineering vehicles and electrical skills and bricklaying. The purchasing power of the RSME trainees is of course vital to the local economy. Over the years businesses have flocked to the area, providing

Brompton Garrison with banks, estate agents, solicitors, opticians, launderettes, dry cleaners, pubs, restaurants, vets, florists, travel agents and electrical goods suppliers, all within minutes. And of course local schools, leisure centres, shopping centres, cinemas and supermarkets also all benefit. The RSME also directly contributes to Medway’s economy, being one of its five largest employers, run in partnership with Holdfast Training Services in a 30-year public private partnership (PPP) deal, which began in January 2009. Holdfast and its subcontractors employ approximately 825 people in Medway. MidKent College provides a range of training services on contract for the RSME through its subsidiary MKC Training Services (MKCTS).


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Managing director Andrew Brader says: “MKCTS is able to offer a diverse range of exciting career opportunities for all kinds of people. When fully staffed, it employs about 230 people – all based in the RSME at Brompton Barracks in Chatham. “These staff come from a wide variety of construction and engineering backgrounds, and although many have not previously worked in education, all share a desire to pass on their skills and knowledge to others,” says Brader. “At the RSME, staff have an exciting opportunity to work with the military – in particular with a regiment whose history has touched the lives of many and is inextricably tied to major achievements in engineering.” The Holdfast PPP contract also involves construction of four junior-

“The World Heritage Site will link Medway’s outstanding international cultural legacy with its vibrant future”

rank, single accommodation blocks, as well as the modification of the school’s infrastructure, providing a much-needed boost to the local construction industry, which will last until 2015. The site of the RSME is also of great cultural importance to the area. As well as being home to the Royal Engineers Museum (with more than one million objects related to the history of the Corps of Royal Engineers), just one of many military tourist contributors to the economy, Chatham’s historical military importance has led to the town’s dockyard and defences being nominated for World Heritage status, a key element of which will be Brompton Barracks’ many listed buildings and the museum. A steering group made up of 12 key stakeholders including Medway Council,

the RSME, English Heritage and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust will submit a formal dossier to UNESCO. Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s director of regeneration, community and culture says: “The World Heritage Site will link Medway’s outstanding international cultural legacy with its vibrant future. Medway is poised to become an international beacon of regeneration and heritage excellence.” Admiral Sir Ian Garnett KCB, chairman of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust adds that World Heritage status would be a fitting tribute to the thousands of Medway men and women that built the town’s international maritime heritage. “World Heritage Site status will be a permanent source of pride in Chatham’s past, and inspiration for its future.” »


RIGHT: RSME soldiers practice lining a ditch, used to prevent attacks from explosive devices. BELOW: The Crimea Arch at RSME. BELOW: RSME mechanic works on an armoured vehicle.

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“Royal Engineers came to the rescue after devastating floods hit Cumbria”

Ancient history The crossing point between the ancient Watling Street and the River Medway in Rochester has been home to a defensive fortification since pre-Roman times, and was the site of a major battle in 43AD between Emperor Claudius’ invading legions and the locals. Later the Normans chose the site to build Rochester Castle in 1090 with its mighty 113ft-high tower-keep, built of Kentish ragstone, added circa 1127. Today the castle is in the guardianship of English Heritage and is one of the best-preserved and finest examples of Norman architecture in England. Chatham Dockyards For more than 400 years, Chatham Dockyard and naval base played a crucial role in supporting the Royal Navy in the defence of Britain and the development of the Empire and Commonwealth. In 1588, Chatham prepared the ships of the Elizabethan Navy for battle against the Spanish Armada. The end of the Cold War led to its closure in 1984. The 32-ha site has 47 scheduled ancient monuments – the highest concentration in the country – and after investment of over £50 million, the site is now home to a mixed-use community with 112 homes and 142 businesses. It now brings in

more than 160,000 visitors a year, and was voted large tourist attraction of the south-east category at Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards in November 2011. Fort Amherst Another popular attraction is Fort Amherst on Dock Road, Britain’s largest Napoleonic fortress set up to defend Chatham Dockyard. It showcases more than 300 years of military history and includes a network of underground passageways, historic buildings and gun emplacements all set in 20 acres of parkland. The site is popular with re-enactment groups looking to recreate battles, while the fort also runs ghost tours through its infamous haunted tunnels.The venue also provides a spectacular and popular location for weddings and can cater for up to 100 guests. Modern times It was the Royal Engineers who came to the rescue after devastating floods hit Cumbria in 2009. They went straight into action to design and build Barker Crossing, a temporary footbridge over the River Derwent in Workington. It was named in memory of PC Bill Barker, who was tragically killed when the Northside Bridge was swept away.


This section showcases Medway’s four universities; what they offer students, local businesses, the regional economy and, importantly, what they offer Medway.

Learning matters With four universities emerging in Medway over the past 18 years, the region now proudly produces a range of professionals in subjects as diverse as fashion, health, law and engineering continued over page

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Providing higher education and innovation for the public services

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AD_111873_Uni_Medway Matters:Layout 1

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COME TO KENT / BE INSPIRED AND CHALLENGED Kent offers academic excellence, inspirational teaching and a superb student experience. Our vibrant and modern Medway campus offers: • Outstanding teaching, academic resources and facilities • An exceptional level of personal support • State-of-the-art student residences at Liberty Quays, close to the campus • Great riverside location only 30 minutes from London • £6m financial student support package • Full and part-time degrees available

Come along to one of our Open Days to find out more

www.kent.ac.uk/openday

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education extra The University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University are two major higher education institutions which make a significant impact on Medway and its surrounding communities. Both based at Chatham Maritime, their campuses help generate over a billion pounds for the South East economy. As major businesses in the region they contribute significantly to the economic regeneration of the area, helping to create 11,844 jobs in the South East. Canterbury Christ Church – 50 years of success Each year, Canterbury Christ Church University’s Medway Campus attracts hundreds of students, many of them becoming nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and teachers for Medway. In fact, Canterbury Christ Church University is the south-east’s largest provider of courses for public service careers outside of London. But the impact the University has on the local area does not stop there. In 2010 alone, Christ Church made a £450 million impact on the south-east’s economy. Furthermore, 67% of students finishing their course at Medway stayed in Kent and Medway to work, reinvesting their skills, knowledge and income back into the local economy. Last year, Christ Church students also spent over 15,000 hours volunteering in the community. With over 1,800 students at the Medway Campus, the University continues to go from strength to strength, providing education opportunities for local people. University of Kent As a major regional economic force throughout the region, the University of Kent has for many years supported the regeneration of Medway. It operates a multi-million pound campus at Chatham Maritime and is in the process of developing a number of buildings at the Historic Dockyard. Recent research highlighted the £0.6 billion economic worth of the University to the south-east – a figure that has doubled over the past five years. The research shows just how much the region benefits from the impact of the activities of the University. These activities include teaching, research, innovation and enterprise, hosting conferences and other events, and contracting local suppliers. The massive contribution to the region comes from both the direct and knock-on effects of the University’s activities and also the spending power of its students, many from outside the area, who contribute £211 million of the total to the region’s economy. Its 1,800 students at Medway study subjects ranging from business, computer science, journalism and law through to pharmacy and sports science.

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Greenwich Research & Enterprise

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

• Specialist equipment and facilities

• Staffing and support

• Problem solving

• Access funding

• Consultancy

• Training and development

• Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

• Technology development

• Student placements

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

enterprise@gre.ac.uk

www.gre.ac.uk/enterprise


education extra University of Greenwich – Innovation Centre Medway

To find out more about the Innovation Centre Medway, visit http:// innovationcentremedway.co.uk/. For more information on the wide range of business support available through the University of Greenwich go to www.gre.ac.uk/enterprise, call 020 8331 7867 or email enterprise@gre.ac.uk

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The Innovation Centre Medway (ICM), a partnership between the University of Greenwich and Medway Council, is here to help businesses in the south-east of England grow, offering support and advice. Open round the clock, every day of the year, the 30,000 sq ft Innovation Centre Medway offers state-of-the-art serviced facilities for up to 60 start-up innovative and potentially high-growth businesses. One of the key aims of Innovation Centre Medway is to meet the business development needs of start-up businesses and help them succeed. ICM offer support services designed to boost the growth of these companies – ranging from cost effective, flexible, managed office space to business advice, integrated telecommunications, broadband internet access and networking facilities. ICM also aims to stimulate innovation, product and process development and technology transfer which will enhance growth, creativity, customer satisfaction and market share both nationally and internationally for all its clients. Through the ICM’s network of associates, they can also assist businesses in finding the right people to develop and grow the business including access to an innovative pay on success package providing experienced interim management who will help you grow and raise finance for your business. The business support services at the Innovation Centre Medway have been awarded the prestigious BIC (Business Innovation Centre) quality mark and are now officially in the European Business Network (EBN). It is the only business support centre in the south-east, outside London, with BIC and EBN recognition. The network opens up opportunities for local businesses to link up through the Innovation Centre Medway with accredited organisations and facilities across mainland Europe, as well as in other parts of the country, to develop their services, products and markets. Entrepreneurs using the centre have access to regular mentoring support to assist with all aspects of setting up a business including business planning, market research, and sources of funding as well as special events and master classes.


Tonic: Creative Business Project mixes creativity and business in a range of free, innovative courses offered in an accessible way. For those working in the creative industries there are business courses that will help you to manage, market and present your ideas.

All courses are taken from higher education programmes and if successfully completed can attract credits that may aid entry to courses at colleges and universities. Tonic courses are free and are offered at times to suit those who work or are studying. Applications are welcome from everyone and entry is by informal interview.

To find out more contact: Tonic Creative Business Project Fort Pitt, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1DZ T: +44 (0)1634 888722 Email: jbrazier@ucreative.ac.uk www.tonic-project.co.uk

original brand design - www.steverowland.co.uk

Whether you are considering higher education, looking for ways to improve you business or your career, or you are thinking about a career change; Tonic may have a course for you.


education extra Tonic – a winning formula for local business One thing that any creative business needs in a rapidly changing world, is access to high-quality, low-cost training that keeps up with the latest developments in business and creativity. To meet this need in Kent and Medway, the Tonic Creative Business Project was set up in 2008 and led by the University for the Creative Arts. More than 600 students have taken 26 different Tonic courses since the launch with 79% seeing a direct benefit to their career. A recent example is Tiffany Pisani, the winner of Britain’s Next Top Model in October 2010. Tiffany wanted to use her international modelling career as a platform on which to establish a swimwear and lingerie line in 2012. She recognised that the complexities of running her own creative business would be considerable so she signed up for Tonic’s Business Planning for Creatives workshop. Tiffany is full of praise for the Tonic staff and tutors ‘The tutors and staff are really friendly and the Tonic courses provide you with all the information you need to know,’ said Tiffany, ‘if you want to know more about creating your own business join Tonic’. Tonic mixes creativity and business in a range of innovative courses, from Marketing and Photography to Creative IT and Entrepreneurship, offered in an accessible way. All courses are taken from higher education programmes and, if students successfully complete the assessments, they can attract credits that may also aid entry to colleges and universities. Tonic courses are offered at times to suit those in work or studying. In addition, Tonic runs networking events and one-day workshops which can help creatives develop their own professional networks. Also the Tonic:the Club membership scheme, launched in January 2011, has proved popular among small traders and larger employers, who want access to free and reduced-cost courses, which can boost their creative business practice and the bottom line. Whether you are considering higher education, looking for ways of improving your business or your career opportunities, or thinking about a career change, there will be a Tonic course for you. Applications are welcome from everyone, entry is by informal interview. To find out more contact: Tonic Creative Business Project Fort Pitt, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1DZ T: +44 (0)1634 888722 Email: jbrazier@ucreative.ac.uk www.tonic-project.co.uk

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Medway1 #4  

Medway1 #4 was published in April 2012. The magazine provides updates on developments and investment in this aspiring city in Kent, England,...

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