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issue 1 2008 medway making history

medway 1 On the waterfront Page 7 Project by project – what’s happening Page 17 Terry Farrell talks Thames Gateway Page 34 Art in the right place Page 49

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contents issue#01_summer ‘08

medway 1 Editor: Sarah Herbert sarah@3foxinternational.com Deputy editor: Kirsty MacAulay kirsty@3foxinternational.com Art editor: Terry Hawes terry@3foxinternational.com Advertisement sales: Paul Gussar paul@3foxinternational.com Production: Rachael Schofield rachael@3foxinternational.com


Office manager: Sue Mapara sue@3foxinternational.com Managing director: Toby Fox toby@3foxinternational.com Printed by: Tradewinds Images: Dea Sasitorn/last refuge. co.uk, Ranscombe Farm, University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church University, Stuart Thomas Photography, Michael Walter/Troika, LCR/QA Photos, E.ON UK, Newscast, IPS International, Medway Council, Medway Renaissance, SEEDA, RollsRoyce, Llewelyn Davies Yeang. Published by: 189 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TB T: 020 7978 6840 F: 020 7978 6837 For Medway Renaissance Medway Council Eastgate House High Street Rochester Kent ME1 1EW 01634 337154 Head of Medway Renaissance Brian Weddell Regeneration PR manager John Ryall Subscriptions and feedback: www.medway1.com © 3Fox International Limited 2008. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written ­permission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly ­forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no ­responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this ­magazine are not ­necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited or Medway Renaissance.

07 I ntroduction

With a spectacular river location, maritime heritage, and determination to succeed, Medway’s time has come.

14 Map

Topography, main projects under way and points of interest.

17 P rojects

A round-up of the biggest and best projects transforming Medway’s five towns, and their all-important river frontage.

34 D esign

Terry Farrell, design director of the Thames Gateway, tells us why design has to be at the heart of Medway’s renaissance.


37 L earning

Central to the area’s economic regeneration is the university campus, home to three regional universities.

42 E nergy

From LNG to wind power, energy is driving Medway’s future.

49 C reative

Over the past decade, artists and designers have been quietly making Medway into a creative centre.



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The tram has also boosted investors’ confidence in Croydon, according to Martin Simmons, former chief planner at the Greater London Authority.

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a river runs Through it The river – site of historic dockyards and industries – was Medway’s lifeblood. Now, after years of slow decline, it will be at the heart of its renaissance and the source of a new prosperity.



Medway’s future...

www.medwayrenaissance.com ...just a click away

[ introduction ]

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new horizons A new city is taking shape in north Kent. Five towns, clustered around the River Medway, are together set to become a new centre for culture, retail and innovation, drawing on the area’s heritage and location, and putting Medway on the map.


t’s at the heart of the Thames Gateway, only 30 miles from central London, and - as the same size as Newcastle - is the largest conurbation between the capital and the coast. It has a scenic river flowing through it, is surrounded by countryside, and is home to both a young and diverse population and a dockyard of such historic importance that it’s being considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Yet most people would be hard pressed to place the Medway area on a map. But this is all set to change, with a regeneration programme started 10 years ago finally coming to fruition. Its ambition to become bigger than Nottingham, and the biggest city in the Thames Gateway, with a population increased by 20% to 300,000, is looking a certainty.

The area – comprising the five towns of Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Strood and Rainham, under one unitary local authority – is already on the up. The new Universities at Medway campus has brought thousands of new students to the area, with hopes for 5,000 more by 2012. The historic Chatham Dockyard has been rescued and transformed into a thriving new urban quarter, with marina and university campus. Nearby, the formerly derelict St Mary’s Island is leading the way as a sustainable new community, as part of the regeneration of the 60ha Chatham Maritime, with two glass towers rising from the river banks. Another ambition in the emerging city of Medway is the development of the ageing Pentagon centre, into Kent’s »

ABOVE: With such a large waterfront area it is no surprise that much of Medway’s regeneration is based around its riverside following the success of Chatham Maritime.

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LEFT: Housing Minister Caroline Flint at Rochester Riverside. BELOW: Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers being interviewed about Medway’s regeneration. BOTTOM: Rochester’s waterfront, with historic castle and cathedral.

second-biggest shopping destination, after the vast Bluewater, and worthy of a city. And just about to start upriver is the large-scale regeneration of Rochester Riverside from desolate ex-industrial land, home to nothing more than piles of fridges and swaying, rusty buildings, into a large mixed-use residential community. And the ambition to transform this collection of five historic towns into a unified city, cultural hub and economic dynamo for the region has the backing of such design luminaries as Sir Terry Farrell and Ken Yeang. And it’s not before time. Medway needs to catch up with some of its peers. Its total gross value added (GVA), a measure of its annual contribution to the UK economy, is £2.7 billion, compared to the smaller Milton Keynes, for example, which has a GVA of £5.6 billion. Milton Keynes provides

132,600 jobs, compared with just 91,600 in Medway, where 41% of its workforce commutes elsewhere, mostly London. Although Medway has seen the eighth fastest jobs growth rate in the country over the past decade, Medway Council aims to create 20,000 new jobs by 2026, along with 16,000 new homes. The regeneration will centre around the area’s waterfront. For 400 years the dockyards at Chatham built naval ships, including perhaps the best loved ship in British history – HMS Victory. When the dockyards closed in 1984, it was a huge blow for the area, which lost 7,000 jobs, and the training facilities that had provided apprenticeships. While some of the dockyards are now host to flats and houses, what remains – Chatham Historic Dockyard – is the most complete Georgian and Victorian former Royal Dockyard in the country. So important is its history that it is in line to become a World Heritage site. According to Robin Cooper, director of regeneration, community and culture at Medway Council, such an accolade

[ introduction ]

here it’s not just words. As far as learning goes, three universities – Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church, and Kent – have come together in former naval buildings in Chatham Maritime, to create the Medway campus. It already has 10,000 students, bringing a new element to the economy and raising the skills profile of the towns, and expansion plans are in place to accommodate 15,000 students by 2012. The area’s cultural offer is not so established. Despite strong local identities, several modest theatres and venues, an established programme of events, and a thriving creative network (see page 49), it still lacks a city-scale cultural venue. So, top of the list for Chatham town centre is a new cultural centre, based around a multimillion pound arts and entertainment

“Medway is destined to become an international beacon of regeneration and heritage excellence”

venue, to be called Medway Reach. This should also help the tourism offer, and turn the Medway region into the sort of place people come for a short break, not just a day, visiting the popular Rochester and Upnor castles, Rochester Cathedral and the Historic Dockyard, or even the £60 million Dickens World at Chatham Maritime. These longer stayers could also take advantage of another of the area’s hidden gems - its nature and wildlife. The marshes made famous by Dickens are on one of the world’s great estuaries, home to a myriad of birds and insects. Every winter, thousands of avocets, dunlins, teal and wigeons flock to the Medway’s water and mudflats, while Ranscombe Farm nature reserve in the west of the area is one of British botany’s classic sites, full of rare plant species. The enterprise element of the regeneration plans are already well under way. In the past decade, the number of jobs in Medway increased from 70,000 »

0 ABOVE: The library at the Chatham Maritime Universities at Medway campus. BELOW: Top: View of the river from Fort Pitt Hill. BELOW: View of Rochester’s castle and cathedral from Strood.

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can only raise Medway’s profile. “World Heritage site status will embed Medway’s roots in its waterfront regeneration – the exciting pace of which echoes the vibrancy of the dockyard’s heyday,” he says. “Medway is destined to become an international beacon of regeneration and heritage excellence.” The dockyard is not the only heritage highlight of the area. Charles Dickens used Rochester and the surrounding marshes as inspiration for many of his novels, and it’s Rochester which is the proud host of the second oldest cathedral in England, and a Norman castle. But heritage alone cannot do it all. The regeneration programme aims to create a city of learning, culture, tourism and enterprise. While these are the aims of many a regeneration programme,



With over 70 leading high street fashion, homeware and food stores, cafes and restaurants to choose from, situated in a safe and comfortable shopping environment, with over 1,000 parking spaces, the Pentagon Shopping Centre is a great place to shop around.

www. pe n ta g on s h o p pi n g c en tre . c o. u k

C h a t h a m • Ke n t • Te l : 0 1 6 3 4 4 0 5 3 8 8 Over 70 stores 7 days a week... it’s the retail heart of your community

[ introduction ]

BELOW: The two towers at Chatham Maritime.

RETAIL THERAPY. According to Brian Weddell, head of Medway Renaissance (Medway Council’s regeneration unit), retail is vital to the regeneration of Medway. “Market research has shown two main criticisms - an unsatisfactory retail offer and an unsafe atmosphere after the shops have shut.” To counter both these problems, the centrepiece of Medway’s retail regeneration is the multi-million pound revamp of the 1970s Pentagon centre (above) in Chatham, doubling its size and totally repositioning it as a retail destination. The 10-year programme is under way to boost retail space and replace existing narrow shops with wide, two-storey units. Already, a new 170,00sq ft New Look store has opened, and is trading at 20% above its target in its first quarter. But the Pentagon is just the beginning of the process. Tesco is talking about major investment in Medway, as are Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. As Weddell says: “All this is part of the strategy of keeping existing retailers in the towns, keeping the business and the jobs, but moving them to better locations.” And it’s not just Tesco. Sainsbury’s wants to establish bases in Strood, Gillingham and Chatham, Morrisons is interested in Gillingham, and Asda is interested in possible locations. So, what benefits will all these increased shopping opportunities mean for Medway? Firstly, the residential components of the Pentagon expansion and the Tesco development at the Brook will help create an evening culture, bringing life to the streets after the shops close and helping to solve the safety concerns. Parking will be rationalised, replacing the current 20 car parks, dotted around the towns, with fewer, modern, clean and safe areas. Weddell comments: “Retail brings people here, who will then stay and eat, and perhaps stay the night. Increasing the retail offer brings it up to the high standard of Medway’s tourism, so people will do


more than one thing while they’re here. It’s all tied up with building the economy, and creating a place where people want to live, work, and have fun. We want culture, retail and heritage to all grow together.”

Retail in regeneration ● Retail accounts for one in 10 workers ● In nearly every local and unitary authority, retail accounts for at least 6% of employment ● Retail employment has increased by more than 400,000 people in the past decade, or 15% of the increase in UK employment ● Ninety five percent of retail jobs are permanent, marginally higher than the average for all industries ● It is particularly valuable as an employment sector in areas that used to rely heavily on manufacturing, as it offers: ● employment on a relatively low skill base ● retraining opportunities ● many part-time positions.

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to more than 90,000, the economy has grown 25% since 1998, and the business stock has increased by 25% since 2000. A total of £400 million of public and private investment has created Chatham Maritime, a flagship development of homes and business that has generated thousands of jobs, 1,000 homes on St Mary’s Island, and another 1,000 to follow. So far, public sector funding has laid the foundations for regeneration, with around £120 million, including £100 million from Thames Gateway, spent on buying and preparing sites for development, and £50 million on setting up the Universities in Medway. But what will really propel Medway into the big league over the next 20 years is an investment partnership with developer St Modwen, expected to generate £1 billion of private-sector investment, Initially the council is looking to invest some of its land and assets into the 50:50 partnership, while St Modwen will inject around £30 million in cash, as well as regeneration expertise and experience. St Modwen will develop some sites and release others to developers. Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, says: “We selected St Modwen as our preferred investment partner because of its strong track record in major regeneration projects and its strong belief in Medway’s immense potential as the biggest region of the Thames Gateway.” For Tim Seddon, director at St Modwen, the delivery vehicle is rather unique. “The opportunity for us to be able to work with the council at an earlier stage of the process, to develop a framework, »

[ introduction ]

LEFT: The planned new station gateway for Chatham.

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Rodney Chambers, leader,a Medway Councila I’ve always insisted regeneration is Medway-led, and Medway delivered. The government allowed us to proceed at our own pace, which is faster than anywhere else in the Thames Gateway, as it is locally controlled. We have now reached the point of bringing a number of our sites up to development condition.

and a structured regeneration opportunity from the very beginning is one that doesn’t come round very often,” he says. “It’s the type of model we can see other local authorities beginning to replicate.” This, the first such partnership in the Thames Gateway, will mean work can really start in earnest in letting Medway reach its potential. But what will all this actually mean for the fabric of the town centres, many of which have suffered from an image problem for years? For Chatham, already Medway’s main retail centre, it means becoming the area’s ‘city centre’, and its cultural heart, with exceptional buildings and public spaces providing a stimulating setting for shopping, culture, learning, business and leisure. The jewel in the crown will be the 7ha Chatham Waterfront, to be transformed by international architect Ken Yeang’s masterplan, and a major new arts and entertainment centre, all linked by a network of walkways. Away from the river, work is starting on transforming Pentagon Square into the retail heart of Medway, set to challenge the might of nearby Bluewater. (See ‘retail therapy’ box on previous page. For more on Chatham’s projects, see page 17.)

The district centres of Strood, Rochester, Gillingham and Rainham are equally vital to the renaissance, and each has strategic growth plans in place, to improve their retail, leisure and education offers, and to build on their natural assets: for example, Strood as a gateway to Medway, and Rochester as its historic heart. Vital to the longevity and integrity of all the schemes, and to the regeneration itself, is the support of local people. Huge importance is also being attached to design. The regeneration has a formidable combination of big names on board: Sir Terry Farrell, design champion for the Thames Gateway; EDAW, masterplanner for Rochester Riverside; and international architect Ken Yeang’s trademark ecofriendly buildings transforming Chatham’s waterfront. As Farrell says: “Medway has had a real commitment to quality in its architecture. It’s been choosing good architects, and good projects. It’s been choosing house developers not just on the business side but also the design side: how well it’s laid out, the quality of the buildings, materials and landscaping. That’s quite ahead of the game, not just in the Thames Gateway, but most places.” Embracing its waterfront is vital to Medway. Farrell continues: “City regeneration is increasingly about the rediscovery of waterfronts. Much of Medway’s is hidden and inaccessible, yet it has huge potential. It is a particularly fine piece of river estuary and, unlike the Thames, is on a city, liveable scale.” (For more on Farrell’s thoughts on design in Medway, see page 34.) And when Yeang first saw the ‘spectacular’ site, he said: ‘I’m exhilarated by its potential. We must optimise the

waterfront to create somewhere that is four things: a beautiful place to be, a unique destination, a stunning place to look at, a stunning place to look out from.’ None of all this, of course, will be of any use if no-one can get to the area. But it’s already just off the M2/A2, and in 2009 will be connected up to the High Speed 1 rail link, slashing journey times to central London. And connection between the towns is being solved by comprehensive infrastructure improvements. But it’s the possibility of a cross-river cable car linking the town centres that could really put Medway on the map. Terry Farrell sums up the potential of the area. “The great opportunity of Medway is that the navy left us a prime piece of land, an empty stage, with the best bits yet to be developed. It could be a wonderful place to live.” M

9 September 2008 Hotel Russell, London W1 The first London Major Projects Forum, an exciting one-day summit, will bring together the leaders of the capital’s biggest schemes in an event developed for directors of regeneration and major projects, in both London and around the UK. The event will address all aspects of creating major schemes in the city, including financing, planning, feasibility, transport, construction, procurement and assessment of market demand. Attendees can: ● Gain in-depth insight into complex project management topics ● Seek advice on issues common to large-scale schemes ● Benchmark projects with colleagues from across the capital Those in local authorities with responsibility for major projects, or for regeneration, planning, housing or regeneration finance, may be eligible for a free place. To submit a paper, discuss sponsorship opportunities or claim your free delegate place, please contact project director Shelley Cook on 020 7978 6840 or shelley@3foxinternational.com For further information, event format, and venue and accommodation details, go to www.londonmajorprojects.co.uk

Chatham Maritime page 18

page 28

page 28

➽ ➽➽

Universities at Medway

Chatham Historic Dockyard

Temple Riverside

➽ ➽

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Strood Riverside

St Mary’s Island

➽ ➽ ➽

Strood centre


Rochester Riverside page 21

Chatham town centre page 26

[ site map ]

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➽ Gillingham page 23

medway on the map A guide to what is planned, or already happening, on and around Medway’s waterfront.

riverside riches


Part of Thames Gateway’s largest regeneration zone, Chatham and Rochester are poised for transformation into a 21st century city. Along with improved transport connections, work is in progress creating contemporary communities with great public spaces. laying a key role in shaping the future, EDAW’s masterplans support the visions of regeneration agency Medway Renaissance, Medway Council and the South East England Development Agency. “Along with their fascinating histories, Rochester and Chatham have magnificent settings on the River Medway,” says Alison Peters of EDAW. “Our work is not just about celebrating this special place, it is also about creating an inspiring future and making new communities where people will enjoy living.” At Rochester Riverside, development is under way with Crest Nicholson and BioRegional Quintain. On a brownfield site of prime waterside land, this flagship scheme masterplanned by EDAW features a new park with river views and a mixeduse development including around 1800 homes. Strong themes include honouring the unique and sensitive setting and providing good connections with the town centre. With a thorough understanding of the issues including dealing with a contaminated site and flood risk, EDAW

prepared the development brief, the masterplan and an environmental impact assessment. It has also produced design codes ensuring high levels of built quality and sustainability. In Chatham, EDAW has completed a development framework for the town centre and waterfront to facilitate its growth as the new centre for Medway city. Responding to the complex and historic town fabric, Chatham’s masterplan has been conceived to meet and exceed expectations for transforming the place into a thriving civic, cultural and economic hub. Plans include improved transport infrastructure, exceptional public spaces and outstanding architecture along with new homes and shopping, education and leisure facilities. Working on the development framework, EDAW led a multidisciplinary team and has gone on to complete a sustainability appraisal, stakeholder and community consultation, a supplementary planning document and a public realm strategy. The masterplan is due for approval this spring.

Top: Chatham The High Street is conceived as an inviting destination. Middle and below: Rochester Riverside The new community will enjoy a magnificent riverside setting.

EDAW is a cross-disciplinary practice with a team of spatial and development planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects along with experts in economic development, ecology, project management, community engagement, graphics and GIS. Our approach delivers distinctive and sustainable solutions for every project’s longterm success. For more information, please contact edaweurope@edaw.com www.edaw.com

[ projects ]

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Where it’s at Connecting Medway with the waterfront is vital to the region’s renaissance. The River Medway – which links Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Strood and Rainham – is the area’s finest natural asset, but since its decline as a source of employment it has largely been overlooked. Here we highlight some of the schemes putting it centre stage once more, with a mix of jobs, houses, leisure facilities, parks and outstanding architecture giving it a new lease of life that residents, workers, students and tourists can enjoy.


[ projects ] Chatham Maritime

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Twenty years ago, the Royal Navy left Chatham Dockyards, ending more than 400 years of naval history. In 1986, English Estates took over the site, and by 1999 the historic dockyards had been transformed, by Countryside Properties and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), into a vibrant new quarter. Its regeneration has been a huge success. SEEDA’s Thames Gateway development director Jonathan Sadler says: “This is an exemplar of what can be achieved when the public and private sector join forces to create sustainable communities.” The 140ha former dockyard is now home to a 300-berth marina, 1,000 residential units of varying size, style and price range, a primary school, retail centre, cinema, hotel, pub, offices, GP surgery, restaurant and new university campus. Big names such as Lloyds of London and Kent Police have moved into the 100,000sq m of office space and the

maritime district now employs more than 3,500 people. One part of the regeneration was the creation of a new community on St Mary’s Island. Currently with 1,000 homes, it is set to grow enormously, with another 1,000 planned for construction. Two glass towers are under construction by Ardmore Group, to designs by Wilkinson Eyre, at the northern end of the quay. The luxury 15- and 19-storey residential blocks will be complemented by two large industrial-style buildings, one of which will contain further residential accommodation. The project, which is expected to be complete by 2009, will also develop a large public space incorporating a performance area for events. One of Chatham Maritime’s remaining development sites will be regenerated by City Loft Developments. Proposals for the 11ha plot, jointly owned by SEEDA and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, focus on the creation of 1,000 homes from studio apartments to family houses with a range of tenures. The development will also provide start-up incubators and business units for creative industries, retail space, bars, restaurants, cafés and a 7ha public park, all of which the developers hope will create a lively atmosphere and make the district a destination in its own right. A planning application for the mixed-use quarter, which will pay homage to the industrial and maritime history of the dockyard, will be submitted in summer 2008. Many of the homes incorporate solar panels, rainwater recycling, timber from sustainable forests and have a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ eco homes rating. The island’s community facilities also enable a sustainable lifestyle.

ABOVE: Artist’s impression of Wilkinson Eyre’s glass towers that will be Chatham Maritime’s crowning glory, offering luxury residential apartments, industrial space and a large public realm area.

continued overleaf


[ projects ]

Two decades after the closure of Chatham Dockyard, a 140-hectare area has been transformed into a thriving business and residential community by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). Since 1999 under SEEDA’s guidance and control Chatham Maritime has been turned into a flagship development in the Thames Gateway, with £600m of public and private investment. Chatham Maritime boasts 120,000m2 of office space providing more than 3,500 jobs. Around 1,000 homes have been built at St Mary’s Island and approximately another 1,500 are planned there and on other parts of Chatham Maritime. Construction on SMI is brought forward by a joint venture between SEEDA and Countryside Properties Plc. Other facilities include a primary school, day nursery, doctors’ surgery, parkland and community centre, plus a three-kilometre riverside walk and cycleway. A pharmacy is also planned. A 90-bedroom hotel has opened, as has an Odeon cinema alongside restaurants including Nandos, Chimi Changas and Pizza Hut. A visitor/entertainment attraction dedicated to Charles Dickens opened in 2007. Construction of apartments in a stunning two tower development, plus bars and restaurants, is also is underway near the marina with completion due 2009. A masterplan is being prepared for a mixed use development called The Interface Land, on a site between Chatham Maritime and the Historic Dockyard, Chatham. The Grade II former Ship and Trades Building is now a public house, restaurant, hotel and Co-Op store, while Dockside Outlet Centre - the former Grade II Boiler Shop - houses over 80 shops and restaurants. One of the key sectors at Chatham Maritime is education. The Universities at Medway, made up of the University of Greenwich, University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University and Mid-Kent College, are based here, with student numbers now at 6,000. The partnership is adding an additional £10 million to the local economy each year. This £50 million campus houses a unique mixture of historic and contemporary buildings. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

South East England Development Agency The Observatory, Brunel, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4NT 01634 899900

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[ projects ] Rochester Riverside

THIS PICTURE: Plans for Rochester Riverside will create a whole new city quarter. TOP RIGHT: The Crescent, by Crest Nicholson, at night. MIDDLE RIGHT: The new station approach. BOTTOM RIGHT: The hotel and commercial quarter.

Rochester’s renaissance is finally taking shape. The decision to appoint Crest Nicholson as developer for the first phase of the riverside’s transformation was made at the end of 2007, and the 30ha site is now ready for action. Over the past few years Medway Council and SEEDA has assembled the land, cleaned it, undertaken preparatory engineering works, installed flood defences, built a new river wall and established two river creeks. The new city quarter will eventually comprise 2,000 new homes for all tastes and pockets, shops, bars, offices, school, cafes, community facilities, two hotels, parks and riverside footpath and cycle track. The first phase will focus on a 7ha section of the site and establish a new community with 600 new homes, a quarter of them affordable (assisted purchase, social rent, sheltered housing) alongside shops, offices, parks and cafés. Construction is expected to start in 2009, with BioRegional Quintain working with Crest Nicholson to install insulation, grey water recycling and photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. To improve links between Rochester’s historic centre and riverfront, the £108 million first-phase development will incorporate lots of open space, riverside paths, and projects such as HTA Architects’ station approach, with the Green Man public house, on the river side of the railway, which currently bisects the town. Welbeck Land will develop the site’s 2.4ha hotel and commercial quarter at the northern end of Rochester’s riverside. The scheme will include a luxury 150-bed, four-storey hotel with over 800sq m of conference space and a sunken courtyard incorporating the old city wall. The focal point of the design is a spiral residential tower with about 200 apartments, alongside a mix of business space, community facilities and restaurants and bars. Planning permission will be submitted this summer and it is hoped work will start on site in 2009. As one of the first developments to get off the ground, Rochester Riverside will set the standard for Medway’s transformation.

continued overleaf

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mhs homes

Your Partner of Choice in Medway medway 1


mhs homes is a unique and innovative affordable housing provider - we own and manage 8,000 homes in the Thames Gateway. Working with Medway Council and the Housing Corporation, we are committed to the regeneration and growth of Medway. We are looking for new partners to help deliver and develop these exciting ambitions.

If you would like to discuss partnership opportunities, please contact:

Emma Riddington | Tel: 01634 354053

Development Manager

Email: emma.riddington@mhs.org.uk Or write to: mhs homes, Broadside, Leviathan Way, Chatham, Kent ME4 4LL www.mhshomes.co.uk

Passionate about People, Neighbourhoods and Enterprise

[ projects ]

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Plans to regenerate Gillingham concentrate on introducing residential units into the town centre in a bid to encourage a healthy evening economy, as well as upgrading public spaces, transport and the town centre. Change will focus on creating a new town square to provide a focal point for events, establishing a new cultural entertainment venue to be known as Gillingham Hub, redeveloping the train station to provide a gateway destination, and developing a key retail site north of the high street. Away from the town centre the Black Lion leisure centre is set to become a regional centre of sporting excellence for use by residents and competing athletes in the run up to the London Olympics, and beyond. The first phase of the development will focus on creating a martial arts centre, while the finished complex will include an eight-lane athletics track, gymnastics centre, health and fitness suite, sports hall with spectator

seating, sports therapy centre, upgraded swimming facilities and dedicated health and fitness suite for junior athletes. Gillingham’s waterfront will also be developed, reinforcing connections between the town centre and riverside. Kickstarting the waterfront renaissance is the regeneration of a 32ha site on the riverside by Berkeley First, the first phase of which will focus on providing student accommodation for the University of Kent’s Medway campus, less than 15 minutes’ walk away. The development will offer 549 single bedrooms and 55 studios in two buildings set around a courtyard. Work started on site in January and the development will be complete by summer 2009 in time for the new academic year.

TOP: Artist’s impression of the new sporting venue Medway Park. ABOVE: Student accommodation in Gillingham riverside.

continued overleaf


Are you helping to transform Medway? Make sure everyone knows.


4>>@0 # XPObLd XLVTYR ST^_Z]d

80/B,D  On the waterfront Page 7 Project by project – what’s happening Page 17 Terry Farrell talks Thames Gateway Page 34 Art in the right place Page 49



Use Medway 1 magazine to promote your company and its work to more than 35,000 regeneration professionals. Contact Paul Gussar 020 7978 6840.

Doug Atfield


REGIONAL REVIVAL Mott MacDonald is a 13 000 strong global management, engineering and development consultancy. We are working throughout the UK to help drive forward economic, physical and social regeneration. Working closely with local authorities, developers, local communities and conservation bodies Mott MacDonald has contributed to a range of successful projects through a multi-disciplined approach. Our portfolio of regeneration projects includes a partnering framework with Medway Council to provide consultancy services covering a diverse range of technical capabilities in areas such as highway design, transport planning, land-fill planning, flood risk assessments, land use planning and environmental impact assessments. Other projects range from Chatham town centre, Great Yarmouth’s Marine Parade/Regent Road and Norfolk’s Cromer seafront to Norfolk bus station and Cross River Tram for TfL.


For more information please contact Stephen Coker t e

+44 (0)20 8774 2946 stephen.coker@mottmac.com

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Chatham town centre

Regeneration plans for Chatham focus on creating waterfront residential and leisure developments and reconnecting the town centre with the river. Ken Yeang, of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, has created a masterplan, offering a 21st-century design for Chatham’s previously redundant riverside, and a glimpse of how the new and improved Chatham could look. The plan features a major, £70 million arts and entertainment centre known as Medway Reach. The venue will include an arena-sized concert hall, arts cinema, art gallery, workshop and an auditorium for musicals, operas and conferences. Set in a riverside park the arts centre will attract visitors to the area, which would also provide retail space, hotel, apartments, bars and restaurants. The masterplan will be complemented by town centre regeneration projects. Redevelopment of the Brook Theatre, masterplanned by McCreanor Lavington, will also upgrade the surrounding area, stretching across a 15ha site. Union Street and the Upper High Street will become more pedestrian-friendly as the impact of the ring road is reduced. The proposal also includes a plan for family housing on the edge of the town hall gardens. Improvements are planned for the train station and surrounding area, which is set to become a gateway to the town. Masterplanned by Urban Initiatives, the scheme will include a new public space, hotel and office space, and improved pedestrian routes as well as a wholesale upgrade of the station

itself and surrounding buildings and land. Currently underused, and including former timber mills and car parks, this is prime development land to be incorporated into the regeneration plans. Buildings in the new transport interchange will be between three and five storeys, with one 15-storey block, on a current commercial site, and possibly a wraparound feature accommodating commercial space. Also in central Chatham, the Pentagon shopping centre is getting a facelift, with new owner BHL considering a multi-million pound revamp to establish the town as the retail, commercial, civic and cultural heart of Medway. Currently anchored by Sainsbury’s and Wilkinson, it is hoped that the redevelopment, which will add 1,400sq m of new retail space, will see the Pentagon take the title of Kent’s largest retail centre after Bluewater. Proposals including office space and 125 residential units within the redevelopment have been mooted. A further boost to the local economy is Medway Council’s decision to consolidate its operations at the new Gun Wharf headquarters. The move will improve efficiency and free up valuable riverside land at the former civic centre in Strood.

[ projects ]

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Chatham waterfront as it is now; Llewelyn Davies Yeang’s masterplan for the riverside; the remodelled Pentagon shopping centre; and the Medway Reach cultural venue.

continued overleaf


[ projects ]

Strood Riverside

The development of a 6ha councilowned site between the railway station and the river will provide up to 600 new homes, in addition to retail and leisure space incorporating cafés, bars and restaurants, which it is hoped will provide more than 100 new jobs. The project is being taken forward by Medway Renaissance in partnership with SEEDA and funded by Communities and Local Government. Flood defences on the site have been investigated and planning applications made for a new river wall.

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Strood town centre Strood town centre is set to benefit from the multi-million pound redevelopment of Medway. Medway Council’s relocation from its offices in Strood to Gun Wharf in Chatham will create a major development site in the town centre, which it is hoped will be used, along with additional vacant sites in and around the town, to accommodate new homes and facilities for Medway’s expected population boom. Medway Council is preparing an area action plan detailing Strood’s renaissance.

Temple Waterfront

Temple’s newest neighbourhood will be located on a 70ha waterfront site. The proposed project will create 600 homes and 15,000sq m of commercial floor space, as well as capitalising on its location by installing a riverside walk and establishing a nature conservation site.

continued overleaf


] Nuttall, rejuvenating the Thames[ projects Gateway

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has recently completed a major land remediation and reclamation programme at the Rochester Riverside site on behalf of Medway Renaissance. The scheme involved the extensive use of dredged material to raise the land level, the construction of new quay walls and the clean up of contamination from a former gas works. The site is now ready for hand over for future development. As one of the UK’s largest civil engineering companies we have been involved in many significant infrastructure projects in the Thames Gateway area and are currently assisting in the transformation of the Olympic Park.

Contact the specialists today Malcolm Stephen - Regional Business Development Manager

Email: Malcolm.stephen@edmund-nuttall.co.uk www.edmund-nuttall.co.uk Edmund Nuttall Limited Prospect House North Farm Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 3DN

Tel: 01892 512255 Fax: 01892 511831

Edmund Nuttall Limited is an operating company of Royal BAM Group.

Halcrow Yolles... future thinking medway 1


Sustainability is an essential element to every project Halcrow Yolles works on. With our purpose of sustaining and improving the quality of people’s lives, we understand that investing in the future is important – to us and to our clients. Recognised internationally as one of the world’s premier consulting engineering practices, Halcrow Yolles is synonymous with regeneration and building engineering. Our teams work alongside our in-house experts in fields such as structural design, environment, transportation, water engineering, and maritime, ensuring you get a complete solution for your project. Halcrow Yolles has been working with client Medway Council and South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) since 2003 on the remediation of Rochester Riverside. Services provided included planning applications with a major environmental statement, procurement strategy, acting as employer’s representative on site and full contract and financial administration. As a leader in regeneration, we’re helping unlock the value of land across the UK, and in turn, create desirable work, leisure and commercial areas for generations to come.

Sustaining and improving the quality of people’s lives For practical, sustainable solutions for your project, email us at contact.us@halcrowyolles.com.

[ projects ]


Sustainable living is something we should all be striving towards, and with the proposed new public transport options Medway residents will soon have more reason to leave the car at home. Major improvements to rail and bus services promise headache-free travel around Medway and further afield into London, or even Paris. The council commissioned a two-year study to develop a new integrated transport policy to ensure the system can deal with Medway’s expected population increase. Proposals arising from this include improving the A2 strategic transport corridor, introducing a park and ride scheme, and enhancing the bus network through increased frequency and the introduction of new routes.

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The development of Ebbsfleet international station and the introduction of the High Speed 1 rail link to St Pancras will transfrom Medway’s public transport facilities.

continued overleaf


[ projects ] BELOW: By far the most ingenius transport scheme is the cable car proposal. BOTTOM: The introduction of High Speed 1 will dramatically cut journey times.

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The arrival of High Speed 1 in 2009 will put Medway 40 minutes from St Pancras, 33 minutes from Stratford and a little over two hours from Paris. And Medway Renaissance is exploring the idea of a cross-river cable-car system linking the towns, connecting the new city. Appealing to commuters and tourists alike, the cable cars would give Medway an iconic skyline. Talks with potential operators are expected to follow a feasibility study, now underway. Further efforts to unify Medway’s towns will be strengthened by a proposed pedestrian bridge across the river linking Chatham centre and waterfront to Medway City Estate, hopefully reducing the reliance on car use for the business community there. M

[ projects ]

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It takes more than hot air to get a project off the ground. At Nabarro, we’re proud to have advised on landmark regeneration projects in Medway and across the UK. And we know that the one thing our clients need to help them cut through the legal maze, is clarity. So you’ll hear no waffle or lawyer-speak from us. Just clear, straightforward advice to help you deliver your project swiftly and painlessly.

Contact Niall Logan on +44 (0)114 279 4000 www.nabarro.com

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better by design

International architect Terry Farrell is design champion for Medway, and the Thames Gateway. So, why does design matter so much to the area? And what does Farrell’s involvement mean for Medway? Sarah Herbert finds out.

[ design ]

Q What are Medway’s best assets? at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Both approaches The river. It’s key to creating a vision for would need to respect the historic character Medway city. It has also been an essential while exploiting the potential of views and part of Medway’s history: providing a open spaces created by bends in the river. military and naval base, creating productive environments for farming and fishing and Q How will Medway interact with the making the region accessible for industry, rest of the Thames Gateway? How do commerce and tourism. Like the Thames you see the city’s role in the area? in London, the Medway sweeps through Medway has a key role in Thames Gateway, urban areas in a series of bends as it widens with potential to be an exemplar eco-city, towards the estuary, creating a diverse E.ON establishing a focus for new environmentcharacter of urban and rural landscape. Kingsnorth orientated business and research, as well What? as A  proposed pioneering £1sustainable billion ‘cleaner’ use coal-fired of the river Q How can old and new be integrated? for power aquaculture plant capable and habitat, of generating and flood 1,600 Re-establishing the river at the heart of attenuation MW. E.ON claims and mitigation. carbon emissions Medway requires inspiration and willingness would be cut by almost two million to accept challenges. During the 19th and 20th Q tonnes The cable a yearcar withisthe a great new units idea.burning What do centuries the navy and industry dominated you energy think crops it will alongside bring to coal. the area, and the river as a thoroughfare and excluded theWhen?how A planning likely application is it to go ahead? was lodged with public realm. As a result many of the urban The Medway river Council providesinpotential December for 2006, a new and areas now turn their back on the river and transport granted ininfrastructure January 2008. such A decision as a river on have diminished its apparent value. bus its future or cable from car.central River passenger government traffic is is now expected becoming ????established Completionon is scheduled the Thames Q Medway is ideally placed to rediscover between for 2012. Westminster and Greenwich and its waterfronts. How do the plans reflectWhy? Tin o replace a similaranway existing the river fourcould unit 1,940 be used MWto this? plant connect and,across according Medway. to chief executive Good city planning needs a vision which can Dr Paul EvenGolby, more“set iconic a new would benchmark be an elevated for catch and hold the public’s imagination. Recleaner cable car coal-fired linking togeneration the peninsula in the across UK”. establishing the river as the heart of a city is the sweeping bends of the river, creating a clear vision for every stage of regenerationGrain CHP a visionary public transport system and from strategic to detailed. New housing What? exploiting A £500 million the shortest combined route. heat Anand idea like this development will look for value from the river, would powerstimulate plant capable new of and supplying fresh thinking on but regeneration must also value it as a public city electricity creation to and one integration million homes. of oldIt and will new. asset: linking towns through a continuous also provide “waste” heat to National river walk, connecting urban areas with Q Grid’s What LNG does terminal good (see regeneration below). look natural environment, providing opportunitiesWhen?like? Construction is underway with the for public art and participation. A Medway Old facility andexpected new buildings to be operational together creating in a river festival similar to the Thames festival clear, 2010.recognisable and connected urban could reinforce this engagement of public Why? It’s pattern needed, withsays streets E.ON, and to public help “keep spaces lights with access to the river and provide opportunities on human for homes scale and attracting businesses”. local people, visitors for the public to see progress. and investors. Q What are your thoughts on the role National Q Which Gridregeneration scheme do you of ‘landmark’ buildings, such as Ken Isle of Grain admire, LNG that terminal has really transformed a Yeang’s proposals for Chatham town What? city? A  3.3 million tonnes LNG receiving centre? What do they bring to a city? Newcastle terminal (that’s and Gateshead liquefied natural have transformed gas to What potential is there in Medway? the youRiver and me), Tynethe (above) first ofstarting its kindwith in the theUK. Medway will need to establish its identity When?Quayside, The plant masterplanned is has been delivering by Farrells gas to to compete with other cities, and needs inBritish the 1990s homes as asince mixed-use 2005. Construction waterfront contemporary landmark designs to achieve development. is under way to This almost success triple has capacity since by similar urban status. This could be achieved enabled late 2008 theand citybyto2010 re-establish a furtherthe phase Tyne’s in many ways, for example by appropriate iconic of expansion status through will seefurther Grain meet cultural 20%and of public realm, public art, sustainable buildings landmark the UK’s gas buildings needs.including the Baltic, the and landscape design – as achieved in Why? ASage, s North Centre Sea for gasLife dwindles, and new thebridges. UK needs M Hammerby, Stockholm – or by cultural icons to source energy from overseas. LNG and striking buildings in strategic locations as


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entral to the success of the Thames Gateway, and Medway, is that development is design-led. As Paul Wheeler, editor of the Thames Gateway magazine said at MIPIM 2008, “Design quality and economic success go hand in hand”. And it’s not just talk. CABE and the Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership have launched the formal Thames Gateway design pact, to provide absolute clarity about what actions are needed – by all those involved, from masterplanners to housebuilders – to achieve an immediate step change in design quality in the Gateway over the next three years. In the words of Richard Simmons, CABE’s chief executive: “The new and existing communities have the right to expect good design. It must be at the heart of the Gateway’s transformation.” And, what’s more, in 2007 the government appointed international architect Terry Farrell as design champion for the Thames Gateway. Farrell has been masterplanning, placemaking and designing projects for more than 40 years, with projects ranging from aquariums in Hull and Seattle to masterplanning Brindleyplace, Birmingham, and the financial district of Edinburgh. Farrell believes the Thames Gateway’s rich history and diverse landscapes will make it a great place to live, learn and work, in an environment that celebrates a more leisure orientated lifestyle. It also has the potential to be, if not a new national park for London, which he at first was championing, at least a breathing space for the capital. The whole area will be a showcase for sustainable technology and modern methods of construction. The Thames Gateway is a hugely long-term scheme, and one which creates 110,000 new zero-carbon homes, in whole communities, streets, squares, neighbourhoods and towns, designed from scratch. But, as Farrell says, all English landscape is man made, and it’s time to make something new. We asked him about his plans for Medway.

Medway: the questions that count.

The University of Greenwich at Medway can help your business grow. We have a long and proud history of working with local, regional and international companies, including Pfizer, BAE Systems and British Gas, as well as small and medium enterprises, many based in south-east England. We have also worked extensively with the public sector, including local authorities, regional development agencies and health trusts.

We are close at hand Our location in Chatham Maritime is ideal for the Medway area and other parts of north and west Kent; you can also draw on the strengths of our two London campuses in Greenwich and Eltham. As well as the expertise of our academic Schools, all campuses have specialist facilities and meeting/conference rooms.

At your service Problem solving If you have problems with your business processes, products or systems, Greenwich staff can come up with the solutions. This can be achieved through short student projects, analytical services, consultancy or contract research.

Recruitment From student projects to work placements, or the recruitment of graduates, our students are one of our major resources and can work for your benefit.

Training We can help identify your workforce’s training needs, and through our specialist Continuing Professional Development and Short Course programmes, make your business more efficient.

Want to gain a competitive edge? Please contact the Office of Regional Development (Kent and Medway).

Contact details:

Phone: 01634 883154 E-mail: first-stop@gre.ac.uk Web: www.gre.ac.uk

Minimum fees

Maximum prospects

[ learning ]

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Seat of learning Higher education is vital to local economies. At Medway, the academic hub of its university campus, home to three universities, is helping both business and communities prosper, with a constant supply of expertise, research and highly qualified graduates. Mark Clements reports.


ith probably the longest library in Europe and widespread recognition for design and restoration excellence, the Universities at Medway Campus has more than a few tassels to its mortarboard. But on top of these accolades, the Medway Campus is playing another, perhaps more significant function: helping to grow the economy, and future, of a region with a history of low levels of higher education participation, and economic activity below the national average, as part of a regeneration programme described by the government as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Figures quoted by Medway Renaissance reveal the region suffers from poor participation in further and higher education and, unsurprisingly, skills gaps. It is also an area of adult underperformance: average wage levels are below the regional and national averages, and there are few large employers, following the closure of the naval dockyard. The pioneering Universities at Medway initiative is changing this. Bringing together four educational institutions – the University of Kent, University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and Mid-Kent College – on to the site of the former land-based HMS Pembroke and surrounding dockyard, the project is both providing the

area with first-class learning facilities that were previously lacking, and having an impact on the economy. The University of Greenwich first established facilities at Medway back in 1994 and, since then, has been joined by the University of Kent, CCCU and MidKent College. The Queen inaugurated the Universities of Medway Partnership in 2002, and £50 million in funding has come from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Medway Council, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Thames Gateway Programme, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and the universities themselves. The design and construction of the Medway campus is a phased development. A massive expansion »

ABOVE: Purposebuilt building for the University of Kent, which moved on to the Medway campus in 2005.

of facilities opened in late 2005, and this included a new research block, the Wolfson Centre, and additional laboratory facilities for the Medway School of Pharmacy and the School of Sciences. The campus has modern workshops and equipment, including a computer-aided design studio and a training dispensary for pharmacy students. It also has its Centre for Sports and Exercise Science with the latest in 3D movement and force analysis equipment, enabling researchers to help professional athletes improve techniques and avoid injury, and there’s more work still on the horizon. Peter Milburn, director of CCCU at Medway says: “The Medway Campus will become the education quarter for Medway.” The campus now offers a broad range of courses. Some courses address the more immediate needs of the local population by helping to supply key workers. For example, CCCU’s education and research profile at Medway focuses on health, education and policing. As Milburn says: “The students who study at the university are recruited locally and nationally – many upon qualification will settle in the area and thus contribute to the regeneration process.” Skills shortages have been identified

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“The new campus is a critical component. in growing and diversifying the economy” TOP: The Drill Hall library and ward room. ABOVE: The University of Greenwich’s Pembroke building. RIGHT: CCCU’s Medway campus.

[ learning ]

as a major constraint on economic growth throughout the UK, and Medway is a good case in point, as Councillor Jane Chitty explains. “The previous lack of a higher education presence in Medway led generations of bright young people to leave the area to receive their higher education and be lost to the local community,” she says. “The new university campus is, therefore, a critical component in Medway’s strategy to both grow and diversify the local economy.” She is convinced that the campus will have a real impact on retaining graduates in the Medway area, both by decreasing the need for the local population to study away from home, and by attracting people from elsewhere who are statistically likely to stay once they’ve completed their studies. Local demand for university places is expected to increase with the ongoing development in the area, which includes the Chatham Centre and Waterfront »

[ learning ]

Working with the Creative Industries

We are proud of our creative links and have over 50 partnerships with the creative industries, including global companies based in South East England. Along with 86 international collaborations with universities and colleges in 30 countries, we play a leading role in the development of higher and further education in the Arts at national and international levels. To find out more about us visit:


Image: Professor Ori Gersht, Photography, Rochester.

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ABOVE: The Queen inaugurated the Universities of Medway Partnership in 2002. £50 million in funding has come from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Development, Rochester Riverside, and Strood and Gillingham town centres. All these projects will bring an increase in both the number of businesses in need of skilled workers and in the population and consequent demand for education. The Universities at Medway will help to meet these educational and training needs. In fact, local demand already existed, and was one of the factors that encouraged at least one of the universities – Greenwich – into Medway. As its other campuses were already receiving lots of students travelling from the Medway area, and Greenwich’s science facilities at Woolwich were becoming increasingly unfit for purpose, the university decided to build on its 1996 purchase of the Natural Resources Institute and set up the School of Science in Medway in 2003. Professor Alan Reed, the university’s director of regional liaison (Kent and

Medway) says: “If we hadn’t taken the plunge, the dockyard site would have been closed and demolished. Now we have a community with huge potential. We are slowly turning the brain drain into the brain gain.” While the various universities operate as separate institutions, they are also involved in shared projects and facilities. In 2004 a School of Pharmacy was jointly established by the University of Greenwich and the University of Kent in response to the region’s lack of pharmacists and the need to bring in pharmacists from overseas. Professor Clare Mackie, provice chancellor of the University of Kent, explains that over the three years since the school was established, a couple of hundred placements with community pharmacies have been organised, giving the local community and business students’ skills, and students the chance of direct work experience. It is this interaction with the local

community that is a key aspect of ensuring that the Universities at Medway really benefit the area. Professor Reed explains: “We are implementing a broad-based initiative to place students while studying in businesses. The profile of Medway is mainly smaller SMEs and micro businesses, and smaller companies tend not to know how to work with universities. “If you look at businesses, those companies that tend to grow have employees with a degree or equivalent qualifications – they make the difference. Our challenge is to try to get these companies to take a graduate to test drive. If they like the graduate, they might take them on.” Key to retaining expertise in the region is the Medway Innovation Centre (MIC), which opened in early 2007 as an incubator for high tech start-up

[ learning ]

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businesses with intensive assistance to help them grow, employing graduates emerging from the campus. The MIC, at the BAE Systems campus at Rochester Airfield, sees the universities of Kent and Greenwich, Medway Council, BAE Systems and the Royal Bank of Scotland working together. Medway Council has invested over £1 million in the project, and government support will fund its second phase. One initiative to raise the profile of the universities with the local population is Mid-Kent College’s major investment programme, which includes a festival of culture and community open day during the summer. This will enable the people of Medway to see the importance of a university presence for the region. Other initiatives to truly involve the local community include a number of

“The universities add millions of pounds a year to the local economy, and have created 600 jobs”

taster courses, enabling people to see what taking a degree is all about, and visits to schools and community centres to demonstrate what’s on offer at the campus and explain the opportunities that education can bring. For students that have been out of education for a long time, the universities offer extra practical support. Also, as Professor Mackie explains, many students may be put off by attending London-based universities, while at Medway class sizes are smaller, extra support is available and there’s a beautiful campus. The Universities at Medway campus is already home to some 10,000 students, which in itself has an impact on the local economy. Jayne McLaughlin, SEEDA’s communications manager says: “The universities add millions of pounds a year to the local economy and have led to the creation of 600 jobs.” Matt Peacock, Medway Council’s strategy and major projects officer, explains

that the campus has been the biggest change in the local economy in the past 10 years. “Higher education is a critical component of any modern economy. In 1995, Medway was the largest urban area in the country without an HE presence: now it has four universities,” he says. Given the heavy investment in the project, it’s unsurprising that the government has set the universities stiff targets to meet for both student numbers and employment creation. But these are already being beaten: the initiative is one year ahead of target in student numbers, and a remarkable three years ahead in on-site employment. Not surprising, then, that the council is convinced that the universities are a critical element in continuing to help the economy of Medway grow. M

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[ energy ]

Bright spark

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One small corner of Kent is central to the UK’s energy supply. Julie Mackintosh investigates how Medway’s power stations, and the world’s largest offshore wind farm, hold the key to the area’s renaissance.


windling North Sea supplies, soaring global commodity prices and green alternatives: the question of how to meet our future energy needs is rarely far from the news. But while the issue might make headlines, it’s rarely at the forefront of our minds when we crank up the heating, stick on the kettle and settle down for a night in front of the television. But the next time you whip up a storm in the kitchen, you’ll know one rather geeky fact: there’s a fair chance the electricity or gas you’re using originated in Medway. That’s because this corner of Kent is becoming a key production base for the UK energy industry. Liquified natural gas (LNG), power stations, wind farms... it’s got the lot. And while they might not sound particularly glamorous, as Medway Council’s director of regeneration, community and culture Robin Cooper points out: “They’re extremely and increasingly important to the UK”. As North Sea supplies diminish, predictions estimate that almost half of

the UK’s gas demand will be met through imports by 2010. In June 2005, when a cargo arrived from Arzew in Algeria, Medway’s Isle of Grain became the venue for the UK’s first LNG terminal – where gas is cooled to -161°C and transported in liquid form via tanker to be re-gasified at its destination. After three years of careful planning, the 3.3 million tonnes import plant was up and running. And, less than three years after receiving its maiden load, Grain is a hive of construction activity once again. Owner and UK network operator National Grid is in the middle of an expansion programme that will almost triple capacity to 9.8 million tonnes in late 2008, and almost 15 million tonnes in 2010. By then, the Grain facility alone will be meeting 20% of the entire country’s projected gas demand. As National Grid executive director, Edward Astle, puts it: “We have responded to the decline in North Sea gas supplies by developing the first modern LNG terminal

to meet import requirements. We are delighted that further expansion will provide the UK with increased diversity of supply.” But as well as helping the country keep its lights on, and pots boiling, Medway itself is reaping the benefits of Grain LNG project and the many other energy schemes the area hosts. “Thousands of jobs are being created: from the construction workers building the plants to the specialised staff who operate the facilities,” explains Cooper. “Local businesses are enjoying the many opportunities on offer, the energy companies are working with our universities, we’ve just been granted £9 million to improve road access out to the Grain peninsula, which should attract even more firms, and there is a real chance for the area to become a knowledge hub for green technology.” Two of the biggest projects under way or on the drawing board are by energy »

[ energy ]

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TOP, ABOVE: Turbines and boilers: integral parts of any power station. RIGHT: The current Isle of Grain power station.

firm E.ON. The first, currently on site, is the £500 million Grain power plant, which will produce enough electricity to supply around one million homes by 2010. It will feature an innovative scheme to supply “waste” heat in the form of hot water to the nearby LNG terminal. This hot water will replace the gas National Grid currently uses to heat LNG into a usable form, allowing for a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 350,000 tonnes a year. Dr Tony Cocker, managing director of E.ON’s energy wholesale business, says: “We’re in a race to replace many UK power stations with schemes that are more efficient and cleaner than anything before. This is yet another example of how we can change the way we generate, distribute and use energy in the UK.” More controversial is the £1.7 billion, Kingsnorth coal power station. Planning permission is yet to be granted for two

new state-of-the-art cleaner coal 800MW units to replace four existing units. The new units would cost around £1 billion to build and could be capable of burning energy crops, called biomass, alongside coal. Plans have yet to be approved by the government, and E.ON has asked for more consultation on how carbon capture technology could be used on the scheme. “These will be unlike anything we’ve seen in the UK before,” says E.ON chief executive Dr Paul Golby. “They will cut carbon emissions by millions of tonnes a year and could eventually be fitted with carbon capture kit that would enable the station to move from being simply cleaner to being genuinely clean coal. In the time we’re making this investment we’ll be closing twice the equivalent capacity of our old coal-fired power stations. “Also this particular investment is significantly more efficient than conventional coal plants, so the development is equivalent to taking about half a million cars off the road.” Around 200 people are currently »

Mark Hammond, 23, is an v assistant engineer at E.ON’s v Grain Power Station on the Hoo v Peninsula. v He joined E.ON as an apprentice v specialising in mechanics in v 2000, straight from the Howard v School in Rainham, the town v where he still lives today.v “I always enjoyed technology lessons when I was at school, so an apprenticeship seemed to be a fantastic opportunity to get some hands-on experience, and get me earning and learning at the same time.” Mark spent the bulk of his first couple of years at training centres, including the IPS International Training Centre at Medway City Estate, where he was taught basic engineering skills. “The first year or so gave me a solid grounding in the practicalities of an operational plant. After that it was straight to the power station where I spent time with the turbine, boiler and mill teams. “My apprenticeship was a hugely challenging time and the people I worked with really inspired me to push forward with my engineering career. Being part of a company the size of E.ON gives young engineers so many opportunities, particularly with all the new-build projects we’re working on.” There are currently more than 60 apprentices at different stages of E.ON’s four-year advanced modern apprenticeship scheme, nearly a third of whom are attached to Kingsnorth and Grain power stations.


[ energy ]






OVER 30,000,000






Tesco is committed to Medway and the Thames Gateway and is currently involved in major regeneration developments in Chatham, Strood, Sittingbourne, Dartford, Southend and Greenwich. For more information on how Tesco is helping the Thames Gateway regeneration, contact: Michael Kissman or James Wiggam at Tesco michael.kissman@uk.tesco.com james.wiggam@uk.tesco.com



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40 STORES 9,000 JOBS

impact We aim to have a lasting

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on the places where we develop, creating successful communities which will continue to thrive in the long-term. www.hyde-housing.co.uk

[ energy ] government’s target of providing 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. London Array received planning permission for the offshore works in December 2006 and in August last year the government supported the planning inspector’s recommendation for permission to be given for the construction of an onshore substation. And on the Grain peninsula itself, BP has received planning permission to build six 80m-tall turbines. This surge in wind power is backed by a new direction in government policy. In December 2007, business secretary John Hutton proposed the creation of up to 33 gigawatts of offshore wind energy at a European energy industry conference in Berlin. He called for companies to invest in large-scale farm development to generate enough power for up to 25 million homes in the next 12 years. Whether such an ambitious target will actually be met remains to be seen, but Cooper believes Medway is ready and well placed to meet any challenge. “We’re building a knowledge base here in all types of energy and green technologies and that is something we hope to capitalise on. The Isle of Grain alone has large, available employment sites with opportunities for up to 5,000 jobs to be created.” M

Medway:. the energy hotspot.

A few of the major projects. under way in Medway.. E.ON E.ON Kingsnorth

BELOW: One of the current Kingsnorth power stations. Pending a government decision, this could be replaced by two ‘cleaner coal’ versions.

Kingsnorth What? A  proposed £1 billion ‘cleaner’ coal-fired What? A  proposed power plant £1 billion capable ‘cleaner’ of generating coal-fired 1,600 power MW.plant E.ONcapable claims carbon of generating emissions 1,600would MW. beE.ON cut byclaims almostcarbon two million emissions tonnes would a year, be with cut by thealmost new units two million burningtonnes energya crops year with alongside the new coal. units burning energy crops When?  alongside A planning coal.application was lodged with When? A planning Medway Council application in December was lodged 2006. withA Medway decision Council on its future in December is awaited 2006, from and central granted government. in January 2008. A decision on its Why?future To replace from central an existing government four-unitis1,940 expected MW ???? plantCompletion and, according is scheduled to chief executive for 2012. Why? To replace Dr Paulan Golby, existing “set four a new unit benchmark 1,940 MW for plant cleaner and, according coal-firedtogeneration chief executive in the UK”. Dr Paul Golby, “set a new benchmark for Grain cleaner CHP coal-fired generation in the UK”. What? A £500 million combined heat and power Grain CHPplant capable of supplying electricity to What? A £500 one million millionhomes. combined It will heat also and provide power plant ‘waste’ capable heatoftosupplying National Grid’s electricity LNGtoterminal one million (below). homes. It will also provide “waste” When? heat Construction to National Grid’s is under LNG way, terminal the facility (seeis below). expected to be operational in 2010. When? Why?Construction It’s needed,issays underway E.ON, towith helpthe “keep facility lights expected on for homes to be operational and businesses”. in 2010. Why? It’s needed, says E.ON, to help “keep lights on for homes and businesses”.

National Grid

Isle of Grain LNG terminal

National What? A 3.3 Grid million tonnes LNG receiving terminal Isle of Grain (that’s LNG liquefied terminal natural gas to you and me), What? A  3.3 themillion first of tonnes its kind LNG in thereceiving UK. terminal When? (that’s Theliquefied plant hasnatural been delivering gas to yougas andtome), British thehomes first of since its kind 2005. in the Construction UK. is under When? The way plant to almost is has been triple delivering capacity bygas lateto2008 British and by homes 2010 asince further 2005. phase Construction of expansion is will under seeway Grain to almost meet 20% triple of capacity the UK’s by gas late needs. 2008 and by 2010 a further phase of Why? expansion A  s Northwill Sea see gas Grain dwindles, meet 20% the UK of the needs UK’s to source gas needs. energy from overseas. LNG Why? As North is gas Sea cooled gastodwindles, -161°C (inthe liquid UK form needs to source it takesenergy up 600from times overseas. less space) LNGand is gas cooled transported to -161°C via (in liquid tankerform to beitre-gasified takes up at 600its times destination. less space) and transported via tanker to be re-gasified at its destination.


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employed at the existing power station, more than 70% of whom live within 20 miles of the site, and E.ON says the new development would both provide work for a significant number of local contractors during construction, and a long-term future for hundreds of jobs in the region. “Wherever possible we intend to use local businesses at all stages of our project, so we’d expect there to be significant economic benefits directly through employment and indirectly through services during the construction period,” says Kingsnorth project manager Adrian Smith. “We’re also offering opportunities for young people in the energy industry. We’ve got 16 apprentices working at Kingsnorth and Grain and this number is set to increase as both projects continue.” Renewable energy sources will also feature heavily in the energy mix. Twenty kilometres from the Kent coast, the London Array is set to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The £1.5 billion project will boast up to 341 wind turbines, able to generate enough electricity to power a quarter of London homes or every home in Kent and East Sussex. Run by a consortium of Shell WindEnergy, E.ON UK Renewables and Core, it will account for almost 10% of the

Delivering in Medway

Countryside Properties is a leader in property development, the creation of sustainable communities and urban regeneration. Our vision is to create exceptional places for people to live, work and enjoy. We have an excellent record of progress and delivery within Medway where our highly successful long-term partnership with SEEDA is creating an outstanding sustainable community at Chatham Maritime. We are also planning other developments in Medway.

01277 690588 E-mail: guy.lambert@cpplc.com Web: www.countryside-properties-corporate.com

Leading sustainable developments

[ creative ]

For years, a growing band of artists and designers have been quietly turning Medway into a cultural hub. But now the secret’s out. We meet some of the area’s, until now, hidden talent.


ulture and creativity lie at the heart of successful places and communities. As well as encouraging an atmosphere of energy and passion, they also give people opportunities to learn skills, express their identities and share experiences, and a stake in the places where they live. Boosting Medway’s creative economy, and making it the cultural hub of the Thames Gateway, is at the heart of its regeneration plans. Many initiatives are already under way. As part of a four-year cultural celebration in the countdown to the 2012 Olympics, the council is organising Medway Culture and Design Awards. It is also funding a two-year Medway creative business initiative, with the University College for the Creative Arts (UCCA) Rochester campus, to increase the number of creative businesses in Medway, while the UCCA’s creative business co-ordinators support and encourage fledgling creative businesses. And on the physical front, run-down properties in the waterfront at Chatham are being turned into studio spaces. But a creative buzz cannot be forced – it has to grow organically. And that’s what’s been happening in Medway, creating a thriving cultural sector that’s one of its hidden assets. For years it has been a hive of creative activity, full of professional artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, and so on, held together in a loose network, and fed by the highly successful UCCA. As Medway unifies into one new, exciting city, its creative industries can both drive and record its progress in becoming the cultural and economic heart of the region.

Harriet’s Muse Fashion design This label and boutique was created by Craig Spellar and Cheryl Partington in 2003, who met while studying an MA in fashion at UCCA, Rochester. As well as their main line of clothing, they specialise in bespoke corsetry and couture. Fans include Girls Aloud and Kelly Osborne.

Frill Neck Dress, inspired by the wayward writings of the Earl of Rochester.

Made in Medway? Craig: Yes. Cheryl: Migrated here. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: An endless world of possibilities. Bad: People are always apologetic about it.



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Art in the right place

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Andrew Lapthorn Furniture maker Working mainly with European hardwoods, Andrew designs and produces bespoke home, office and outdoor furniture, using both modern and traditional techniques. He was one of the first to set up business in Chatham’s historic dockyard 20 years ago, after spending three years at sea as a shipwright, and completing his studies in furniture fine craftsmanship and design. Made in Medway? Born here, and brought up on the river. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: The river. Bad: Pentagon Centre.

Mark Barnes Illustrator Since studying illustration at Kingston University in 2006, Mark has founded a greeting card company, and won the inaugural Chatham Vines Public Art Award. His main work comprises websites, posters, book illustrations, logo designs, advertising and marketing material. Clients include Medway Council and the University College for the Creative Arts. Made in Medway? Born and bred. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: Forts, castles, museums – it’s like living in an open-air museum. Bad: I’ve been here so long, it’s become like wallpaper to me.

Low Water Table, inspired by Medway: the material of European oak acknowledges Medway’s centuries of shipmaking, and the adzed finish gives an effect like ripples on water.

Mark’s wry take on the Medway masterplan and redevelopment.

[ creative ] Dawn McKelvie Fashion, and interior/ product design

Made in Medway? Not quite – arrived when she was nine months old. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: The creative talent. Bad: No late-night shopping.

Tina Kean Artist A member of the cooperative art group West End Studios in Chatham, Tina operates out of two Medway locations, creating collage work and ‘memory boxes’ at the studio, and paintings at home. Her work concentrates on positivity, particularly the memory boxes, which turn clients’ sentimental items into works of celebration. Recent Kent-based exhibitions have won her new clients in London. Tina studied at Camberwell Art School and Goldsmith University. Made in Medway? No, south London, but moved here in 2002 with her husband and children. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: A feeling of community and goodwill, plenty of open green areas, and regular festivals. Bad: Lack of recreational facilities, and neglected town centres.

Fizzy Aura wall screen, created from UV-reactive plastic that glows in the sun, represents the buzz around Medway’s huge transformation.

A painting entitled Home, which represents the positive move towards optimism and growth for those living in Medway towns, with the hand symbolising the involvement of people in their communities.



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After studying fashion design at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Rochester [now UCCA], and graduating, Dawn worked freelance as a designer, illustrator and pattern cutter. Particularly valuable experience came while working on a premium leather accessories label, sold at Harrods, where she gained experience in the luxury goods market. Now, her company Rascal Bee creates bespoke accessories and wall screens, based on colour therapy.

[ creative ]

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Spaghetti Weston Digital media Set up by Gary Weston, this design company provides video production, photography, audio production, websites and graphic design. It’s been going strong since 2003, with clients including the Arts Council, the BBC, Crafts Council, FUSE Fetival, Hasbro and Medway Council. Gary’s degree was in production and broadcast media, and before he settled in Medway he spent time both as a sound engineer and professional musician/writer. Made in Medway? No – Casteau Belgium. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: The river. Bad: Neglect of the river.

Naked Vine Graphic design Established by Danny Waters in 1999, Naked Vine employs nine people on all aspects of graphic design, from building and designing websites to event management. All the employees have at least five years’ industry experience. Clients include Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent County Council, Shell, T-Mobile and Mazda. Made in Medway? Yes – born in Rainham. Medway’s good and bad points: Good: Rich history, architecture and colourful, diverse people. Bad: Anyone living in complete ignorance of all that was here before them. M This work, Pride, celebrates the historical importance of the Medway region, and its status as a World Heritage site. The film Artsport is about how art and sport can combine to unite a community and create a new sense of place, and was produced to highlight Medway’s role as a cultural centre for the Thames Gateway in the run up to the London Olympics.

All artists, designers and images are from the book Made in Medway, by Steve Rowland and Bianca Donnelly. All photography, both book and feature, by Rikard Österlund. All the projects are artistic responses to the phrase ‘Made in Medway’, posed by the authors to all creatives living and working in the area. The book can be bought from www. madeinmedway.com, a web portal run by Rowland and Donnelly for the area’s creative community.

Making a difference

Working in Partnership to Regenerate Medway Orbit South owns and manages over 12,000 homes mainly in Kent, East Sussex and South London. We are investing £50m each year in regeneration and new homes. Orbit can offer • 40 years of experience developing and regenerating the south east • Long term neighbourhood management and community development • Quality services across the region provided by local teams • Over 1,000 homes in Medway managed from our Chatham office • Commitment to working in partnership to improve the quality of life for communities

www.orbitsouth.org.uk To find out more about how Orbit South can work with you to Build Brighter Futures contact:

Vivien Knibbs Managing Director vivien.knibbs@orbit.org.uk

Maggie McCann Divisional Development Director maggie.mccann@orbit.org.uk Orbit South Housing Association Ltd is an exempt charity and part of the Orbit Group

[ contact ] medway 1


For further information about Medway’s transformation, contact Brian Weddell at Medway Renaissance on 01634 337152. www.medwayrenaissance.com

Providing property & development advice throughout

Medway and beyond for over 25 years

www.harrisons-surveyors.com or call 01634 265900


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Medway1 #1  

Investment, development and regeneration in Medway, Kent (Chatham, Rochester, Strood, Gillingham, Rainham)

Medway1 #1  

Investment, development and regeneration in Medway, Kent (Chatham, Rochester, Strood, Gillingham, Rainham)