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Rural development

Much of Medway is rural, including large tracts of countryside on the Hoo peninsula, in the Medway valley, on Rainham marshes and around the urban area. Its villages make up just over 10 per cent of Medway’s population. The countryside contains many diverse landscapes, from salt marshes to the chalk hills of the North Downs. The area also has a number of key employment sites, such as Kingsnorth and Thamesport on the Isle of Grain.

The Council supports projects that improve services in rural Medway, and protect the countryside. These include the Villager community transport scheme that provides minibus services for rural residents and community groups. The Council also supports the Halling Association, a local partnership that has funded a number of community and environmental projects in Halling over 10 years.

Medway Council is working with Kent County Council to deliver improvements to broadband services in rural areas. The Broadband Development (BDUK) government programme is investing millions in upgrading infrastructure in villages across Kent and Medway. Further details on the BDUK programme and the locations and timetable for service improvements in Medway are available on the Kent County Council broadband webpage.

The Leader rural development programme has provided European grants to business and community projects in local villages and countryside across Medway over recent years. Work is underway to secure continued funding to support the rural economy through a new Leader programme. Details of the emerging programme and areas eligible for grants are available on the link above.

Parish councils

There are 11 parish councils in Medway, covering the Hoo peninsula and the western part of the Medway valley. They deal with a number of local issues, such as the management of village play areas and are a useful contact point for local information.

Other useful organisations on rural issues