Go to navigation

Chatham’s transformation into city centre begins

20 June 2017

An ambitious regeneration project to transform Chatham into a thriving city centre has begun.

Medway Council has secured £4million of government funding to help regenerate Chatham and make it a better place for residents, workers and visitors.

Members of the Cabinet and senior council officials attended the town centre on Monday, 19 June to mark the start of the improvement works. The project, known as Chatham Placemaking, is due to be completed in 2018.

Last year the council ran a public consultation on the design plans, where residents were encouraged to have their say on how the town centre could be improved. 

Public art consultancy FrancisKnight was appointed to work on the project with Project Centre and LDA Design, and commissioned a number of artists to help engage the local community - artwork was displayed around the town centre.

Chatham already has lots going for it, from the breath-taking views of the River Medway to the iconic sites of the Historic Dockyard Chatham and Fort Amherst, and the regeneration plans will transform the town into Medway’s city centre.

Details of planned works in Chatham

The funding will allow the council to create an easier journey for pedestrians and cyclists from Chatham railway station to the waterfront bus station and town centre.

Improvements will also be made at New Cut Junction, St John's Square, Military Square and Military Road:

  • New Cut - area from the station car park down to New Cut bridge.

Works include widening the pavements to form a shared pedestrian and cycle route. There will also be improved paving materials, seating, lighting and tree planting. In addition, there will be a lighting feature on the bridge and engraved kerbs referencing Chatham’s history.

  • St John’s Square - area from New Cut bridge through to JD Wetherspoon on Railway Street.

The footpath alongside the church will be widened to form a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway. The existing steps and ramp will be replaced with a combined step and ramp solution, as well as improved lighting and tree planting.

  • Military Road/Railway Street (including Military Square) - area from JD Wetherspoon along to the green gates on Military Road.

Works include improving the paving along the entire stretch, with a granite feature at Military Square including engraved historic references and new seating.

  • The Paddock - area immediately after the green gates on Military Road, through to The Brook/Dock Road.

The paving will be improved in this area and there will be new seating.

In addition to the Chatham Placemaking project, Medway Council is working with Fort Amherst Heritage Trust on the Command of the Heights project. This includes plans for an amphitheatre with seating for up to 250 people, restoration of the historic entrance to the fort via Barrier Road, demolition of the Riverside One building to recreate the outline of the Barrier Ditch which draws this key asset into the heart of the city centre, a play area near the bus station, as well as improved access from Brompton and the Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham.

'Revitalising Chatham'

Leader of Medway Council Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “On Monday we officially launched works which will kick-start the transformation of Chatham as Medway’s city centre. We are revitalising Chatham to make the town centre more appealing to those who live, work and visit the area.

“Together with partners we’ve designed a scheme that will create an easier journey between the station, the town centre and the waterfront. This will include improving key routes and widening footpaths. This is an exciting time for Chatham and it forms part of our wider ambitious regeneration plans for Medway.”