Go to navigation

Medway secures £7.2million for key regeneration sites

2 February

Regeneration projects across Medway have received a £7.2 million boost following successful bids for funding announced today (2 February).

Rochester Airport Technology Park and flood defences at the former Civic Centre site in Strood will get a cash injection of more than £3.5million each from the Local Growth Fund (LGF). The Local Growth Fund investment was secured through the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, a federated board of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), which brings together key leaders from business, local government, further and higher education to drive forward economic growth opportunities.

The two Medway projects will create at least 2,000 jobs and around 325 quality homes. Medway Council bid for the money with a view that both initiatives would attract inward investment, raise local aspirations and transform key sites in the area.

Rochester Airport Technology Park

Onsite infrastructure to enable private development to come forward.

Rochester Airport Technology Park has won £3.7million and was high on the priority list for the SELEP, which gave the project a ranking of four out of 41 bids within its Growth Deal submission for 2016. This is the second time the site within the North Kent Enterprise Zone has been backed, having previously secured LGF funding to free up development land at Rochester Airport in 2015.

This second round of funding will go towards the installation of vital infrastructure on the site for future business, such as access roads and a water and electricity supply. This will make the site more attractive to potential investors and help to unlock the land for commercial use. Business occupiers of the site will benefit from Enterprise Zone tax discounts for a five year period to a maximum value of £275,000.

Former Civic Centre site, Strood

Improvements to flood defences to enable the bringing forward of a prime development site on the River Medway.

The brownfield Civic Centre site has been identified as an area for regeneration and an ideal location for around 325 waterfront homes, but at present the site is at considerable risk of flooding and requires protection works before it can be redeveloped. The council has won £3.5million to invest in flood defences and the bid was given a high priority by the SELEP.

Once protected, the site will be an area of prime, high quality residential land with potential for premium housing, offering fantastic un-interrupted views of Rochester Castle and cathedral. Development of the site will also create up to 500 new jobs and provide employment land targeted at small and medium businesses, encouraging local cafes and restaurants to open there.

Projects vital for Medway's growth

Medway Council’s Leader Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “This is brilliant news for Medway. This funding will help us to move forward with important projects that are going to be vital for Medway’s growth and economic success in years to come.”

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships Cllr Rodney Chambers said: “I am very pleased that these bids have been successful and we will be able to deliver on these key projects which are set to benefit the local economy, businesses and residents. The progress we’ll be able to make as a result of this funding will help to make Medway an even more desirable place to live, work, visit and learn.”

Geoff Miles, KMEP Chairman and SELEP Vice-Chairman, said: “This investment enables us to drive forward our shared growth agenda delivering economic growth, new jobs, facilitating housing, improving connectivity and boosting skills.

“The additional funding that will be leveraged into the Kent and Medway as a result of today’s infrastructure investments is testament to the continued success of our area.”

SELEP Chairman Christian Brodie said: “This Growth Deal settlement is a huge boost for the economy in Kent and Medway. We have secured funding to channel significant investment into the projects, which are of highest priority to our businesses and local areas.”