people place growth

The Council Strategy outlines Medway’s overarching aims and priorities for 2023 to 2024

Medway has come a long way since it was formed into a unitary authority area in 1998. The economic transformation and growth that has taken place is truly remarkable and no more so than at Chatham Maritime, the site of the former Chatham Dockyard. Next year we will be commemorating the 40th anniversary since the former working dockyard closed and celebrating how far it has come. The dockyard is now home to a leading visitor attraction for the south-east as well as to many businesses, a shopping outlet, restaurants, bars and cafes. It is also a stunning waterfront housing development and a thriving multi-university campus site.

Medway continues to prove itself to be a city in all but name. The 280,000 residents of Medway are what makes the area so special and a great place to live. Medway is now home to more than 14,000 businesses and continues to grow each year with major businesses including BAE Systems and Hochiki announcing significant investment in the area and others looking to grow in Medway, giving us a thriving business community providing excellent work opportunities.

The council remains committed to delivering its bold and ambitious vision for Medway, providing growth for all, and better outcomes for our residents and businesses.

Work continues to maximise regeneration and drive forward our improvement programme to create opportunities for all and build a sustainable and prosperous Medway for future generations. This includes continuing Medway’s economic growth, as well as providing our residents with more facilities and things to do. Innovation Park Medway, our flagship state-of-the-art business park is making good progress and work to transform Chatham, including providing modern and much-needed housing developments, continues at pace.

Young people in Medway are given an excellent start in life thanks to the 90 per cent of schools rated good or better by Ofsted, the 4 universities and a leading further education college providing skills to thousands of students. 

Medway’s vision is to become a waterfront learning university city which connects innovation, people, and place to drive growth for all. We have all the tools and resources already here to make that possible and ensure that Medway continues to provide its residents with a good quality of life.

Medway’s extensive range of heritage sites attract approximately 5 million visitors a year. As a leading tourist destination for the south-east, Medway already offers its residents a range of leisure and cultural attractions on their doorstep. However, to provide greater opportunity for everyone to get involved in Medway’s community celebrations, the council organises more than 30 free festivals and events each year. This year will also bring communities across Medway together as we celebrate what will be a momentous occasion in history - the Coronation of His Majesty The King, Charles III.

Our Child-Friendly Medway initiative arranges even more activities but with our younger generations in mind. This opens opportunities for children from all backgrounds to get involved and have their voice listened to.

It is vital we listen to our younger residents and make changes now to benefit them; this includes Medway’s efforts to combat climate change. The council is continuing to work hard to reach Medway’s target of being net zero carbon by 2050 and there are several projects taking place including tree planting, to further protect the environment we live in.

The council’s focus remains on helping Medway’s most vulnerable residents. We are living through difficult times and will continue to do all we can to support our communities and provide them with the support and advice they may need.

Medway is a place where everyone can grow and reach their full potential, and this Council Strategy sets out what we are doing to ensure Medway remains one of the best places to live, work, learn and visit in the south-east, now and in the future. 

Our vision

Our vision, Medway: Waterfront university city, connecting innovation, people and place; driving growth for all


Our priorities

We believe that concentrating our resources in these areas will lead to a better quality of life across Medway.


Supporting residents to realise their potential 

Healthy and active communities

Resilient families

Older and disabled people living independently in their homes

All children achieving their potential in education


Medway: A place to be proud of


A clean and green environment

Put Medway on the map


Maximising regeneration and economic growth - growth for all

A strong diversified economy

Residents with jobs and skills

Preventing homelessness

Delivering new homes to meet the needs of Medway's residents

Getting around Medway

Our vision and priorities, as set out in this strategy, will be delivered by the Council Plan and other key strategies including the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Local Plan and Medway 2035.

What we want to achieve


Supporting residents to realise their potential


Medway: A place to be proud of


Maximising regeneration and economic growth - growth for all

Our values

Our values underpin everything we do. They guide our behaviour, decisions and choices in the way we design and deliver our services. 

Our core values: child-friendly, climate change, financial resilience, digital, creative, communities


Financial resilience


We will deliver efficient and effective services for Medway residents, businesses, and visitors. We will ensure that robust financial systems and processes are in place to manage financial risks and opportunities, and to secure a stable financial position that enables us to operate for the foreseeable future.


Digital enablement


We will use digital as an enabler of everything we do by transforming the way we provide services, the way we work and the way we communicate. We will reach out to residents and businesses who lack the skills, infrastructure, and confidence to go online by providing them with support and assistance.


Creativity and innovation


We will create a culture of creativity and innovation establishing a legacy of local pride, improving diversity and inclusion, and identifying new ways of providing services around the needs of our residents.


Tackle climate change


We will take action to tackle the local and global threat of climate change, both internally and in partnership with local organisations and residents, and to minimise its environmental impact by cutting carbon, waste, and pollution.



Working together to empower communities


We will work together and in partnership with everyone that has an impact on the lives of our residents and businesses.

We will strengthen collaboration between members of our communities, businesses, universities and the voluntary sector to maximise resources and knowledge.





We will improve the lives of children by ensuring their voices, needs, priorities and rights are an integral part of our strategies, policies, programmes and decisions.

Key facts

As a unitary authority we provide all the council services in Medway.


Smart Medway


Opportunities and challenges

Understanding local, regional and national challenges and putting in place innovative solutions ensures a resilient and sustainable Medway.

Illustration of moneyOpportunity/challenge


Our funding is changing. We are relying more on local taxation, as central government funding is not keeping pace with increases in cost and demand for statutory services.


As the balance of funding shifts away from government grants and towards greater reliance on local taxation, this presents local authorities with both a challenge and an opportunity. More homes and inward investment by business can increase the council’s tax base, but also brings with it increased demand for services and infrastructure.

Disabled iconOpportunity/challenge


There continues to be significant funding pressure on the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). This is caused by both the increase in number of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to 25 years old and the increase in cost of specialist provision.


We will work with schools and academies to facilitate a more inclusive culture that supports children with SEND to be catered for appropriately in their local mainstream school.

We have entered into a Safety Valve agreement with the Department for Education, which is a funded four year improvement plan – aimed at removing the deficit.

Elderly coupleOpportunity/challenge


As well as an ageing population, with the number of people over 85 projected to increase by 61% from 2020 to 2035, the number of adults with long-term and multiple health conditions and disabilities who are living longer is expected to increase.


We continue to focus on supporting people to live independently for as long as possible. We commission care agencies to support this aim through Domiciliary Care, or through Home First when rehabilitation is required when discharged from hospital.

Residential provisions are Extra Care, a community-based alternative to residential care. Joint strategies and commissioning plans with the NHS have been developed to ensure we continue to develop the right type of provision to meet future needs.

Domestic abuse illustrationOpportunity/challenge


Continuing to improve our services for children and families in Medway in light of increasing demand and challenges in recruiting and retaining social work practitioners.


Invest in and support our staff and managers to deliver quality work, and develop strong partnerships to improve outcomes for children and families.

Domestic abuse illustrationOpportunity/challenge


Changes in legislation - the Adult Social Care Charging Reform. The government has set out its new plan for adult social care reform in England. This included a lifetime cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care, alongside a more generous means-test for local authority financial support. The government has postponed the charging reform until October 2025.


We will continue to prepare for the charging reforms through the use of the ring fenced funding to implement digital tools to enable online assessments and financial assessments.


homeless person sleepingOpportunity/challenge


Changes in legislation and demographic growth in the area are increasing pressure on the provision of support and accommodation for people who may be, or be threatened with becoming, homeless, in particular the net migration flow to Medway from London has increased in recent years.

At the same time, pressure on households has grown, exacerbated by the cost of living crisis and wider socio-economic factors. This makes effective utilisation of existing resources, and seeking to bring in additional funding, key to realising Housing Services ambitions to meet Medway’s needs.


Medway Housing’s Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy Action Plan is refreshed annually to ensure that we are making best use of additional resources, and ensuring we are complying with legislative requirements, following the government’s updated Rough Sleeping Strategy in 2022. As well as confirmed funding for these services being in place until 2025, Medway Council is also receiving additional funding over the same period to provide support, housing advice and accommodation services for people who are made homeless due to domestic abuse, with oversight from Medway’s Local Partnership Board. This is in compliance with duties laid out in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Both of these provide additional accommodation and support resources and have a focus on ensuring that we work effectively with people who move into Medway, as well as those already resident, and these complement our existing range of interventions provided by our wider Housing Services. Regular feedback is provided to government advisers on the challenges faced by Medway and our response in meeting these.

Housing Services are committed to working in partnership with other council teams, wider statutory services, and the voluntary sector to bring in additional funding, staffing and where possible accommodation, to provide wraparound support for people who are vulnerable and most at risk of homelessness.

group of peopleOpportunity/challenge


Medway is the largest conurbation in the south east, outside London. The population of around 280,000 is predicted to grow further, to 288,800 by 2037, increasing the demand on public services. Demographic growth in the area is increasing pressure on housing, employment and effective infrastructure including flood protection, roads, health and water capacity.


We are transforming the way we work to make sure that we deliver services in a way that meets the changing needs of our residents. We are delivering more services online, working with communities to help them to do more for themselves, and exploring new and innovative ways of delivering services.

Our extensive regeneration programme, as outlined in the Medway 2035 strategy, and continuing as a key theme of the emerging Medway 2037 strategy refresh, ensures the tremendous pace of regeneration in Medway continues. Our Infrastructure Delivery Plan identifies the services needed to deliver sustainable and successful growth. Our Local Transport Plan includes our plans for improving transport by tackling congestion, improving public transport services and improving journeys to school and work.

Illustration of buildingsOpportunity/challenge


A £170 million Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to unlock sustainable development potential on the Hoo Peninsula. The fund is a government capital grant programme to help deliver homes across England.


The council secured £170 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund in order to be best placed to play its part in meeting the anticipated growth of Medway’s population.

Medway's successful bid focused on significantly improving the Hoo Peninsula's environmental infrastructure and transport connections.

The HIF project recognises that the Hoo Peninsula is a distinctive place, with important areas for wildlife, and limited services and infrastructure. Medway Council is engaging with the public to make sure development takes place in the most appropriate places, and that it is sensitive to the environment and supported by the necessary infrastructure.


group of peopleOpportunity/challenge


Kick starting growth through alternative delivery models and providing the right infrastructure for residents and businesses to thrive.


Innovation Park Medway (IPM) is an important opportunity to help shape the economic future of Medway. Our ambitions for the IPM are to:

  • attract high value businesses
  • improve the number and quality of jobs
  • retain and increase the local skills base
  • strengthen links between educational institutions
  • establish the IPM as a preferred destination and partner for local business
  • promote Medway’s brand and image.

Medway Development Company (MDC) Ltd. is wholly owned by Medway Council and its purpose is to undertake development activity to deliver high-quality residential developments to support wider regeneration initiatives and deliver investment returns.

The council has approved £120 million to fund the development programme and to date, planning permission has been achieved for over 500 homes. The White Road scheme has been completed, with 20 affordable modular homes successfully delivered. A further 341 homes are in construction at the Garrison Point and Chatham Waterfront sites and these exciting schemes are progressing towards completion.

Further sites are earmarked for development, including the Mountbatten House building, that will be converted into new high-quality residential apartments and the Britton Farm Mall site in Gillingham that will deliver 44 affordable homes.

The company is also involved with a number of corporate projects, including the recently completed Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT) NHS facility at Britton Farm, that sits alongside a new Skills and Employment Hub, also project managed by MDC.