Published: Friday, 19th August 2022

Medway has set its sights on a share of government funding.

Medway has put its hat in the ring for a share of government funding to enable its plans to invest heavily in improvement projects across Gillingham and to support the development of a pioneering new business park in Rochester.

We have bid for a total of £40million for the two projects, as part of Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund.

Open Lines: Gillingham

We have jointly bid with Peel L&P for the improvement project at Gillingham, worth £20million.

Medway’s bid was formed following a series of public consultations where the organisations outlined plans to better connect communities across Gillingham and promote active travel, as well as climate change and child-friendly Medway ambitions. They received an overwhelming response from residents, students, community groups and businesses in support of the innovative projects, which has helped strengthen Medway’s bid to government - receiving 192 formal responses, with many more attending the events to find out about the plans.

If successful, the funding would be used for a series of improvements across Gillingham including new routes for walking and cycling as well as the creation of better access to the waterfront. Plans, drawn up by Peel L&P, would create a 1.4km pedestrian and cycle route between Chatham Waters and Gillingham town centre, using the disused railway line. This would improve access to Gillingham railway station, the town centre and open-up a greener travel option.

The funding would also allow for improvements to the High Street and the creation of new spaces for families to enjoy. This would all help to improve air quality, increase footfall to the town centre and make Gillingham a better place to live, work, learn and visit.

Provide new skills and enhance connectivity

Rehman Chishti MP said: “I am delighted to support Medway Council’s £20 million Levelling Up Bid to central government for Gillingham. This will help deliver the government’s inspirational Levelling Up Agenda for local residents in Gillingham and Rainham in providing new skills in the IT and tech sector at a new hub in Gillingham, the regeneration of Gillingham High Street and enhanced transport connectivity leading to more local jobs, investment and opportunities.“  

Innovation Park Medway

We have also submitted a bid for £20million to fund the development of two net zero carbon buildings at Medway’s new pioneering businesses park.

Innovation Park Medway, near Rochester Airport, will give businesses a chance to grow in an ideal location with excellent transport links and connectivity.

Infrastructure work has already started on the site, within the North Kent Enterprise Zone, including creating access roads and connecting utilities.

If successful, this bid will further act as a catalyst for this site, helping to strengthen Medway’s economy and create high-value jobs.

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Thank you to everyone who gave feedback on the improvement plans for Gillingham to help strengthen our bid to government. We are keeping everything crossed that both of our latest Levelling up Fund bids are successful, to allow the necessary projects to take place. The proposed plans for Gillingham would help increase footfall to the town centre and the vision for Innovation Park Medway would help get the new business development off the ground, both providing a boost to the local economy.”

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