Published: Wednesday, 14th February 2024

Medway Council has taken a decision to pause development at Innovation Park Medway and explore the best options for its future.

Councillors agreed the decision at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet last night (Tuesday, 13 February), to enable a thorough review of proposals for Innovation Park Medway.

Rising construction costs and higher interest rates, together with impact of the Covid pandemic on construction and business practices, were among the factors influencing the need for a new approach for the park, which consists of a north and south site.

Following the decision by Cabinet, development will be paused at both sites at appropriate milestones. Pausing the programme will enable the council to explore and agree the best long-term opportunities for Innovation Park Medway, and to ensure the most sustainable future for both sites.

Infrastructure works at the northern site, which include the creation of access roads, bus stops, footpaths and cycleways, drainage, utilities, lighting, landscaping and street furniture, are set to be completed by spring 2024, laying the foundations for the next stage of the development.

The southern site has also seen the installation of lighting, utilities and roadways, and final landscaping and power installation works are due to be completed on both sites soon.

A further update on the future of Innovation Park Medway will be provided once a preferred option has been agreed by the council, which will aim to find the most sustainable option suiting local businesses and future development needs.

Finding a sustainable future

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Strategic Regeneration, said: “It is vital we find the best option for a sustainable future at Innovation Park Medway, and pausing current development will allow us to do that.

“We will continue to work with key partners including local businesses and our universities to ensure we find the right way forward for the future development of both sites.”

Committed to driving economic growth

Cllr Lauren Edwards, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic and Social Regeneration and Inward Investment, said: “Medway Council remains committed to driving economic growth and creating more high value jobs for local people. We are immensely proud that we have more than 14,000 businesses in Medway, which are the lifeblood of a local economy now worth £5.9bn.

“This pause to allow us to consider our options for Innovation Park Medway in the current market environment is both sensible and prudent. We don't want to continue to expend money on a project when the original business case no longer holds up. Instead, we will look at new ways to make the site a success, supporting local businesses to grow, working with our fantastic local colleges and universities, and attracting new businesses to Medway.”

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