In his latest message to residents, Cllr Alan Jarrett discusses supporting Medway’s local businesses and discovering Medway’s hidden gems this summer.
Summer at last seems to be arriving and I hope you are enjoying this spell of lovely weather. It coincides this week with half term for children and young people across Medway and, although many may not be able to spend it on holiday outside of the UK, as they had hoped, there’s so much to discover and enjoy on our own doorsteps.
We’ve launched the #WhoKnew campaign to highlight Medway’s hidden gems, unique attractions, independent shops, fantastic restaurants and picturesque landscapes and to encourage residents to rediscover Medway and invite their friends and family to enjoy the best Medway has to offer over the summer months.
Glamping in a church and driving an electric go kart around an indoor track are just some of the things on offer alongside our historic gems like Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral, Chatham’s Historic Dockyard and Fort Amherst. There are also a range of museums and galleries for families to explore and enjoy. Find out more about what Medway has to offer, including our eight award-winning parks.
By staying local this summer you’ll be supporting local businesses which have suffered during the pandemic so please do invite your friends and family to pay a visit and enjoy the best of Medway.
We’re continuing to develop an exciting alternative festival and events programme for the summer, which can be COVID-19 safe if needed. We’re teaming up with local organisations to celebrate Medway’s culture and communities, past, present and future. From the River Medway to Fort Amherst, artists, drag queens, musicians, scientists and of course, Dickens will fill Medway’s high streets and parks with colour and noise creating a brilliant summer of live and online entertainment for residents and visitors.
We’re looking forward to the most unique gaming festival the UK has ever seen, Medway Rapture Gaming and Creative Festival, which is due to be held at the Historic Dockyard Chatham on Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 July. The weekend family-fun festival will have something for everyone – from gaming pros to novices. There will be plenty of gaming fun and interactive exhibitions for people of all ages to get involved in, including children, families and students.
This summer’s events programme will shine a light on Medway’s creative spirit as it prepares to bid for UK City of Culture 2025. The formal competition was announced by the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden last Saturday and we want everyone in Medway to get behind and support the bid as it would allow us to showcase Medway on a national stage and host a year-long extraordinary cultural programme that represents the diversity and creativity of Medway and bring huge benefits and opportunities to everyone. Medway already has a fantastic cultural heritage and being UK City of Culture 2025 would bring major social and economic benefits to the area. The team running the bid aims to engage our whole population in the programme over the next year and we are all invited to show our support for the bid to help our chance of winning.
The events, and the #WhoKnew campaign, also support our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.
Even though the sun is shining and you may be busy exploring Medway, it remains vital that we all continue to follow the latest government guidelines and that you take up the chance to get vaccinated, when it’s your turn, so we can enjoy even more freedom this summer.
Stay safe and continue to follow the government guidelines - hands, face, space, fresh air.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council