Post 16 students at Strood Academy recently benefited from an extensive overview of the regeneration of Medway by Anne Knight, Principal Economic Development Officer at Medway Council.

Anne explained that Medway, as a Unitary Authority is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Consisting of five distinctive towns, Rochester, Chatham, Rainham, Strood and Gillingham, the area aims to achieve City status by 2035.

Looking at Medway as it is now, she elaborated upon the rich heritage of the area, the natural environment and cultural offerings.

Key two drivers for regeneration of the area are:

  • Connectivity
  • Skills

Having suffered from industrial inertia following the closure of the Dockyard in 1984, Anne went on to discuss how  investment in infrastructure and skills and support for town centres as well as an extensive housing plan fit together. She also highlighted the possible benefits of initiatives surrounding Medway such as the London Resort and Lower Thames Crossing.

Business growth in Medway is high in relation to the rest of the U.K with some 13,000 businesses; some are large organisations with the vast majority being small.

Expectation is for 29,500 new homes in Medway and the creation of 17,000 new jobs.

Looking forward from this presentation, Medway Council and Strood Academy are exploring ways that students can become both involved in and aware of the regeneration of their communities. The first such step is likely to be a visit for students to Rochester Riverside as guests of Countryside Properties.