by Natalie Vincent Thu 28 June 2018, 12:23 pm
Developers and consultants involved with the regeneration of Medway were invited to submit expressions of interest in developing Rochester at the launch of Medway1 magazine's 11th issue, last night.
Held at BNP Paribas in London, around 80 attendees came to hear about the progress of development projects in the region, which are also featured in the magazine.
The publication focuses on schemes in the area, including Rochester Riverside, Innovation Park Medway and the ongoing Strood regeneration.
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett praised the magazine, calling it a "valuable document in telling the Medway story", and outlined the progress of development: "A lot has happened since we met last year; as you know, the gestation period for a lot of these schemes is long and tiresome, but now we are seeing some of our projects come to fruition. Rochester Riverside, by Countryside is now coming out of the ground at pace, as well as TopHat's [Kitchener Barracks] scheme in Chatham.
"The challenge for us is to meet the government’s housing targets, but also to focus on employment opportunities and quality of life; that’s why we say to our developers and investors, 'yes we do want more homes, but we also want to focus on quality of life, good-quality developments, and we won't be slow in telling you when a development isn’t up to standard'."
Other speakers at the event included Medway Council's director of regeneration, culture, environment and transformation and deputy chief executive Richard Hicks, game developer Dovetail Games CEO Paul Jackson OBE, and managing director of developer Countryside, Andy Fancy.
Alluding to Dovetail Games' expanding activity in Chatham Dockyards, Jackson said: "Chatham has been a place of innovation for centuries and we are proud to continue that tradition."
Hicks called the council's £170 million Housing Infrastructure Fund bid from government, "a new chapter in the history of Medway" and outlined various investment schemes in Chatham and Strood, including its train station, placemaking and the historical Command of the Heights site. He said: "It is amazing what is happening in Medway, with all of these regeneration sites coming forward."
With Countryside launching its Rochester Riverside marketing suite in October, Fancy alluded to the 70,000 people pre-registered for homes at the development, and thanked the council for its collaboration: "At the end of the scheme, we want people to feel like they are walking out onto the Wembley pitch; we found the council had very clear direction in terms of what they want, after signing the development agreement we were onsite within 18 months, which is unheard of, but we want to do more in Medway."
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