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Big guns join Medway round table event

Fri 6 December 2013, 2:31 pm

Medway's superb location is what will bring commuters and employers to the area, according to a panel representing housebuilders, advanced manufacturing, the further education sector and the council leader and executives.

Participants of the Medway1 round table event at the council's HQ

Matthew Biddle, managing director of Berkeley First, said at the round table discussion: “Medway’s accessibility to different stations within London is very important. Quality of life factors also make it attractive to housebuyers – access to Europe, the Kent countryside and coast, Chatham’s Historic Dockyard and Rochester.

“For people working in London, a commute of one hour and 15 minutes is acceptable,” Biddle added. “Thirty three minutes, the journey from Medway to London, is fantastic – and HS1 runs very good trains, so it’s a more comfortable commute.”

The discussion, held in Medway Council’s Chatham headquarters on 28 November, also covered in detail the employment skills available in the Medway workforce. MidKent College principal, Sue McLeod, said that the college has extensive relationships with employers in the area and is developing high quality e-learning materials to reduce employers’ training costs.

Sallyann McLean of BAE Systems concurred, adding that the company is working closely with the college to develop local people for its workforce. “This works brilliantly,” McLeod said. “BAE is very engaged and we can move provision quite quickly to suit the employer’s needs.”

The round table discussion was organised by 3Fox International, publisher of Medway1 magazine, and will appear as a major editorial feature in the next edition, which is due to be published in January.

The participants were: Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council; Matthew Biddle, managing director, Berkeley First; Neil Davies, chief executive, Medway Council; Gary Clark, operations director, MHS Homes; Sue McLeod, principal, MidKent College; Geoff Blake, land director, Bellway; Sallyann McLean, commercial director, BAE Systems; and Robin Cooper, director of regeneration, community and culture. The discussion was chaired by Medway1 editor, Siobhán Crozier.

Matthew Biddle, managing director of Berkeley First 

MidKent College principal, Sue McLeod



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