Medway – a "place of growth and opportunity"
by Maria Shahid Tue 18 November 2014, 12:43 pm
Last night (17 November) saw 91 of the property industry's movers and shakers including developers, investors, funders and architects gather at the business networking club, Home House, in London's Portman Square, to launch the seventh issue of Medway1, the regeneration magazine published by 3Fox International.
It was an opportunity to find out about how Medway Council is working with businesses to create regeneration schemes in the region.
Councillor Jane Chitty, Medway’s portfolio holder for strategic development and economic growth, said: “There has been an overwhelming response to the event, which is a testament to the positive relationships the council had built up with its business partners”. She added that “significant progress had been made in the regeneration of Medway”, and that it is a place of opportunity.
Also speaking at the event was Medway’s director or regeneration, community and culture, Robin Cooper (above), who explained that the council is “passionate about development in the right places”. He referred to the Rochester Riverside scheme, which is due to go on the market in the next four to five weeks, adding that the council was “looking for one developer to take that site forward.”
“I really feel that things are happening now in Medway, and we’ve got a really good development team”.
MHS Homes’ operations director, Gary Clark, said the social housing provider was happy to sponsor 3Fox events such as this one as it strengthened the company’s relationship with the council, allowed it to meet new contacts and “hopefully discuss potential business opportunities”.
He added that MHS Homes was Medway’s largest social landlord, owning and managing about 8,500 homes. “We house about one in 12 of Medway’s population. We are planning on investing about £120 million to provide another 800-plus homes in Medway and the surrounding areas.”
Event host, Gordon D’Silva OBE, founder and director of the Good Business Alliance, praised the “inspirational presentation” given by the council: “It’s a great example of a local authority using their public policy muscle to really leverage and make a difference to the communities that they are there to service.
“One of the challenges of regeneration is that it is too city-focused. We don’t talk about the large urban centres like Medway. “
He concluded by referring to the important place that 3Fox events such as this one played in “bringing business together with public sector bodies in a much more dynamic way”.
View a gallery of images from the event here.