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Project: Chatham Dockyards

19 October 2009

Chatham Dockyards case studyWhen the Royal Navy left Chatham, North Kent, in 1986 it ended over 400 years of naval history. It also meant that one of the town’s most significant employers was lost. The area began to struggle and the lack of other large employers or investment in the area saw the economy of Chatham and surrounding towns decline seriously over the next 13 years.

In 1999 SEEDA acquired the dockyards and set in motion a strategy to bring this site in the heart of the Thames Gateway back to life. SEEDA led a programme of public and private investment of over £850m in business, leisure and residential facilities to plan and create a thriving community.

Called Chatham Maritime, the new community has high quality homes, schools and parks. It has taken over two decades since the closure of Chatham Dockyard for the development to take place and for people and businesses to start moving back into the area. High quality design and cutting edge environmental technologies have been key to attracting residents and employers and to establishing the community.

Jonathan Sadler, SEEDA Development Director for Thames Gateway, who has led the project since it began, said, "The early vision for Chatham Maritime was to regenerate this once abandoned and derelict site at the heart of the Medway Towns to create a premier business location and vibrant residential community. Working with our partners we have built new infrastructure, 1,000 new homes and a million square feet of office space, creating over 5,000 jobs.”

One example of how well it has been received is the new Universities at Medway campus. This means that thousands of students from Medway towns will now be able to study close to home.

For further information on Chatham Dockyards please contact the Homes & Communities Agency

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