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Transfer StationMore than 100 businesses from the construction, waste and maintenance industries attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Chatham hosted by Medway Council.

Councillor Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council, said “It was great to see such a big turnout to the second Meet the Buyer event with local Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) well represented. I had lots of positive conversations with suppliers pleased at the open and innovative approach we are taking. I believe Medway Council is starting to position itself at the forefront of public sector procurement. ”

Workshops on how to fill out tender documents, details about the online tendering process and advice from experts gave businesses an insight into improving opportunities to win council work.

Neville Gaunt, North Kent Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for Kent & Medway said: “It is great to see Medway Council changing the environment for SME procurement. I hope the local business community responds well to the opportunity it gives them. The FSB fully supports simple and creative thinking to get best value to all. I was particularly impressed that Medway has set itself a target for contracting with SMEs which is double the Prime Minister’s target for Government Departments.”

A number of the organisations who currently contract with the council, and who are looking for suppliers, attended including waste contractors Veolia, highways company Volker and building maintenance business Medway Norse.

Andrew Cottrell a Manager with the Leadbitter Group who have been contracted to build the new £11million Abbey Court Special Educational Need school said: “This was a brilliant event where we received lots of contacts with local suppliers. We applaud Medway Council in seeking to provide opportunities for Medway businesses and are impressed at their target to spend 50 per cent of their contracts with SMEs.”

Medway Council is also committed to the development of apprenticeship opportunities with local firms with a range of schemes and offers a £2,000 subsidy to qualified employers.

Kerry Linley, Account Manager with apprentice specialists TrAC, said: “This is easily the best meet the buyer event we have attended. Medway Council clearly mean business when it comes to apprentices and we were very impressed by the target in their procurement strategy that for every £1 million contract suppliers must provide at least one apprentice. We look forward to working with Medway to provide young people opportunities across the Borough and Kent.”

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David_Leak-apprentice1Confirmation that government will provide funds to buy a site at Chatham Docks for Medway’s new University Technical College (UTC) clears the way for the public to be consulted on proposals for the educational establishment.
The move follows the agreement by Minister for Schools, Lord Nash, that the Department for Education will release the finance for the college.

The consultation begins today ( 20 January 2014), and runs until 3 February. This will allow local people to put forward their views on the UTC and what they think about the suitability of the UTC Trust’s proposals for young people in Medway. They will be able to respond online, by post, by phone and by email (details below).

In addition, a series of events will be held in February where members of the public can turn up and discover more about the UTC, as well as share their views (details also below).

The UTC, which will specialise in engineering and construction, is due to open in September 2015.

It is sponsored by the University of Greenwich, Mid Kent College, Medway Council, BAE Systems, and other local employers and partners.

The UTC will provide a technically rich education for up to 600 students aged between 14 and 19, for 40 weeks of the year. The working day will typically be from 08.30 until 17:00 to reinforce the business approach to the UTC.

Professor Alan Reed, Director of Regional Development at the University of Greenwich and Chair of the UTC Project Steering Group, said:
‘’After exploring numerous options, the UTC Trust is delighted that the Minister has agreed to fund our proposal for the UTC to be sited on the new Chatham Waters development at Chatham Docks, subject to finalising the acquisition with Peel Land and Property and securing detailed planning permission. “Importantly, the £10 million new build will be in close proximity to the University of Greenwich, MidKent College and the Royal School of Military Engineering, thereby providing UTC students with easy access to the specialist facilities in engineering and construction available at these partners’’

Professor Reed added: “An essential part of the development of the UTC is listening to the views of as wide range of people as possible, to ensure that Medway UTC fully meets the needs of local young people, their families, employers and others.

“The consultation provides everyone with a valuable opportunity to provide their views.

“However, this is just the beginning of a dialogue we hope to have with the people of Medway between now and the opening of the UTC in 2015, and beyond.”

Cllr Rodney Chambers, the leader of Medway Council, said: “Medway has a rich history of construction and engineering, and a University Technical College specialising in these subjects will not only continue this tradition, but will also equip a new generation with first class technical skills that will help them pursue careers in these important sectors at all levels.

“The UTC will enable a degree of specialisation before the age of 16 that is currently unavailable, and it will engage and enthuse students. It will also benefit local employers, which in turn will boost the local economy”

The UTC will be situated on a 5,000m2 single site, with all the facilities required to deliver a high quality technical and vocational education.

It will feature state of the art buildings that will combine business and workplace facilities and ethos within an academic environment.

A six month search to find the most innovative property and construction schemes in the South East is now on, following the launch of the 2014 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) South East Awards on Friday, 4th October 2013.

Considered the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the annual awards celebrate the region’s most inspirational development initiatives and conservation and community benefit schemes. The launch is the starting point for a six month long high profile campaign to find the South East’s leading examples of best practice, culminating in the Awards Dinners in spring 2014. Read More

chatham-watersFollowing detailed planning approval being given last night (Wedneday, 12 September 2013) for the first phase of the Chatham Waters development at Chatham Docks, Gillingham, Medway Council Leader Rodney Chambers said:

“Chatham Waters is a key development for Medway and we are pleased that the first phase can now go ahead. This marks the beginning of a new era for the docklands at Gillingham, which promises to bring thousands of local jobs and economic prosperity to the area. Read More

recent 093 Medway Council is appealing to the area’s major businesses to take part in one of the county’s biggest industrial shows.

Partnering with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce who are delivering the event, The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2013 will be held at Chatham’s Historic Dockyard on Wednesday 10 July, and has spaces available for firms who want to take part. There are opportunities for more than 60 major firms to exhibit at the show, which will be open to everyone. More

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes the recognition of Lodge Hill – earmarked as a 5,000 home development site – as a nationally important site for wildlife by Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment.

On 13th March Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, notified Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSIs comprise some of the country’s best wildlife sites, including our most spectacular, important and beautiful habitats, and Natural England has a duty to designate such areas under national legislation that protects them for future generations.

Chattenden Woods, a large area of ancient woodland and grassland, was originally designated as a SSSI in 1984 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. More recently, investigations into the adjacent Lodge Hill site as part of proposals for a significant housing development, have highlighted that this area is also very important for the same reasons.

The site supports communities of bats (six species), lizards, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs, toads, badgers and rare insects such as the shrill carder-bee.

It has a significant breeding bird population, most notably nightingales, which were found to be widespread across the proposed development site, and the new SSSI supports at least 1.3% of the national population of this declining species. The new SSSI encompasses the old SSSI and the important areas of Lodge Hill. More

A huge development bringing hundreds of homes, a hotel, a supermarket and a conference and events centre to the banks of the River Medway has been given the green light by the government. The striking and ambitious Chatham Waters project at Chatham Docks, Gillingham has been approved by the Secretary of State – a decision that will transform the area and create almost 3,500 new jobs. More

Medway is gearing up for a day dedicated to showcasing the area’s economic prowess and employment opportunities.

Businesses and industry leaders from across the south east and London will descend on the Construction Expo in Medway, on Thursday, 11 October, for a day dedicated to boosting employment and regeneration in the area. More

Medway theatre’s technical crew will take centre stage for a change when they host an exciting summer workshop that promises to reveal the tricks of their trade. More

Cllr Jane Chitty with apprentice Nigel Wren


The council’s Employ Medway Advice Centre has helped its 600th jobseeker find work.

23-year-old Nigel Wren from Strood has been recruited as an apprentice bricklayer on the Rochester Riverside housing development and become the 600th person to find work using Employ Medway.

After searching for a job for nearly four years, Nigel was referred to the centre on Chatham High Street last October and within ten weeks had landed his new role working for Owen Contractors Ltd. More

Strood Academy builder BAM Construction has been recognised for its “exceptional and unique” relationship with the local community.

Since starting on the school project last spring, BAM has taken pupils to an adventure park, allowed firemen to practice emergency rescues on site, paved a football club’s entrance road and much more. More

Works to mark the first phase of development at Rochester Riverside have begun. More

A new footbridge connecting Fort Amherst, Chatham to the Great Lines has been named Prince William’s Bridge. More

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