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Layout 1A long-term plan that secures the future of Rochester Airport has been approved by Medway Council.

The Rochester Airport Masterplan includes proposals for 1,000 jobs with the creation of a new hub for science and technology firms and much-improved facilities in this key location.
The approval of the masterplan comes after a comprehensive public consultation.

First established in 1933, the Rochester Airport site is owned by Medway Council and has been leased since to an airport operator – Rochester Airport Limited.

Proposals involve replacing many of the existing buildings and facilities on the airport that are now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways.

One of the grass runways on site will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The paved runway will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb to a higher altitude very quickly, reducing the impact of noise on surrounding homes.

The grass runway will allow the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) to continue to use the site for heritage aircraft and open days.

The new runway layout will allow 29 acres near to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate to be developed as a new hub for science or technology related firms – with the potential to eventually create up to 1,000 new skilled jobs.

There are no plans to develop Rochester Airport into a commercial airport.

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “Rochester Airport is an important asset for Medway and securing its future will help contribute to the regeneration and economic development of Medway.

“We want to ensure the future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does.

“The potential for new jobs here is just one of many benefits this masterplan brings.”

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Two Hoo Peninsula firms are among the first in Kent to successfully apply for a Tiger loan in Kent – receiving a combined total of nearly £250,000 to help grow their business.

TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is a regional growth fund offering low-cost loans allowing businesses to invest in new products and services. Read More

mural 2For the past fortnight dozens of volunteers have been hard at work transforming part of Chatham town centre into a work of art – with the finished work set to be revealed this weekend. More

A community project is set to transform part of Chatham town centre into a work of art.
Artists are being invited by Medway Council to submit ideas for a colourful mural that will cover a stretch of wall next door to the High Street Homestyle store. The deadline for applications passes on Tuesday, 7 May with work set to start in July.
The project has a working title of ‘Chatham, past, present and future’ with the winning artist working closely with community groups and local schools to complete the work. The site is owned by Emmaus Church based in nearby Clover Street.

It is one of a number of initiatives the council is undertaking to support Medway’s High Streets, not least providing some of the cheapest car parking charges in Kent.
Plans to develop new shops and housing at Chatham Waterfront, ongoing environmental improvements and the transformation of buildings at Sun Pier into a new hub for creative businesses – will further help to regenerate the area.

Festivals like Fuse and the River Festival, back on Saturday, 6 July for its second year, have helped to give more reasons to visit what remains Medway’s biggest shopping destination.

Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture said: “This project will transform the appearance of this part of the High Street for shoppers and visitors alike and produce a work that the whole community can be proud of.

“The artist chosen to create this mural will be expected to involve local groups and schools from the start, including students from the Bishop of Rochester Academy, St John Fisher Catholic School, the Emmaus Church and Medway’s Older People’s Partnership
“That will include everything from workshops discussing the initial concepts to producing the final work.”

The commission is part of the council’s Developing Neighbourhoods Approach (DNA) project, part funded through the European Regional Development fund.

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

Olympic athletes from Senegal will be training in Medway ahead of the 2012 Games.

Medway Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Senegal National Olympic and Sports Committee. More

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