Medway Council is revitalising the vibrancy of Chatham through civic design to make the town centre more appealing to the local community and visitors, and stimulate the local economy.
Perceptions of Chatham town centre are based on the pedestrian experience. LDA Design is leading a place making project to deliver improved sense of arrival into the town and easier journey between the station, the town centre and the waterfront. This will bring unused spaces to life and prioritise pedestrians and cyclists by improving key routes and widening footpaths.
LDA Design’s proposals create a series of clear orientation points along key routes, linked by a contemporary design that is simple and elegant, with new lighting and high quality paving. Chatham’s unique sense of place is being enhanced with features which draw on the town’s strong maritime history, historic landscape and buildings, and rich regional connections.
LDA Design is designing public realm for New Cut Junction, the level drop at St John’s Church, the High Street junction, and Military Road, with improvements at Chatham Railway Station to be delivered by Network Rail.
The regeneration plans were included in the South East Strategic Economic Plan, as part of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Local Growth Fund awarded £4m to Medway Council for the project. The new plans will form the basis for the longer term public realm strategy in Chatham Town Centre.
Jennifer Corlett, project consultant at LDA Design, said “Creating clear connections and allocating space emphatically to pedestrians transforms spaces into real places that people are encouraged to inhabit and enjoy. We are hopeful that the creation of attractive, functional spaces will help to stimulate and accommodate a night-time economy and encourage a more diverse and attractive town centre.”
Cllr Rodney Chambers, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, said: “We look forward to working with LDA Design to make Chatham an even more enjoyable place to live, work and visit. This is all part of our ambitious 20-year regeneration plan which will see Chatham emerge as the city centre of Medway.”
Work is expected to commence in January 2017 with completion projected for March 2018.