Medway Property Investment Guide

Where business and history coincide with impressive results

Medway’s geographical jurisdiction combines the towns of Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham, Strood, the Hoo Peninsula and the north bank of the River Medway, south to Halling.

Medway is projected to grow its population to around 278,000 by 2028. Its council foresees development investment to be in excess of £1 billion from 2006 to 2026.

The Gillingham Business Park is an established mixed-use business park, accommodating 3,200 jobs and numerous companies, including Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd, who specialise in diesel engine technologies. The park provides over 140,000 sq m of employment space with 25,000 sq m of available land to provide an additional 500 jobs.

The Rochester Airport Industrial Estate houses 59 businesses including BAE Systems which is Medway’s largest business employer. The neighbouring airport site contains vacant space capable of unlocking 1,000 more jobs in manufacturing and related industries, with excellent potential to attract SMEs from the BAE supply chain. Other sites include Medway City Estate, which comprises of businesses mainly in manufacturing and distribution.

Very large container ships that bring cargo to Kent by sea dock in Medway (more than Southampton). 2.6% of the amount handled by UK ports comes here, including natural gas to the Isle of Grain’s storage tanks which are then pumped into the network that supplies the whole country.

Property prices are currently around 22% below the national average, and 30% lower than the rest of Kent. With the investment in infrastructure in Medway, these percentages will not stay low for long. That means Medway property investment is right for you if you’re looking for a commuter belt property.

Economy & Employment

The Innovation Centre Medway (ICM) has flourished since it opened on the Rochester Airport site in 2009. With full occupancy, the centre accommodates over 60 SMEs, many of which specialise in high growth technologies such as renewable energy and high-speed broadband.

This major success story, providing for 275 employees, demonstrates the business investment strengths of the Rochester Airport site, which is set to make a further 16 hectares for 1,000 more jobs.
Tourism provides another income stream for the area with Chatham Historic Dockyard alone adding £20m to the economy each year alongside 500 jobs.

With the high-speed connection from Strood taking only 34 minutes, many residents commute to work in the capital.

That means Medway property investmentis ideal if you’re looking for a commuter belt property for your portfolio.

Investment

Medway has a 20-year plan underway to regenerate 7 miles of waterfront.

In 2004, Medway Council announced their development strategy for up to seven miles of waterfront and surrounding areas along the River Medway.

The project aims to create between 6,000 and 8,000 new homes and 8,500 jobs, against central government targets of 16,000 new homes and 23,000 new jobs for the Medway area as a whole.

Rochester Airport Business Park is expanding, to accommodate new employment space, located adjacent to BAE Systems, with an opportunity for the development of an aeronautics and transport technologies SME hub of excellence.

Eurolink phase V, provides scope for a further 45,000 sum of new development and up to 1,000 jobs as an extension of the Eurolink Business Park in Sittingbourne.

Transport

Air: London Gatwick, London Heathrow and London City airports are all within easy travelling distance.

Road: Medway is served by the A2 the Dover to London Roman road. The M2 runs from Dover to London by-passing Medway but is easily accessible within a few minutes drive. The A228 runs along the west banks of the area through Strood and intersects with the M2 at the second junction.

Rail: Strood, Rochester, Chatham Gillingham, Rainham, Cuxton and Halling all have stations served by the Medway Valley Line, the North Kent Line and the Chatham Main Line. Peak journey times to London can be as little as 46m from Gillingham 42m from Chatham and 40m from Rochester. The high-speed train from Strood gets into London St Pancras in only 34 minutes.

Bus: Most local bus routes are centred upon the newly opened Chatham Waterfront bus station and are run by Arriva Southern Counties; Nu-Venture provide certain services, some under contract to the local authority. Commuter coaches run from various parts of Medway to a selection of London destinations using the M2/A2.

Education

Medway operates a two-tier education system, with academic selection for admission to secondary schools determined by the 11-plus exam. There are a number of grammar schools located in the area, the other secondary schools in Medway being non-selective (apart from one faith schools and the school on the peninsula). There are also a number of independent schools operating in the area.

Notable institutions include Fort Pitt Grammar School where 100% of pupils achieved 3 A-levels.

Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School where 99% of pupils achieved at least 5 good GCSEs or equivalents.

Higher Education: Medway is also the home of Universities at Medway; a tripartite collaboration of the University of Greenwich, the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University on a single campus in Chatham.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping: Medway offers a mixture of shopping experiences from historic high streets and town centres to modern indoor shopping centres. Step back in time in the ancient city of Rochester, which boasts a wide choice of independent bespoke shops where you can find that unusual gift or souvenir. Every third Sunday of each month is the Rochester Farmers’ Market, with a selection of locally produced goods.

Leisure: Medway Park in Gillingham is a sports centre with 3 indoor pools for swimming and scuba diving, gym, fitness centre, sports hall squash courts. It includes the Jumpers Rebound Centre for trampolining which was upgraded in 2012. There are 2 further leisure centres in Medway offering the usual facilities and The Ice Bowl, a skating rink in Gillingham.

Green Space: Medway includes parts of the North Kent Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Other areas of conservation include Ranscombe Farm on chalk grassland and woodland between Strood and Cuxton, with rare woodland flowers and orchids.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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