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Gillingham is an important retail centre serving a substantial
part of Medway. It is twinned with the cities of Ito and Yokosuka
in Japan, a relationship founded on its proud identity as the
birthplace of Elizabethan adventurer Will Adams.
The town has strong maritime and military connections with the
nearby Historic Dockyard in Chatham, once one of the most important
naval dockyards in the country. The Royal Engineers also have
strong links with Gillingham. Today, visitors can discover the
fascinating story of Britain’s soldier engineers from 1066 to the
present day at the Royal Engineers’ Museum.
As one of Medway's popular shopping centres, with around 200
shops, Gillingham has an excellent choice of brand names to choose
from, including New Look, Boots, WH Smith, Somerfield, Aldi, Bon
Marché, Wilkinson and Iceland to name but a few.
These and many more specialist shops can be found in the
pedestrianised High Street that offers shoppers an enjoyable
experience in a traffic-free environment, complemented with
closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance, making it a safe
place to shop.
Shoppers can also enjoy traditional street markets that operate
in the town centre every Saturday and Monday, offering a wide range
of quality goods.
Leisure plays an important role in Gillingham's success and a
number of excellent sport and leisure centres can be found in and
around the town centre and of course, Gillingham is home to Kent’s
only football league club, Gillingham FC.
Gillingham town centre is well served by buses and trains from
the surrounding area.
A framework for the Gillingham of 2016
A team of design experts has unveiled radical proposals for the
regeneration of Gillingham.
Consultant Barton Willmore was appointed by Medway Council to
develop a framework for making central Gillingham vibrant and
viable by exploiting its strengths and addressing its weaknesses -
in particular, the scattered layout of its long high street.
The consultant's report, Gillingham
Town Centre, a Conceptual Framework, was adopted by the council
on 25 July 2007 after extensive public consultation throughout 2006
Town centre profile:
- district shopping;
- gross floorspace (27,000m2);
- 230 units;
- fully pedestrianised;
- parking spaces (570);
- market (Saturday and Monday).