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Gillingham's Green Spaces

Following the drop in sessions at The Sunlight Centre where we invited you all to join us to think about how to improve the open spaces, footpaths and cycle ways of North Gillingham, we have been busy developing plans to improve the area.

We are currently undertaking several bids for funding which should start to bring about regeneration. A play specification has been drawn up for The Strand Play Area and £20,000 has been secured to spend. A capital bid for £50,000 is underway to increase this amount which will allow Medway Council to further update some of the play equipment.

Following, the successful installation of the Play Ship, Heritage Lottery visited The Strand last year and indicated that they would like to see a project developed by young people to celebrate the history of The Strand.

Meetings have already taken place with Mid Kent College media department who are keen to be involved. Memories of The Strand will be recorded by local people and transferred to talking telescopes. If, you have any memories to share particularly from The Strand’s heyday, of the 1950’s/1960’s please get in contact Helen.blanche@medway.gov.uk or 01634 331847 who will put you in touch with the students who will be carrying out the recordings.


Ideas relating to The Strand included a new café, splash park and retractable dome for the swimming pool to name but a few, were also discussed (see pie chart below).

 

 

pie

Other areas of Gillingham North, which were felt to be open to improvement was Grange Road Cemetery. It was suggested that flowering cherries could be planted to celebrate the connection with Will Adams, who was christened at Grange Road Church in 1564 and was the first westerner to visit Japan.

A linear park for the old disused train line, raised walkways along the river bank and retaining the LV21 as a cultural hub also came under discussion.

Part of the consultation also included Queen Elizabeth Fields landfill site which is currently being developed as a project. A large number of participants at the Let’s Talk Event felt this was a neglected area which would benefit from investment.

Popular, ideas included a BMX wheel park, urban parkour and climbing wall. Various consultation events have taken place during August to September 2016 at both The Strand and QE Fields which enabled local children to try out a portable pump track and in conjunction with Park Sports (Medway Council) Archery, American Football and Tennis. Approximately 200 people attended both sessions. In addition, a leaflet drop was carried out to all surrounding houses and posters displayed so that local residents could share their views of the pump track.

The Council is currently submitting a planning application and funding bid for £75,000.00 to enable a pump track to be constructed. Match funding of £25,000.00 has also been secured and we will know if we have been successful with the bid by March 2017.

We welcome any questions you may have on this project - fiona.leadley@medway.gov.uk

 

pump track

 

A Coastal Communities Fund Bid for £1.7 million was developed and submitted after the Let’s Talk event but unfortunately due to oversubscription this bid was unsuccessful. This bid was based very much around employability and creating greater footfall for the area. It is disappointing but the team remains optimistic that other funding streams will become available that are more suited to everybody’s vision for the area.

 

What next?

The Greenspace Development team will continue to keep you up to date with feasibility and progress of these projects in the next few weeks, following further investigations.

Friends Group – We would like to set up Friends of Gillingham North. The success of funding bids is making sure projects have the support of the local community. If, you are interested in being part of this group please contact or have any further questions please contact helen.blanche@medway.gov.uk 01634 331847.