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Competition: Innovation Park Medway

Rochester Airport
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Medway Council is recruiting a masterplanner for a major new 22 hectare employment zone at Rochester Airport in north Kent

The winner of the estimated £180,000 contract will draw up an evidence-based masterplan for a new business district on the grounds of the historic airport (pictured) which is due to see one of its two runways decommissioned and the other upgraded.

The Innovation Park Medway project aims to deliver a ‘flagship economic hub’ for the area, delivering significant investment and employment opportunities for local communities. The masterplan will be expected to accommodate a range of development options for the site which are currently being explored.

According to the brief: ‘Rochester Airport is a significant redevelopment opportunity and has long been on the regeneration agenda for Medway Council. The site is owned by Medway Council and is currently leased to Rochester Airport Ltd. but sits within both Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council Local Authority boundaries.

‘Rochester Airport has a vital role to play in the area’s economic future. Changes proposed as part of the Rochester Airport Masterplan (2014) will free up 22.11ha for employment-led development next to the airport, on land currently occupied by runway 16/34. A total of £8.1m has been awarded by the Local Growth Fund to help bring this site forward for development, creating a hub for knowledge-based employment and innovation.’

Rochester Airport opened in 1933 as a base for civil aviation but was bombed heavily during the Second World War. The airport hosted commercial passenger flights in the 1950s and 1960s but was later leased to General Electrics which used some of the site for light industry.

Since 1999 the airport has been run by a group of aviation enthusiasts and local businesses which operate the airfield along with a café and museum. The latest project aims to transform parts of the airport freed up by the closure of one of the runways into a new business hub.

The winning team will draw up a masterplan to RIBA Stage 3 featuring connections to the wider area and a public realm intended to promote innovation. Potential future uses will also be considered along with commercial viability and deliverability.

Once completed the masterplan will be used by the council as its supplementary planning guidance for the area. The winning team may also be required to draw up a local development order as part of the commission.

The deadline for applications is 10am on 15 January.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Mike Kelly
Medway Council
Gun Wharf
Dock Road
Chatham
ME4 4TR

Tel: +44 1634332284
Email: michael.kelly@medway.gov.uk

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