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Home Medway News Article
A flagship scheme that will create 140 new jobs and revitalise a stretch of Chatham and Rochester High Street has been given nearly £600,000.
The government money is being seen as a huge boost for the cultural and creative scene in Medway.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (Lib Dem) announced today that Medway Council's Creative High Street project – which runs from Star Hill in Rochester to Sun Pier in Chatham – will receive the money in a move that will also bring up to 240 training places.
Two key sites, the Bath Hard Lane redundant railway arches on Rochester Riverside and Sun Pier House on Chatham Waterfront, will benefit from the money.
The arches will be refurbished and upgraded with studio, performance and showcase spaces as well as digital media facilities, seminar spaces and study rooms, while Sun Pier House will get a new lift to improve access for disabled people.
The £598,528 boost comes from the Coastal Communities Fund. As well as generating new jobs, it will also spark economic activity in a regeneration zone.
Medway Council has identified the Lower High Street as a priority for the development of the cultural and creative industries due to its proximity to a growing student population, including the Rochester campus of the University for the Creative Arts.
Medway Council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers said: "This will help deliver a programme of business support and training to support new and established businesses in the cultural and creative industries sector."
The council will work with universities, business support partners, creative industries and the local community to deliver the project, which will run until 2016.
The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) is a central government grant programme that aims to encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by awarding funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.
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