Published: 16:54, 19 July 2021
| Updated: 16:56, 19 July 2021
Winning the title to become the UK's City of Culture in 2025 would provide a huge post-pandemic boost to the county's economy, say bidders.
The team behind Medway's campaign say winning will lead to the Towns becoming a major tourist destination worth millions to Kent.
Research shows the status awarded to Hull in 2017 gave a £300 million boost to the area's economy through tourism and supported 800 new jobs.
The team behind Medway's bid believe this will be replicated in the Towns with Coventry – UK City of Culture 2021 – already seeing huge benefits and are hoping more businesses will come on board to back it.
Latest figures from Visit Kent show Medway welcomed more than five million visitors in 2019 with 4.4 million daytrippers taking in the historic sights and growing arts and cultural scene.
It also projected almost 7,000 jobs in the Towns are supported by tourism.
Deidre Wells OBE, chief executive of Visit Kent and co-chairman of Medway 2025, said: "This is an incredibly important opportunity for the county.
"Medway’s City of Culture bid will create a legacy of opportunities across the area and grow Medway’s reputation as a creative destination for tourists.
"Medway has been welcoming people for centuries – from the dockyard workers who built our maritime heritage to the Royal Engineers who defended our country; our Cathedral which has opened its doors to worshippers, visitors and even Moongazers alike; and our designers who from fashion to video games, from textiles to technology have chosen Medway as the place to get creative.
"No wonder that Dickens made his home here – the characters and the stories that have built Medway are the foundations for our ambition to build a vibrant and creative community."
Scores of businesses, cultural teams and community groups are working together to bring in the "once-in-a-generation boost" for Kent and Medway.
Hull also reported seeing more than six million total visits in 2017 alone with average hotel occupancy up 10.5%.
Businesses are being urged to become Bid Business Ambassadors to help shape the Medway bid and find out how the plans will help them.
A year-long programme of events would be held in the towns, villages and the Hoo Peninsula around Medway.
Richard Morsley, chief executive at Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, said: "Here at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, we know that Medway has so much to offer visitors through our world-class heritage and cultural attractions.
"Being City of Culture in 2025 will enhance this even further, providing unparalleled experiences to our visitors and transforming our visitor economy."
Wendy Hannam, director of sales at Bridgewood Manor Hotel, said: "We truly believe our local area has so much going for it and we would love for more people to experience the inspiring creativity and strong community spirit that surrounds us.
"Bringing the title to this end of the country for the first time would have a huge impact on businesses across the area, especially for hotels such as ourselves."
Find out more by following @Medway2025 on social media or visit www.medway2025.co.uk