Published: 10:22, 01 February 2019
| Updated: 16:37, 10 December 2019
Further work has got underway to transform Chatham's riverfront.
Demolition of the site of the former Riverside One recording studio began yesterday as part of the Command of the Heights project.
The regeneration project aims to reconnect Chatham with its military roots by connecting the dockyard to Fort Amherst, builiding a new pedestrian entrance to the fort and creating an amphitheatre with outdoor seating.
Work began at Fort Amherst in October 2018 to create a new entrance to the fort from Chatham town centre and to transform the Spur Battery.
The Spur Battery is the highest part of Chatham within Fort Amherst which was once used for troop encampments, siege warfare training and military punishment.
This will be transformed into an amphitheatre with seating for more than 200 visitors for outdoor performances. The restoration will also open up more green space at Great Lines Heritage Park.
The area where Riverside One formally stood, known as Barrier Ditch, will be opened up as greenspace which will aim to highlight the history of the site and its links to Fort Amherst and the Historic Dockyard Chatham through landscape design and signage.
The ditch was built during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and ran from where Riverside One is currently located up to Fort Amherst.
The project has secured £1.78m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as £400,000 from Medway Council.
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con), said: “We are extremely proud of Medway’s rich military history and the Command of the Heights project is in a fantastic location-just along the river from the Historic Dockyard Chatham.
“This is a very exciting time for Chatham. Our Chatham Placemaking Project is nearing completion and we have heavily invested in Chatham, Medway’s city centre, which is attracting new businesses, such as shops and restaurants to the area.
“I would encourage residents to find out more about the Command of the Heights project and to support their local town centres.”
Stuart McLeod, head of the National Lottery Heritage Fund South East, said: “This is an exciting development for Chatham, which, thanks to National Lottery players, will soon see the unique heritage of Fort Amherst restored to its former glory and transformed into an open events space that everyone will be proud of."
The work is expected to be completed by the summer.
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