Following a decision made this week, a new development has been approved which will see a brand new ‘Event City’ built in Kent. Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary of State gave the go ahead for the construction of the new site, which will incorporate an exhibition and events centre, a hotel, offices, education facilities for all ages and housing options.
Peel Land and Property, the company behind the Trafford Centre in Manchester, say that they are delighted the plans for their development have been approved. “We have started to prepare detailed plans for the first phase and we hope to start building on the site next year,” said development director James Whittaker. Their previous projects are based in Manchester and have been huge successes; they include the Trafford Centre, EventCity and the new MediaCity development, which is the new north-west home of the BBC and the University of Salford. It is hoped that these landmark developments will provide the model for Kent’s new centre for conferences and exhibitions, which will see vast numbers of national and international visitors bringing their exhibition displays to the area.
The ‘Event City’ is likely to see a much-needed boost to the region’s economy in the coming years, creating up to 3,500 jobs and breathing life into a significant area of the dockland. Up to £650m will be channeled into rejuvenating the area, and it is hoped that the development will create a quayside focal point much like the newly-remodeled Salford Quays. The vast numbers of businesses moving into the area will also be supplemented by a continuous stream of trade fairs seeing hundreds of companies taking exhibition stands to the custom-built event centre and attending media-driven events which are sure to attract nationwide attention.
The leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chamber, believes that the scheme is a huge step forward for the local area, and a clear indication of the way in which the area is growing and attracting investment. He said: “Not only will it create thousands of jobs for residents in the near future, but it will provide opportunities for future growth and unrivalled facilities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and benefit from.”
Legal negotiation and agreements are currently being drawn up between Medway Council and Peel Land and Property, and work on the 26-acre site will commence at some time within the next year.