Creative Estuary is developing a model to transform one of the Historic Dockyard Chatham’s most prominent yet unused listed buildings into an innovative creative digital hub.
Dating back to the 1860s, The Police Section House was once the home of the Dockyard Police Force. After a period of time housing the Metropolitan Police, it slowly fell out of use in the 1960s. A Grade II listed building, it has stood empty for many years but ambitious plans are now in place to sensitively open the building as a multi-use cultural and creative space.
Led by the University of Kent in partnership with The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Medway Council, the new Docking Station will be an environmentally sustainable, innovative and dynamic ‘University of the Future’. Bringing together industry with local creative practitioners, students, academics and young people, the building will feature state-of-the-art digital facilities, flexible co-working spaces and an immersive, interactive performance and gallery space for both research and presentation of projects. Detailed design and feasibility studies are underway
The project will illustrate the overarching ambitions of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, of which Creative Estuary is part, by creating a unique facility for digital skills development and knowledge exchange in the creative and cultural sector. It will drive innovation and collaborative research and fuel the growth of the Medway creative economy through experimentation, skills and product development, research and partnerships. It will also inspire young people to choose creative and cultural studies in Medway and help bridge the gap between academia and business progression for graduates, enabling them to find creative work in the area.
The partnership has ambitions to extend the reach of the Docking Station onto Chatham High Street, through the creative use of additional empty premises as part of the Future High Streets programme and to link this work to the formation of Medway’s Cultural Strategy.
Embedding arts and culture into the design, development and DNA of our communities is fundamental to the Thames Estuary’s future.