A new creative hub for Medway
Located between the University’s Pembroke campus and its Historic Dockyard premises, this development will place cultural and creative industries at the heart of the regeneration plans for the last remaining undeveloped part of the former Dockyard site. The Docking Station will address the income, productivity and skills levelling-up challenges faced in Medway, make a visible impact on Medway’s cultural regeneration and provide the facilities and skills development opportunities to support digital innovation within the creative industries sector.
The Docking Station project will transform the Grade II listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and former Police Section House, situated just to the north of The Historic Dockyard Chatham, into a unique creative facility.
It will deliver c.780 sqm of space for researchers, artists, creative practitioners and technologists including:
- flexible teaching spaces for skills development
- a modern café/bar and social space
- co-working space and incubator/accelerator schemes
- production and performance spaces
- artist studios
- a state-of-the-art immersive digital studio
The immersive digital studio will provide cutting-edge technologies and allow students, businesses and academics to innovate and experiment with a range of technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, virtual production, generative art work biomechanics, motion capture, animation, immersive audio and 3D holographics. The possible applications of this technology across the creative and cultural industries are vast and the Docking Station aims to put Medway at the forefront of research and innovation into digital immersive experiences.
A RIBA design competition has been completed and multi-award winning architectural practice specialising in sustainability, heritage architecture, and placemaking, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios have been selected and further design work will begin soon.
The Docking Station is supported by Cultural Development Fund investment from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, through Creative Estuary, a four-year, multi-partner programme led by the University of Kent, which aims to transform 60 miles of the Thames Estuary across Essex and Kent into one of the most exciting cultural hubs in the world. Creative Estuary funding has kick-started project development by enabling the completion of feasibility studies and paving the way for further investment. Medway Council have recently secured a £5.6 million share of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for the project.