Universities boost Medway economy by £143.6m

The three universities in Medway contribute more than £143.6m to the local economy and support at least 1,200 full time jobs across the unitary authority, according to latest research.

The universities, which share a campus at Chatham Maritime, are also responsible for economic impact worth a further £234.7m across the south-east, sustaining the equivalent of more than 1,500 full-time jobs.

The economic impact research was undertaken by higher education specialists, Viewforth Consulting Ltd, on behalf of the three Medway partners, the universities of Canterbury Christ Church, Kent and Greenwich, using figures for 2015/16.

The University of Greenwich was the first to establish a campus at Chatham Maritime back in 1994, as part of the Medway economic development strategy, and was later joined by Kent and Canterbury Christ Church. The universities share many facilities including the Drill Hall Library, the Pilkington Building and the new £5m Student Hub, a state-of-the-art student centre which opened this year.

More than 10,500 higher education students are currently based at Chatham Maritime, as well as several hundred members of staff.

Forty-one per cent of students come to Medway from other parts of the south-east, 12 per cent directly from the Medway area, 34 per cent from other parts of the UK and 13 per cent from overseas.

The range of subjects on offer at the campus include Business, Computing, Education, Engineering, Health & Social Care, Music and Fine Art, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy, Science and Sports Science.

The personal spending of students in Medway, excluding their university fees, is estimated at £158.2m. Much of this will have been used to boost local businesses such as accommodation providers, shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.

Professor David Nightingale and Professor Martin Snowden, co-Chairs of the universities’ Campus Management Board, say: ‘The three partners have already made a major contribution to the local economy in a relatively short time, and this is set to grow in the future.

‘The universities are also fulfilling their aims of equipping students with high-quality skills to boost their career prospects and also enhance the communities in which they live, and often work, while they are studying.’