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Medway bids to join prestigious City of Culture club

Medway has taken its bid to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2025 to MPs, in a launch at an event in Parliament, hosted by Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham.

Speakers at the event in September, attended by MPs and decision-makers from across the country, included the Gillingham and Rainham MP; Leader of Medway Council Alan Jarrett; Liz Moran, who is chair of the campaign’s steering group; Emmanuel Enemokwu, who launched his own fashion brand while studying at Kent Business School; and Amanda Cottrell, patron of Medway’s bid.

Chishti said: “Medway has so much to offer, including its historic sites, award-winning country parks, fantastic sports facilities, excellent schools, universities, thriving high streets, a growing economy, an array of new housing, fantastic links into London and the continent, and not forgetting the people. That is why I believe Medway deserves to be recognised nationally.”

Medway Council hopes its aspiration to be awarded the honour will further boost its economy, which is one of the fastest growing in the south-east and is currently worth about £5.2bn. It made the first public announcement of the bid at the start of the 12th annual Medway Mile event to thousands of people gathered at Rochester Castle for the start of the running event.

Council leader Alan Jarrett said it was a very exciting time for Medway: “Having looked at other areas – Hull and most recently Coventry, what it’s meant for them and what it’s brought to their places – it’s quite obvious to us that there’s big opportunities there. It’s not just a label, it’s an opportunity to actually increase the recognition of the area and that brings economic benefits as well, so there is really more to it than meets the eye,” he said.

The status is awarded by the government every four years, with Hull being the current City of Culture, while Coventry will hold the title from 2021.