Architect Ken Yeang is spearheading 158 acre scheme stretching from Chatham to Strood

St Modwen has been selected by Medway Council as its partner to carry out £1bn of development within the Kent unitary authority. The Town Centre regeneration specialist will be the investment partner to a 15-year programme to transform Medway into one of the key locations in the Thames Gateway, with Chatham at its heart.

The 50:50 partnership will involve the council providing the land and St Modwen providing the developments and infrastructure.

St Modwen will work with the council across a range of projects within the conurbation of 300,000 people that includes Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Rainham and Strood. Among the plans are 158 acres (64 ha) of development within Chatham town centre and along its waterfront on the River Medway.

Star architect Ken Yeang, a director at architect Llewelyn Davies Yeang, has already drawn up a masterplan for the 17.3 acre (7 ha) Chatham Waterfront site.

The site will comprise two 20-storey towers and a series of buildings of between three and eight storeys, which will house a theatre, arts and entertainment venues, shops, restaurants, bars, a community centre and conference facilities.

St Modwen will also develop the Brook and Station Gateway sites in Chatham, which are being masterplanned by McCreanor Lavington and Urban Initiatives respectively.

Brian Weddell, head of Medway Renaissance, the council’s regeneration unit, said: ‘The partnership will continue to work with developers and housebuilders within the overall programme. We now need to work with St Modwen to establish the working details of the partnership.’

The partnership is the first of its kind in the Thames Gateway, and was approved by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

‘This is a hugely important moment in Medway’s regeneration story,’ said Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council.

‘More than £120m of public funding has gone into our regeneration programme, with much of it spent on the acquisition and preparation of sites for redevelopment. The project must now be taken forward with private sector money.’

St Modwen was selected after Medway Renaissance advertised for investment partners nine months ago. Tim Seddon, St Modwen’s London and south-east director, said: ‘This will become one of the highest-profile projects in the south-east over the next decade.

‘Being situated so close to the M2 and with the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link domestic services, there is every reason to believe that the area will be at the forefront of economic change in the region.’