New Rochester Riverside Community Board projects announced

The Rochester Riverside Community Board, which oversees funding for community projects across Rochester, has announced six new community projects that it is supporting, marking the full allocation of the £30,000 annual funding budget for 2019.

The new projects include: Jaspers Community Café, located in the Medway Adult Education Centre and run by volunteers; ‘Cooking with the Community’, which has been organised by Chatham Memorial Synagogue to bring people of different faiths together by cooking and sharing food; and the Nucleus Makerspace, a craft space equipped with tools and machinery for metal, wood, plastic and fabric work at the Rochester Conservancy building.

The Community Board is also supporting: ‘We Live By The River’, a creative writing and spoken word project organised by Medway literary arts group Wordsmithery; repairing and developing the playgrounds and outside classroom learning areas of St Margaret’s at Troy Town School in Rochester; and ‘Wave’, an arts club for young people at raised risk of suicide, or self-harm,  organised by Intra Arts Ltd.

Jaspers Community Café is the first of these new projects to launch and provides an opportunity for people with learning difficulties and disabilities to be trained as volunteers within the café.  The café was opened by the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Habib Tejan, on 13th November.

These community initiatives follow the success of the projects that have already been supported by the Board so far this year, which included the Medway Neuro-Arts Festival as well as a crowdfunded photography project for primary and secondary school pupils.

The Rochester Riverside Community Board was set up to ensure that the benefits of Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s £419m regeneration scheme in Medway, are felt across the area, bringing to life worthwhile initiatives and ideas that enhance the local area with an annual budget of £30,000 available for selected projects.

The community board ensures that the community funds will be allocated to local stakeholders and organisations through a robust and transparent application process. While the £30,000 of funding for 2019 has now been fully allocated, applications for 2020 are now open - those interested should apply now by visiting

Andy Fancy, Managing Director, Partnerships South (North and South), Countryside, said: “With the first residents now settled at Rochester Riverside, these six new projects will make a further contribution to this great community and we’re excited to see them come to fruition.

“We are committed to ensuring that the benefits of Rochester Riverside go beyond the destination we are creating, and these community projects are vital in achieving this. Following its launch earlier this year, the Community Board is now gathering real momentum and we’re excited to see what future projects will bring.”

 Guy Slocombe, Chief Investment Officer for Hyde, said: “Having been inundated with high-quality applications that demonstrate Rochester’s creativity, we faced a really tough choice. We’re proud of the imaginative and diverse projects that we are supporting, which demonstrates real evidence of community engagement and will help to make Rochester an even better place to live.”

Rochester Riverside is the region’s flagship regeneration project. Delivered by Countryside and Hyde over the next 12 years, it will create a new mixed-tenure community of up to 1,400 new homes with provision for a primary school, nursery, as well as a hotel, parking, open space and landscaping.

Construction continues at pace across the initial first three phases of the development, which comprises 489 homes, a hotel, as well as 2,200 sqm of commercial floorspace. The new public plaza opened in October 2019, home to a New Travelodge, Co-op and Costa, which followed the first residents moving into their new homes in June this year. 83 one and two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom homes have now legally completed following the start of construction in 2018.


Newgate Communications

Andrea Williams/ Laurence Hill

020 3757 6890


 The community board members

 All members of the Rochester Riverside Community Board include:

About Countryside
Countryside is a leading UK developer specialising in building communities, not just houses.

With over 60 years’ experience, we continue to make a positive impact with regeneration schemes in London, the South East, the North of England and the Midlands, often partnering with local authorities and housing associations.

Our Millgate brand creates homes with exceptional standards of craftmanship around London and the South East.

In 2016, Countryside was listed on the London Stock Exchange and our robust balance sheet enables us to continue investing in our systems and people and to support our growth plans.


For the year ended 30 September 2018, we completed 4,295 homes with revenues of £1,229.5m. In April 2018 Countryside expanded its Midlands region with the acquisition of Westleigh Group Ltd, which delivered 1,159 homes of which 92% affordable for year ended 31st March 2018.

For more information see or follow @CountrysideProp on Twitter.

About Hyde
Hyde was established in 1967 to provide homes for those left behind by the market. We are an award winning provider of homes, combining social purpose with entrepreneurial drive and professionalism.

Hyde is one of the largest housing associations working in England, owning or managing circa 50,000 homes in London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, the East of England and East Midlands. This means that more than 100,000 residents have a home at a price at which they can afford, with long tenancies that give them the chance to improve their life chances.

The homes that we build, as well as the ones we already own, include those for shared ownership, for social rent, for outright sale and for private rent. Hyde Housing Association is a not-for-profit organisation but our family of companies, which makes up the Hyde Group, includes charities and profit-making subsidiaries. The money that we make is used to build more homes for those excluded from the market. For every million pounds surplus we make, we can build 150 new homes for people who otherwise would not be able to access a place to call home.

To find out more about the Hyde Group visit

About The Hyde Foundation

The Hyde Foundation is the Hyde Group’s community investment arm. The Foundation works in alignment with Hyde’s business needs, enabling operational cost savings that can be ploughed into funding Hyde’s core social purpose – to put a roof over even more people’s heads.

Story posted: 19/11/2019

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