Funding announced for new projects from Rochester Riverside Community Board

Posted on 29 June 2022

The Rochester Riverside Community Board, which oversees funding for community projects across Rochester on behalf of Hyde and Countryside, has announced more than £20,000 of funding for five new projects.

The projects were confirmed at the Board’s first meeting of 2022. Three of the five projects being supported are free events taking place in Medway later this year and include: Medway Open Studios Festival, Medway Pride 2022 and BUP Festival.

The Medway Open Studios Festival will run from Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 July, where visitors will have the chance to explore the hidden creative workspaces and secret studios across Medway. Along the free trail, visitors can take part in art activities and events, see exhibitions, talk to the artists, buy art and crafts, and see first-hand the array of artistic talent and opportunities in this impressively creative area of Kent.

On Saturday 20 August, Medway Pride 2022 festival takes place at Rochester Castle, where there will be entertainment on stage for all the family. Medway Pride brings everyone across Medway together to promote equality and to celebrate alongside the LGBTQIA+ community.

Organised by D-Live! Theatre, the BUP Festival will be the first ever creative, Deaf-led, British Sign Language-inclusive weekend arts festival in Medway. Taking place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October at Sun Pier House in Chatham, BUP Festival will encourage and promote literacy among deaf children and their families. It also aims to raise awareness, promote understanding, and reduce the social isolation young people in the deaf community may experience.

Two projects that promote activities for young people are also being supported - ‘Kick and Connect’ and new playground equipment for St Peter’s Infant School in Rochester.

‘Kick and Connect’ will provide multi-sport and youth work activity in two weekly sessions at Jackson’s Field in Rochester, starting with football and boxing. There will also be a festival for the whole community at Jackson’s Field as part of the project. Kick and Connect is organised by Sport On Your Doorstep, a community interest company that provides sport and physical activity in the heart of Kent's most under-resourced communities. 

Improvements to the Early Years outside area at St Peter’s Infant school will include new resources and equipment that promotes both physical and collaborative play. There will be a new AstroTurf surface so the children can play in the garden, a sheltered sand pit, builder’s bench and play cottage.

Guy Slocombe, Chief Investment Officer at Hyde, said: “We received so many high-quality applications and we’re proud to support these five imaginative and diverse projects. They really demonstrate community engagement and will help to make Rochester an even better place to live. Applications are still open for projects taking place in 2022 and 2023, so it’s not too late to apply to have your idea supported.”

Andrew Usher, Managing Director, South London and Thames Gateway, Countryside, commented: “We are really excited by what these new projects supported by the Rochester Riverside Community Board will bring to the area. From the diverse festivals to the initiatives supporting Medway’s young people, these worthwhile projects will make a real difference in Medway, ensuring that the benefits of our flagship regeneration scheme stretch far beyond Rochester Riverside.

The Community Board ensures that the community funds will be allocated to local stakeholders and organisations through a robust and transparent application process. Funding applications for 2022 remain open – to find out more please contact [email protected].