Chatham Maritime – more than just a masterplan

The closure of Chatham Naval Dockyard had a significant impact on the area andour competition winning masterplan proposals for the economic regeneration of Chatham Maritime have involved us in three decades of regeneration work in the former naval dockyard at Chatham. The result is a thriving community.

The closure of the dockyard resulted in the loss of 7,000 jobs. The dockyard had been a major employer in the region, providing a significant source of employment for local residents. The closure led to the displacement of thousands of workers and created a significant challenge in terms of unemployment and job retraining.

It had a ripple effect on the local economy. The loss of jobs had a negative impact on the spending power of individuals and households in the area. It also affected local businesses that relied on the patronage of dockyard workers and the supply chain associated with the dockyard’s operations.

It resulted in a decrease in investment in the area. The presence of a large-scale naval facility had attracted investment and economic activity to the region. With the closure, there was a decline in both public and private investment, leading to a slowdown in economic development.

The closure also had social and community implications. Many workers and their families had longstanding ties to the area, and the closure disrupted social networks and community cohesion. There was a sense of loss and dislocation as the community adjusted to the closure and its after math.


  • National Brownfield Site Regeneration of the Year

For three decades we have been at the heart of the regeneration the area and the diversification the local economy. Chatham Maritime, the waterfront development for at the heart of which is the Dockside Retail Centre and the adjoining major leisure complex both of which were designed by 4D Studio has been a major success. The redevelopment has repurposed the dockyard site, attracted new businesses, and created employment opportunities. While these efforts have brought some economic benefits, the transition has been challenging and has taken time to fully realize.

It is worth noting that the impact of the dockyard closure has been felt beyond the economic sphere, with implications for heritage, culture, and identity in the local community. The closure represented a significant chapter in the history of the area, and our ongoing efforts are being made to preserve and commemorate the naval heritage of Chatham and to rebuild the community surrounding it.