The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Project Description

Aims and Objectives

Project Start Date and End Date

The project began on the 31st March 1984 and is still ongoing.

Services Offered

  • A number of museum galleries, including National Museums at Chatham, a  partnership with the National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum which is due to open in 2010 which will also introduce a high quality touring exhibition gallery (built to international security and environmental specifications) to Medway ;
  • Dry docks for 3 historic warships; and
  • 112 residential units, in both old and new buildings.
  • Rope manufacture keeping heritage and traditional skills alive

Success Factors

  • Good governance and strong management with clear strategic development plan reviewed and adapted on a regular basis
  • Long term approach but with entrepreneurship and flexibility built in - giving the ability to both identify and take advantage of appropriate opportunities as they arise
  • Close monitoring of business performance, and delivery of capital programmes on time and budget
  • Over 150,000 visitors per year to see the warships, museums and shops. It has also contributed to the creation of employment and housing opportunities in the area by providing over 130 businesses with workspace and producing 112 housing units.
  • The heritage and history of the Dockyard has been recognised by the UK Government as a potential World Heritage Site.

Risk factors

  • Public/stakeholder expectations of quick results were over optimistic.
  • Restoration and re-use of historically significant large scale industrial buildings have inherent risks related to emergent works and resultant increases in costs that have to be dealt with as part of risk/contingency planning for all projects.

Business/Operational Model

The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, an independent charitable trust was set up by the Government in 1984 to lead the regeneration of the Dockyard and secure funding. It continues in this role today.

Financing and Delivery/Procurement

The operation of the Historic Dockyard is funded by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust largely through earned income, with additional revenue support from DCMS, MLA Renaissance South East and capital support from a wide range of organisations including DCLG /HCA (Thames Gateway), Heritage Lottery Fund, Medway Council,  English Heritage, European Regional Development Fund and a wide range of charitable trusts and foundations.

Measurement and Monitoring

The primary mechanism for monitoring the success of the Dockyard is through business performance. This includes looking at factors such as income, expenditure, the number of visitors and number of businesses in the Dockyard.

Future developments

Publications and information links

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust transforming the Medway area in Kent

Kent News website

Contact details

Bill Ferris
Chief Executive
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
The Historic Dockyard Chatham Kent ME4 4TZ,
Tel: 01634 823800