Covering some 22 square miles focused around the urban areas of Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale, TGK runs from the east of the M25, bound on the north by the River Thames and the south by the A2, through to Swale and represents one of the largest and most exciting regeneration opportunities in Europe.
The area has tremendous potential and is an excellent location for transport routes and easy access to important markets in the UK and mainland Europe. It has the benefit of a large and skilled local labour force and significant brownfield sites available for development.
Major announcements recently have placed the spotlight very much on Ebbsfleet and Swanscombe. In Ebbsfleet Garden City and London Paramount, TGK has two enormous opportunities for growth which, if realised, have the potential to transform the economy of the area and of the wider south east economy. For Ebbsfleet Garden City up to 15000 new homes are planned. The £2 billion London Paramount scheme will create up to 27,000 new jobs and attract up to 15 million visitors a year. These sites sit adjacent to the hugely successful Bluewater Shopping Centre. Bluewater opened its doors in March 1999 and occupies 240 acres with over 360 shops, bars and restaurants and 28 million visitors a year.
Ebbsfleet International rail station opened to Eurostar traffic in 2007 and, since 2009, a high speed domestic service places central London within just 17 minutes.
Other major developments in Thames Gateway Kent include:
- The Bridge, Dartford - a 2664 acre development, adjacent to the QEII bridge, including 1,500 new homes, 1.5 million square feet of business space, a Science Park and The Nucleus Innovation Centre;
- Swanscombe Peninsula West - a new "urban village" with 1,750 homes and business space on the River Thames, on the site of the former Swanscombe cement works;
- Dartford, Northfleet & Gravesend - town centre regeneration;
- Rochester Riverside - a development of 2,000 homes and office space on the River Medway;
- Chatham - new waterfront development;
- Swale - 7,600 new homes and 12,000 new jobs in the Sittingbourne and Isle of Sheppey area, plus infrastructure improvements, such as the new Sheppey Crossing bridge which opened in 2006.