HRH Duke of Gloucester talking with a group

The Duke, a former architect and member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, visited the town to see examples of the physical and cultural regeneration taking place in Gravesham.

HRH the Duke of Gloucester toured Gravesend Friday morning (14 October), the first public visit to Kent and Medway by a member of the Royal Family since the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

His visit started at a workshop at St George’s Arts Centre in the town, before moving on to the area to the rear of the St George’s Centre which is earmarked for the second phase of Gravesend town centre’s regeneration project, St George’s Square.

Here he viewed the statue of Pocahontas and visited St George’s Church, where he met the Rev Jim Fletcher.

The Duke’s visit concluded at St Andrew’s Gardens, where he saw the statues of Sqdn Ldr Mohinder Singh Pujji and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was the focal point for floral tributes from the people of Gravesham following the death of the Queen.

From the gardens he was able to view work on The Charter, a development of 242 apartments which will be available to rent when completed, and a new public multi-storey car park, and which is being developed by Rosherville, Gravesham Borough Council’s commercial trading company.

He also met Luan Memaj, 22, an engineer for Henry, the contractor building The Charter, who explained his role in the project.

Cllr Peter Scollard, the Mayor of Gravesham, said: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness to Gravesend, to guide him through our ambitious plans to regenerate the town centre, and to outline the benefits that will bring to the Borough as a whole.

“I know he was impressed at the vision for the town and the gathering pace of delivery.

“He was also moved to see pictures of the hundreds floral tributes left at the statue to Her Majesty the Queen earlier this year.”

After his visit to the town centre, the Duke travelled to Cyclopark, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

Simon Jones, CEO of Cyclopark, said: “We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester to Cyclopark.

“During his visit, I was thrilled to showcase the varied and inclusive facilities at Cyclopark and introduce him to some of the dedicated people who make it all happen, including our members, staff and volunteers, as well as our ambassador and Commonwealth Gold medal winner, JohnBoy Smith.

 “It was fantastic to talk to His Royal Highness about our successes over the last decade, as well as our ambitious plans for the future.”

Norman Blissett, Chair of Cyclopark Charitable Trust Board of Trustees, said: “In our tenth anniversary year, we've enjoyed some fantastic achievements, so it has been an honour to welcome His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.

“I know the whole team was looking forward to showing His Royal Highness the progress we've made in the last ten years, as well as share our exciting and charitable plans for the future.

“The Duke of Gloucester’s interest in our charitable work and efforts to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people in our communities is invaluable.”

Published: Monday, 17th October 2022