North Kent forms part of the “Thames Gateway”, the largest regeneration project in Europe. It encompasses the geographical area stretching from Dartford in the west, some 65 km to Sheerness in the east. It has a population of approximately 600,000 and includes the districts of Medway, Dartford, Gravesham and Swale. The area is characterised by a loss of traditional industries, contaminated land, educational under-achievement and pockets of deprivation. Significant physical development is anticipated in the sub-region in the next twenty years with the provision of 40,000 to 50,000 new homes and 84,000 new jobs.
North Kent has selected 3 deprived areas where POSEIDON area-specific activities should concentrate. These included the All Saints neighbourhood in Medway; this neighbourhood has recently been the focus of a neighbourhood renewal initiative. It is an area of multiple deprivation, suffering from poor housing stock, lack of open space, higher than average concentration of asylum seekers and refugees, and higher than average incidences of crime. The second neighbourhood selected was Swanscombe, an established isolated community about to be encircled by new developments; it has a record of high unemployment and poor housing stock. The third neighbourhood is Twydall, Medway, built in the 1930s and suffering from a lack of amenities, isolation and lack of skills; recent community activity has included a far ranging community consultation exercise involving the replacement of an existing church hall with community facilities.