Local schoolchildren showcase their artistic talent in Christmas competition with Rochester Riverside


To celebrate the festive season, schoolchildren from across Rochester competed in a Christmas bauble designing competition organised by Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s flagship £419m regeneration scheme. 

Year One and Two pupils from Delce Academy, The Pilgrim School, St William of Perth Catholic Primary School, and Kings Pre-Preparatory School all participated in the competition, with Emily, aged 7, from Kings Pre-Preparatory School in Rochester chosen as the overall winner of the competition.

In a surprise addition to the usual Friday morning school assembly, Emily was presented with a £50 Amazon voucher, and her design was printed on a set of baubles supplied by Countryside.

In the spirit of Christmas, Countryside made sure that everyone had a chance at winning, and named a winner per school. Each winner received a set of baubles decorated with their design to take home.

Andy Fancy, Managing Director, Partnerships South (North and South), Countryside, said: “The competition has been a great success, and it has been amazing to see so many inspiring designs from Rochester’s young budding artists.

It was truly challenging to select just one winner per school among so many fantastic creations. We wish all of the children a wonderful festive break and hope their baubles enjoy pride of place on the family tree.”

Mrs C E Openshaw, Headmistress of Pre-Preparatory School and Nursery, said: Our Year One and Two pupils were so happy to take part; it certainly got the children into the Christmas sprit. Susan and Katie’s visit encapsulated the spirit of Christmas – a sense of joy, giving and coming together as one community. Merry Christmas!” 

Rochester Riverside is the region’s flagship regeneration project. Delivered by Countryside and Hyde over the next 12 years, it will create a new mixed-tenure community of up to 1,400 new homes with provision for a primary school, nursery, as well as a hotel, parking, open space, and landscaping. 

Construction continues at pace across the initial first three phases of the development, which comprise 489 homes, a hotel, as well as 2,200 sqm of commercial floorspace.

The first residents moved into their new homes in June 2019, following the unveiling of the new public plaza by Countryside, which is now home to a new Travelodge and Co-op, which are soon to be joined by Costa in the new year.

 A total of 83 one and two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom homes have now legally completed following the start of construction in 2018.