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The key point about the emergence

of Ashford as a growing business

centre is that the pace of change

has been maintained over the

past five years.

In a poll conducted by Locate in

Kent, two thirds of the respondents of

developers, businesses, investors and

property professionals viewed Ashford

as a good or very good place to do

business.

The key findings are:

59% view Ashford as a good or

very good business location;

Excellent rail and road links and

proximity to continental Europe

and London, together with availability

of sites, quality of life and a

supportive local council are listed

as positives;

62% say Ashford has improved as

a business destination over the

past five years.

This sort of response is unusually

positive and some of the comments

from businesses leaders underline this

- such as “it is economically dynamic

and the population has grown

enormously” as well as “improved

office space and more business parks”.

The developers and council are

not resting on their laurels, as

illustrated by the presentation at

St Pancras railway station of the

“Ashford – Locate, Innovate,

Succeed, Live” event.

This brought together many of the

people and organisations involved in

regenerating the town, from retail

giants like Lidl to leisure companies

such as Picturehouse and hotels

group, Travelodge as well as, of

course, the developers like Quinn

Estates and the borough council.

What is impressive is the widespread

support for the regeneration of Ashford.

Take Phil Hubbard of agent Sibley

Pares Taylor Riley who said “We see

Ashford as a significant growth town

with more development underway

than almost anywhere else in Kent

and a very progressive and dynamic

borough council and their backing and

support are key to helping to push the

town to reach its undoubted potential”.

Another perceptive view is from

Siobhan Wood of agent Smith Woolley

who said: “Ashford town centre is on

the cusp of being transformed from a

traditional agricultural and market

town into a more dynamic, modern

centre offering a wider diverse range

of commercial facilities”.

Pushing

ON

No slowing

IN GROWTH

Elwick Place

Being the first major town centre

project to be completed, the

opening of the £26 million

Ashford College reveals the

priority given to education in

the economic picture.

It has now taken its first intake of

900 students into the 4,715 sq.metres

(50,752

sq.ft

.) town centre campus

which has a range of facilities

that will train the future workforce

such as fine art studios and

teaching kitchens.

Later phases of the college will

bring a sustainable technologies

block for engineering, plumbing and

electrical facilities and motor sport

workshops.

Seven key town centre projects:

Apart from the new college,

there are seven main developments

in Ashford that are bringing

substantial improvements.

These are:

1.

Elwick Place with a 900 seat

cinema, a 58 bed Travelodge,

7 restaurants and cafes and

200 apartments, which is

opening in 2018/19;

2.

Curious Brew, a brewery and

eating destination on a 1.6 acre

site opening next year;

3.

A new Aldi store;

4.

Victoria Way East with a 120 bed

hotel, 275 homes and 3 retail

unit as well as flexible office and

retail space being developed by

U&I and Carrington Group;

5.

Victoria Way West with 635

apartments and 25 houses on a

3.87 hectare site being developed

by Quinn Estates, GRE and

Neighbour

6.

The commercial quarter by Quinn

Estates and George Wilson

Holdings

7.

Ashford Designer Outlet with a

new extension to open in 2019.

College

OPENS

Commercial Property Register

November 2017 - March 2018

www.compropregister.com

12

FEATURE

IN BRIEF

Former

Taylor Riley Stafford director, Richard Stafford, is celebrating the

first anniversary of his own business, Stafford Perkins. Stafford said:

“The last 12 months have been incredibly hard work but hugely satisfying.

There was never a doubt that I would choose Ashford as a location. It’s a

dynamic and vibrant town that is really going places”.

Ashford College