With London house prices soaring, Kent has become an increasingly attractive destination for commuters in search of affordable property that doesn’t compromise on location. With fantastic public transport links, a great community feel and a market that promises lucrative ROI, Kent is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most popular up and coming counties.
Ashford is the latest locale to enjoy the fruits of the boom, with a brand new multi-million-pound leisure complex set to be built in the heart of the town centre. Featuring a cinema, hotel, restaurants, shops and more, the complex will breathe new life into the 2.6-hectare site known as Elwick Place. While it formerly served as a cattle market, the £75m redevelopment will see it emerge as one of Kent’s busiest leisure venues.
Local community help Ashford flourish
UK developer Stanhope PLC is the company behind the venture, asserting that it’s received a hugely positive response from the public. The community support has fast-tracked the launch of Phase One, which will see construction begin on a six screen cinema, 60 bed family hotel, eight restaurants and 280 parking spaces. Phase Two will follow, including 200 apartments.
For the local community, the Elwick Place development will generate around 250 new jobs. The presence of such a well-equipped complex will also boost house prices and promote Ashford as an even more attractive location for Brits on the house hunt.
Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council says “A town centre cinema, set around a new square with places to eat and drink, will be a real draw and will help to bring extra vitality to the town centre during the day and evening. The old historic market gates will be incorporated into the landscaping to reflect a part of our history.”
Paving the way for future developments
The Elwick Place development follows in the wake of other major investments, including the County Square shopping centre and Elwick Road shared space project. More are set to follow, with Clarkson predicting that “In a few years’ time the town centre will look very different, with a new college being built, the Designer Outlet being extended and the office development in our commercial quarter moving forward. This is another part of the puzzle and shows Ashford is the place to invest and we are creating an exciting location to live, work and enjoy life.”