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Ashford demolition Gerry Clarkson (left) and Mark Lumsdon Taylor

Ashford demolition Gerry Clarkson (left) and Mark Lumsdon Taylor

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£16m Ashford College scheme moves closer

Ashford demolition Gerry Clarkson (left) and Mark Lumsdon Taylor

Ashford demolition Gerry Clarkson (left) and Mark Lumsdon Taylor

Demolition work has begun to pave the way for a new state-of-the-art college campus in the heart of Ashford, one of the fastest-growing towns in the South East.  Plans for a new £16m Ashford College that is fit for the 21st Century came a step closer to fruition when bulldozers moved in to demolish the old college building on Elwick Road.

The ambitious project is one of Ashford’s key development aims and will play a major part in the town’s future growth and prosperity.

Ashford Borough Council Leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson says: “At last we can realise our vision for a further education and higher education college right in the heart of the town at Elwick Road, adjacent to the International Station. A highly skilled workforce is fundamental to the success of our versatile economic growth and this will make a vital contribution to rejuvenating the town centre.”

The first-class education and skills provision is being provided by the highly-regarded Hadlow Group, which also runs Hadlow College and West Kent College. Earlier this year Hadlow Group secured £9.8m from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Capital Fund to help deliver Phase 1 of Ashford College by creating 5,112m2 of floorspace as the first stage of the new campus. The improved learning environment will support more than 900 additional students.

The campus, which will be completed in early 2017 and open from September that year, will focus on providing skills for the manufacturing, construction, technology and service sectors, linked with a strengthened role for employers.

Paul Hannan, Hadlow Group Principal and Chief Executive, says: “The commencement of the demolition at Elwick Road marks a new and very exciting development in the Ashford College story. The new campus will play a very significant part in ensuring our provision complies with the high standards we set ourselves.”

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Hadlow Group Director Finance and Resources, adds: “The new campus is designed to fulfil the current and future needs of students, staff and our many stakeholders. Celebrating the demolition marks the beginning of the real work. The long wait will have been worthwhile. I would like to pay tribute to the co-operation, help, advice and support received from Ashford Borough Council Leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson, and Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, and his team.”

For more information about Ashford visit

For more information about Ashford College visit and for further details about the Hadlow Group go to

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