The development of a new 590,000 sq ft office campus next to Ashford International railway station starts this month. As well as office space, the Commercial Quarter hopes to deliver 150 homes and several thousand jobs in the fast-growing Kent town – recently voted the best business location in Kent.
Work to enhance the environment and appearance around International House and Dover Place is due to start early March and continue until August 2015. Ashford Borough Council is working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and design practice, BDP, to create an attractive first impression of the town for visitors arriving at the international railway station, either via international Eurostar services or the HS1 high-speed train service which links Ashford to central London in only 38 minutes.
Ashford Borough Council purchased the area surrounding International House last year and the new public realm work, funded by £1.3 million from HCA, will include new hard and soft landscaping and an improved pedestrian route from the railway station to the town centre. It is hoped that by transforming the site, businesses will be more attracted to moving into future development in the Commercial Quarter.
Cllr Neil Shorter, the council’s Portfolio Holder with Town Centre Focus, says: “The new public realm will be a visually impressive space for residents, visitors and businesses to enjoy. It will include granite paving, benches, street lighting columns and greenery which will improve the look and feel of the area. Thanks to its excellent transport links and competitive property rents, the public realm will create a dynamic new business hub in the town centre.”
In a perception study, carried out by Locate in Kent, Ashford was identified as the best place in Kent to do business. The study measures the attitudes of key business figures in the South East towards Kent as a business location and establishes ratings for areas of the county. The results showed that out of all the areas in Kent and Medway, Ashford was the number one location for developers, advisers and businesses. Two thirds rated Ashford highly because of its rail links, while road links, proximity to Europe and London, location and available sites were all listed as positives.
For more information about Ashford’s exciting development plans visit www.ashfordfor.com
Source: Edwards Harvey PR
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