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Hello Ashford - finding out resident's views on our Town Centre changes

Published: 01/02/2024
new seating installation in Ashford Town Centre

Last month parts of Ashford Town Centre started to look different as new seating, furnishings and bunting decorated upper Bank Street and Middle Row.

The temporary pilot scheme delivered some interventions that links to key themes from the Town Centre Reset - integrated play, feature lighting, temporary public realm and outdoor seating. If successful this could lead to further, more permanent features in the future.

It provided a new look and feel to areas of the town centre, with additional cleaning, re-decoration and new planting, bunting and seating adding a touch of colour. The short-term regeneration project aims introduced informal play opportunities, attractive places to meet and dwell and enhancing of public spaces.

Cllr Nathan Iliffe, portfolio holder for regeneration & corporate property, said: “Ashford Borough Council is looking at ways to entice visitors into the town centre, and give them more reasons to visit, spend time with friends and enjoy. We held a number of popular family friendly events over the summer, which have drawn crowds in, and also added a bit of colour to parts of the high street too.

“Already we have received positive comments from passers-by when some of the new seating and planting was being installed and from the events, plus we know nearby businesses were hoping this might help to give their trade a little boost too.

“It is important to gain feedback from residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses on these ideas. We are therefore introducing interactive signage around these locations in conjunction with a company called Hello Lamp Post, to capture feedback and explain more about what we are doing via QR codes and text messaging.”

How does it work? Hello Lamp post QR signage. For more information visit https://www.ashford.gov.uk/hello-ashford

Using the engagement platform Hello Lamp Post, members of the community will be able to interact with objects around the town centre via your mobile phone.

You can strike up conversations with familiar street furniture such as benches, bins, flower beds, lamp posts, the bandstand and more.

Signs will be placed in and around Bank Street and Middle Row, you can either text the number displayed on the sign or scan the QR code to receive information on the object. For more information please visit our dedicated Hello Ashford web page.

Fabric of Ashford

Ashford’s high street has been the place to be with a series of family-friendly events and workshops as part of The Fabric of Ashford; The Place That Makes Us campaign. This has featured a fabulous line-up of events throughout July and August including pop-up workshops, live music, storytelling workshops, street entertainment and art installations. 

The finale event on 20 August showcased the borough’s community spirit in the form of the Ashford Tapestry; a community-created art project comprising colourful fabric artwork, all sewn together to form an impressive art installation. To find out more visit Loveashford.