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News article entitled Town centre reset plans approved by Cabinet

Ashford town centre reset approved

Published: 27/11/2020

Exciting new plans for the future development of Ashford town centre were approved at last night’s Cabinet meeting as part of the Ashford Recovery Plan.

The Ashford Town Centre Reset, which focuses on the Bank Street and Elwick Road area, are designed to reset the town centre in light of the decline in retail which has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The council is working to ensure that the town centre remains relevant following new developments within the town, making Ashford a place to live, work, visit and invest in, enhancing and embracing the areas which give Ashford its character.

The report focusses on several projects which will help revitalise the area. These will follow the same themes as the council’s Recovery Plan, which is the workplan for the next 18 months while the borough recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The key points include:

• improving the links between key destinations such as the station and New Town Works to the town centre itself, making it easier to walk and cycle between them;
• encouraging independent retailers to the newly revitalised area
• ensuring that the increasing numbers of people living within the town centre have the infrastructure they need close to their homes;
• build on the community spirit within the town centre, as shown by the success of events like Snowdogs, Illuminites and Create festival;
• improving the gateways to the new high street – Elwick Road and Victoria Road.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “Ashford Town Centre Reset is the blueprint to establish the future success of Ashford Town Centre. However it must be agile and flexible in its use to respond to changing circumstances and future opportunities.”

Cllr Paul Clokie, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Corporate Property, said: “With the rapid evolution of town centres and the opportunities Ashford town centre has, this Reset provides a direction and vision to work towards, whilst maintaining its flexibility. We must also look forward to the time when our new residents start to return to normal life, although it is inferred in the this report, we must take advantage of this reset to regain the wow factor of the original Ashford High Street.”

You can read the full report online.