Town Centre Improvements
Parts of Ashford Town Centre are starting to look a little different as new seating, furnishings and bunting is decorating upper Bank Street and Middle Row.
This temporary pilot scheme delivers 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.
This short-term regeneration project aims to encourage active and healthy lifestyles by introducing informal play opportunities, attractive places to meet and dwell and enhancing of public spaces.
New places to enjoy in Ashford Town Centre
It provides 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.
It is important to gain feedback from residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses on these ideas.
We will therefore also 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.
Fabric of Ashford: The place that makes us
Ashford’s high street has been the place to be this summer with a series of family-friendly events and workshops as part of The Fabric of Ashford; The Place That Makes Us campaign.
This year 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 will showcase 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.
The Ashford Town Centre Reset is 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.