Elwick Place, the 100,000 sq ft restaurant and leisure development in the heart of Ashford, has reached its highest point of construction as the scheme moves towards completion. A ‘topping out’ ceremony for the scheme, being developed by Stanhope PLC, was held on Thursday 12 April and was attended by Ashford Borough Council, and Stanhope’s main contractors, Lendlease, to mark this milestone.
The two-hectare development will see formerly derelict brownfield land transformed into a vibrant new leisure quarter for the town with a 6 screen Picturehouse cinema, Travelodge hotel, new restaurants and cafes and 282 parking spaces.
Elwick Place is anticipated to open in December 2018 following an 18-month build programme, and the development from Stanhope has been forward funded by Ashford Borough Council on land that it owns. Stanhope bring extensive experience of providing new places for communities with the Elwick Place development creating an exciting new destination for people to spend their leisure time.
The Elwick Place scheme is one element of a wider £520 million of investment in developments in Ashford town centre currently under construction or with construction expected to start within the next five years, building on the town’s unique position with its high-speed rail route to Central London and Europe. With the resident population of the borough’s catchment area expected to rise to about 303,000 by 2025, these new developments will revitalise the town and attract new visitors with the exciting day and night time offer.
Ashford Borough Council Leader, Cllr Gerry Clarkson, said:
“Today marks a big milestone in yet another of our Big 8 projects, which are together transforming the Borough’s fortunes.
“Elwick Place promises to be a big draw for the town centre, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a film at a boutique cinema and meet friends for a drink or dine out. We are looking forward to the works being completed before the end of the year.”
Gary Bourne, Development Director at Stanhope, added:
“As we move towards the completion of the scheme, we would like to thank all of those who have been involved in getting what was a brownfield site 12 months ago to where it is today. We are now looking forward to welcoming local residents to the new Elwick Place development as well as creating a destination that will attract visitors from the wider Kent area and beyond.
“Elwick Place sits at the heart of Ashford town centre and will enrich what the town has to offer by providing something for people of all ages and interests. Ashford is a key location in the South East, and Stanhope is delighted to share a common vision with Ashford Borough Council of transforming the town and making it an exciting place for those who live here.”
Elwick Place will create a new landmark in the town centre, designed by RIBA award-winning London and Kent architects Guy Hollaway Architects, with a striking curved structure clad in a gold coloured, aluminium mesh. Norman Rourke Pryme is providing Employer’s Agent and Project Management services.