Looking back - and forward
It’s been a big year for Ashford. With so many high profile
projects coming to fruition, we decided to reflect on the big
changes Ashford has seen in the past 12 months – and take a quick
look at what is in store for 2012…
Ashford Gateway Plus opened its doors, bringing a brand new
library, Ashford Borough Council customer services, Kent Adult
Education, voluntary and community services all under one,
eco-friendly roof in Church Road.
A new road, Victoria Way, opened along the former Victoria Road,
creating an attractive new fast link between Ashford International
Station and the A28 at the Matalan roundabout.
Pedestrians also had cause for celebration as a new route between
the town and Eureka Leisure Park opened, thanks to the stunning M20
footbridge Eureka Skyway. The foot and cycle bridge takes
pedestrians straight from Sainsbury’s car park to the leisure
Music fans across the South East were delighted when St Mary’s
Church in the town centre unveiled its stunning new interior and
its new image as both a place of worship and a vibrant performance
and arts space.
The venue has already played host to Eddi Reader, Gruff Rhys, Chris
Wood and Tony Benn, with big names planned for 2012.
2011 was also a big year for Ashford’s youth, as two major outreach
projects got off the ground – HOUSE provided a dedicated space in
the former Stour Centre reception for 11 to 19-year-olds to relax,
have fun and get advice, while the Hang 10 mobile youth service
went on the road to help young people get more out of their
And in 2012…
Plans will progress on the Commercial Quarter (at Dover Place),
which will create high quality offices and associated shops and
restaurants close to the international station.
Planning permission will also be sought on the first phase of plans
for a family-orientated country park at Conningbrook Lakes, with
water sports, a piazza, nature reserves and cycle tracks.
Internationally renowned dance ensemble Jasmin Vardimon Company
will also be fully moved into The Stour Centre, with their own
dedicated rehearsal space, and will start work on their next
performance and new educational projects.
We can look forward to the opening of a brand new John Lewis at
Home store next to Drovers Roundabout and The Warren. The store
will sell furniture and electrical home goods, and will create 160
All eyes will be on Ashford on the run up to London 2012, as the
Olympic torch passes through the town en route to the
Education will also get a boost as work begins to transform the
former college building on the corner of Elwick Road into a brand
new £25m higher and further education campus for K College.
The borough can also expect plenty of celebrations and activities
to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.