The Partners

Ashford's Future is a partnership of local councils, government agencies and others from the public and private sector. By working together, the ten main partners are able to bring their own expertise and resources in their own areas of responsibility. This allows Ashford to maintain local democratic control of many aspects of the project with the help and support of others.

The partners involved in Ashford’s Future are:

Ashford Borough Council

Ashford is the largest borough in Kent covering 224 square miles and includes the rural town of Tenterden. Ashford has a fast-growing population which has more than trebled in the last 40 years to around 111,000 residents. Ashford Borough Council is responsible for a wide range of services to residents, companies and potential investors.

Communities and Local Government 

Communities and Local Government (formally the Office for the Deputy Prime Minster) is responsible for local and regional Government, housing, planning, fire, regeneration, social exclusion and neighbourhood renewal.

Homes & Communities Agency (formerly English Partnerships)

Homes & Communities Agency is the national regeneration agency, helping the Government to support high quality sustainable growth in England. This is achieved through a partnership between the Pubic and Private Sectors working towards high standards of design, construction and environmental sustainability.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. It is their responsibility to make sure that air, land and water are looked after by everyone in today's society, so that tomorrow's generations inherit a cleaner, healthier world.

Government Office for the South East (GOSE)

GOSE represents central government in the region and their role is to promote better and more effective integration of Government policies and programmes at a regional and local level. It was created in April 1994 and brings together the activities previously carried out on a regional basis by the separate Departments responsible for Education, Employment, Transport, Local Government, Trade and Industry.

Kent County Council (KCC)

Kent County Council is the largest, and one of the leading, local authorities in the UK. At a time of tremendous change and opportunity for Kent, KCC provides strategic direction for countywide regeneration, striking a balance between the often conflicting demands of housing, employment, existing communities and the environment in order to ensure development which is of the very highest quality and genuinely sustainable in the long term.

Learning Skills Council (LSC)

The Learning and Skills Council exists to make England better skilled and more competitive.
The LSC have a single goal: to improve the skills of England’s young people and adults to ensure we have a workforce of world-class standard. The LSC is responsible for planning and funding high quality education and training for everyone in England other than those in universities. Our vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England have knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce.

South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)

The South East England Development Agency was established by the Government to take the strategic lead in promoting the sustainable economic development of the region, and works with partners to make the South East of England a world class region, achieving sustainable development and enhanced quality of life.

South East England Partnership Board (SEEPB) 

The South East England Partnership Board brings local authorities and the regional development agency (SEEDA) together to work on the Regional Strategy. This is a 20-year vision for transport, housing, planning and economic issues in the South East. The Board comprises four members of SEEDA’s board and eight members of the South East England Leaders’ Board, which represents local authorities in the region.

East Kent NHS Primary Care Trust

NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent serves 710,000 people living in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet. The three main functions of the Primary Care Trust (PCT) are engaging with the local population to improve health and well being, commissioning a comprehensive and equitable range of high quality, responsive and efficient services, and managing the funding to plan and purchase health services for the local community.  

Highways Agency

The Highways Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT), and is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. It has a major role in delivering the Government's Ten Year Plan for Transport, and in the UK’s regeneration and growth plans.

Business Link

A not-for-profit organisation, Business Link is an easy to use business support, advice and information service that has been developed in partnership with subject experts within government and relevant business-support organisations, to help start-up and established companies comply with regulations and improve performance.

Locate in Kent

Established in 1997, Locate in Kent is Kent and Medway's inward investment agency and provides a free, comprehensive and confidential relocation service to businesses. Since launching, the company has helped over 500 companies to locate or expand in Kent, creating almost 23,000 new jobs.

Other Organisations Involved