Published: 08:35, 14 September 2017
Developers behind a five-storey office block in Ashford town centre say the building will be finished by January next year.
Construction of the multi-million pound Commercial Quarter at Dover Place began earlier this year on part of the Dover Place car park, next to the Everest Inn.
Bosses at development company Quinn Estates – which is leading the project in partnership with George Wilson Developments – say they have already agreed for a dentist and accountancy firm to move in.
Chairman Mark Quinn said: “Ashford is in a really exciting place right now and we are delighted to be on site and delivering.
“The Ashford Commercial Quarter is 75% full and we are in discussions with a large financial group to take the remaining space.
“Overall this project is expected to create 600 jobs for the borough and is the result of the council and ourselves working together to make things happen.”
The development, which includes office and retail space, will create 481 full-time jobs when finished.
More than 300 construction jobs have already been created and accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy is the first tenant taking up the top floor, with the cosmetic dentist signed up to take on a ground floor spot.
"Ashford is in a really exciting place right now..." - Mark Quinn
The Commercial Quarter is one of Ashford Borough Council’s Big 8 projects – a series of major schemes which the council says will transform Ashford and regenerate the town centre.
Ashford Borough Council leader councillor Gerry Clarkson welcomed the interest in the project.
He said: “The Commercial Quarter makes a strong statement about the borough’s economic position, our can-do attitude as an authority, our sharp commercial focus and the confidence that key businesses and developers have in the borough.
“I am confident it will be a catalyst for delivery of new jobs and opportunities that our international town of Ashford needs.
“This is a key strategic site, which has been earmarked for development for some time.
“Yet it is only since this council stepped in and acquired it and undertook its own master planning and marketing that this proposal has come forward.
“I am pleased to hear from the developers there is great interest in the first new modern office block, which reinforces our belief and that of others, that Ashford is the number one business location in Kent.”
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