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Travelodge confirms new hotel as part of Ashford regeneration

By Aidan Barlow

A national company has confirmed it will operate a town centre hotel which is now under construction.

The £75 million regeneration scheme at Elwick Place will see a 58-bedroom hotel, six-screen cinema, eight restaurants, and 280 parking spaces being built on the former Ashford Market site.

Cineworld will be running the cinema as part of its Picturehouse brand on the derelict land opposite Debenhams.

Artist’s impression of how Elwick Place will look with hotel operator Travelodge set to open a new hotel and a six-screen cinema

Artist’s impression of how Elwick Place will look with hotel operator Travelodge set to open a new hotel and a six-screen cinema

Now, Travelodge has been unveiled as the neighbouring hotel, which will boast the bright rooms along with its own cafe and bar area.

The company has signed a long term lease for the town centre site for 25 years, and hopes its proximity to the railway station will boost business.

Travelodge development manager John Hardy said: “We are delighted to be one of the anchors for the Elwick Place development and extend our investment in Ashford.

“Our existing hotel at Eureka Leisure Park has performed strongly since it opened 17 years ago, so we are delighted to now be part of the fantastic new leisure scheme in Ashford town centre.

“It will be located very close to the railway station and, with the all of the great restaurants, shops and leisure facilities in the immediate area, this will be a superb location for both leisure and business customers.”

Construction on the cinema is already underway. Picture Steve Salter

Construction on the cinema is already underway. Picture: Steve Salter

The scheme is being completed by Stanhope Plc, which has recently been working on regenerating the former television centre at White City in London which was sold by the BBC in 2012.

The developer will construct the buildings on the land which is owned by Ashford Borough Council. The council will then receive rent from Picturehouse, Travelodge and other businesses on the site.

Council leader Gerry Clarkson said: “The business case is robust and the benefits for Ashford are substantial.

“This project may well be looked upon in the future as the turning point where we actually became a serious business enterprise, where residents reap the financial benefit from our ambitious economic activities.

Developers and council chiefs have celebrated the work starting at Elwick Place

Developers and council chiefs have celebrated the work starting at Elwick Place

“We will very soon see visible results as the building becomes a focal point on the Ashford skyline. It will secure a source of income in the long-term that will enable us to deliver our services to the whole of the borough.”

Stanhope Plc development director Gary Bourne said: “Elwick Place will be a real asset to Ashford, which will significantly enrich the offer of the town centre, particularly in the evening.

“Picturehouse and the newly announced Travelodge will also attract many new visitors and enhance the town’s tourist appeal.

“We are very excited to have reached this landmark moment and are now all systems go to provide a wonderful new leisure quarter for the town centre that we hope will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for decades to come.”

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