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Ashford Designer Outlet extension sees Pret a Manger open today

The first part of the Ashford Designer Outlet's extension will open today when a popular coffee and sandwich chain moves in.

Shopping centre bosses will take the wraps off a Pret a Manger cafe at the centre, which is undergoing a £90m expansion.

The opening will be followed by the arrival of Japanese restaurant chain YO! Sushi on Monday, May 13.

Later in the month, the centre's new £400,000 children's playground which is themed on the Garden of England will open on Thursday, May 23.

Images of the new play park, which will feature a seven-metre high Robinia tree house, were released at the end of last year.

As well as the tree house - the UK’s tallest of its kind - the playground will include a slide, climbing frames and see-saws.

The new play area will open later this month
The new play area will open later this month

The digitally-enhanced playground will also feature 'augmented reality' play experiences.

It will have space for more than 200 children to play at one time.

Children from the John Wallis Academy have been chosen to try the new equipment before it opens to the public.

YO! Sushi will open in Ashford later this month
YO! Sushi will open in Ashford later this month

The Year 5 pupils have also been selected to design an element of the playground by creating their own butterfly.

The three best designs are now set to be brought to life and installed in the new playground.

As well as the Pret a Manger and YO Sushi! announcements, outlet bosses have also confirmed Zwilling and Paul Costelloe will move into the centre.

Signs for the new Pret a Manger went up last month
Signs for the new Pret a Manger went up last month

Zwilling - one of the largest manufacturers of kitchen knives, cookware and flatware - will open its doors today.

It will be followed by the arrival of fashion brand Paul Costelloe on Thursday, May 16.

The Irish-American designer brand will offer womenswear, menswear, bags and jewellery.

How the extension will look
How the extension will look

Outlet bosses say once the extension is complete in the autumn, 50 new brands will be added to the centre, creating 500 new jobs.

Shoppers will also be able to catch a glimpse of Europe’s largest living wall this month.

The £1.5m plant installation will become the centrepiece of the centre’s expansion.

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