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New entertainment centre opens doors at The Coachworks development in Ashford

By Alex Jee

The first phase of an £850,000 leisure complex has opened to the public.

The outdoor entertainment space has been set up as part of The Coachworks development close to Ashford International station.

Designed by Carl Turner Architects it is set to be fully operational by Halloween, but only has a five-year lifespan as the land is set to become the second phase of the Commercial Quarter in later years.

Makanade Fine Foods' Stefano Cuomo with his Wood Pizza oven.Picture: Paul Amos. (15071204)
Makanade Fine Foods' Stefano Cuomo with his Wood Pizza oven.Picture: Paul Amos. (15071204)

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) granted itself planning permission for development earlier this year.

Bosses say 'The Event Yard' will be used for vintage clothes sales, food markets, acoustic music events, council-run functions and cinema and live sports screenings.

Families braved the weather to enjoy the opening days of 'The Event Yard' over the weekend.

Nicola and Simon Maynard enjoyed their pizza with their children Isabelle, Sophie and Emily. Picture: Paul Amos. (15071195)
Nicola and Simon Maynard enjoyed their pizza with their children Isabelle, Sophie and Emily. Picture: Paul Amos. (15071195)

It officially opened its doors on Saturday, serving Curious Brewery beer and cider, Macknade’s pizza and gelato to its first visitors.

Shipping containers have been placed at the rear of the yard and street food was served on the opening day.

Architect Carl Turner said: “Despite gale force winds, the doors to the yard at Coachworks Ashford opened over the weekend.

"We welcomed more than 100 visitors over the two days we were open, so a big thanks to all those who braved the weather and joined us for a beer.

Yard Bar managers Quinn Martin-Preston and Martin Sammut.Picture: Paul Amos. (15071202)
Yard Bar managers Quinn Martin-Preston and Martin Sammut.Picture: Paul Amos. (15071202)

"We will be extending opening hours this weekend to Friday evenings and from midday on Saturday and Sunday, so come and join us for drinks at the yard bar and pizza and gelato from Macknade.”

'The Event Yard' will be open on Friday from 4.30pm until 12pm, between 12pm to 12am on Saturday and 12pm to 10pm on Sunday.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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