Published: 10:19, 20 April 2018
| Updated: 10:29, 20 April 2018
Construction on a major new development which will see a six-screen cinema, hotel, restaurants and cafes in Ashford town centre has reached a milestone, with developers saying it is on track to be open by the end of the year.
Built on the site of the former cattle market, opposite the County Square shopping complex, dignitaries turned out for a topping out ceremony, as the highest point of construction was reached.
The two-hectare development will see the former derelict brownfield land into a new leisure quarter featuring a Picturehouse multiplex and Travelodge hotel. There will also be 282 parking spaces.
The scheme is one element of a wider £520 million investment in developments in Ashford town centre currently under construction or with construction expected to start within the next five years.
Ashford Borough Council leader, Cllr Gerry Clarkson, said: “This marks a big milestone in yet another of our Big 8 projects, which are together transforming the borough’s fortunes.
“Elwick Place promises to be a big draw for the town centre, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a film at a boutique cinema and meet friends for a drink or dine out. We are looking forward to the works being completed before the end of the year.”
Gary Bourne, development director at Stanhope, added: “As we move towards the completion of the scheme, we would like to thank all of those who have been involved in getting what was a brownfield site 12 months ago to where it is today. We are now looking forward to welcoming local residents to the new Elwick Place development as well as creating a destination that will attract visitors from the wider Kent area and beyond."
In addition to the leisure facilities, it is hoped it will create a new landmark in the town centre, with a curved structure clad in gold colour, aluminium mesh, designed by the award-winning Guy Hollaway Architects.