Leeds Castle has been named the ‘Mayfair of Maidstone’ and our sister paper the Kent Messenger takes Fleet Street as the county town gets its very own version of the family favourite board game Monopoly.
The new edition features all the famous multi-coloured property squares we're used to but, instead of the likes of Pall Mall and Park Lane, they are occupied by more than 30 landmarks and charities from across Maidstone.
KMTV report on the new Maidstone monopoly
"We chose Maidstone because there is sort of three things we really look for and that sort of a really family-friendly vibe, there are lots of landmarks that will look great on the board and then also lots of pride in the community as well.", said Ella Gibbs, custom games executive at Winning Moves UK, which is producing the game.
Becoming Old Kent Road will be Archbishop’s Palace because the makers of the game say it is both very “old”, dating back to the 14th century, and very “Kent”.
Whatman Park teams is also in the brown set, which are the game’s most affordable squares. Mote Park will join Leeds Castle in the top ranking set, so is the equivalent of Park Lane from the game’s London original.
And KentOnline gets a spot as a chance card.
Maidstone landed the honour of a customised Monopoly game after seeing off 24 other places across Europe to win the accolade and beating runner-up Chartres in France.
The announcement was made in March. At the time, the public was invited to suggest Maidstone landmarks and charities to feature. More than 5,000 suggestions were received.
Following the public vote, Heart of Kent Hospice features on its very own Community Chest square.
Ella said: “Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions – many hugely inventive and funny.”
She added: “We hope the game reflects the flavour and feel of these suggestions.
“We have themed the sets around different genres. From heritage to shopping, leisure to arts – and to train stations, including Mote Park’s miniature railway.
“Finding four train stations as in the Monopoly original proved a challenge. As did locating Maidstone’s Old Kent Road equivalent.
"This is perhaps the most talked about square in the game. In the end we chose a very popular landmark that is both very old and very Kent and we hope this meets with approval.”
To buy Leeds Castle players will have to pay 400 Monopoly dollars. A hotel can be built on the site for 1,000 dollars.
Debbie Matthews, head of sales and marketing at Leeds Castle, said: “We are very excited to welcome Mr Monopoly to Leeds Castle to launch the Maidstone edition game.
"The last owner of Leeds Castle, Lady Baillie, bought this enchanted castle in 1926 and spared no expense, with her two internationally-acclaimed designers, in turning it into the most luxurious and glamorous backdrop to host her country house weekends.
"It seems only fitting that Leeds Castle replace the glitzy Mayfair, as an invite to a weekend here was as hotly pursued as the top square on the Monopoly game board.”
Most of the Chance and Community Chest cards are themed around Kent’s county town too.
One card sends you on a free guided VIP tour of Leeds Castle, while another hands players lots of Monopoly money as a celebration for Maidstone United Football Club winning the league.
In between Leeds Castle and Archbishop’s Palace are the great and good of the town, including Maidstone Museum which will replace Oxford Street, the Hazlitt Theatre replacing Coventry Street and Maidstone United's home ground the Gallagher Stadium in place of Piccadilly.
The four railway stations will be Maidstone East, taking the place of King’s Cross, Maidstone West as Marylebone, Maidstone Barracks as Fenchurch Street and the Miniature Railway at Mote Park as Liverpool Street.
The new game goes on sale at 10am today at toy and book stores across Maidstone including Asda, Ryman, Waterstones, WHSmith and The Works – as well as online.