Established in Ashford in 1986 to meet a shortfall in good groundworks contractors in Kent, GSE Group has since expanded to provide civil engineering, construction, property development and plant hire services. The company now employs 150 employees locally and has become one of the largest civil engineering companies in the South East.
On top of their client work, which takes them from Kent to London, Sussex and Surrey, they have also invested in Ashford. GSE Group is the developer behind Waterbrook Park, a strategic development in Ashford which encompasses commercial property, residential homes as well as the new Ashford International Truckstop on a 140-acre site.
The new industrial development, Waterbrook Park, includes new SME units, which will create up to 750 jobs in the borough and will allow local companies to expand quicker.
Jaguar Land Rover has relocated its workshop to one of these units, and have built a new, larger showroom there as well. Alpha Rapid Repairs have also decided to relocate to Waterbrook Park, following their rapid expansion.
We can see that Ashford is the place to be. The developments are bringing the right people to the town, such as Curious Brewing.Tony Bowles, Managing Director at GSE Group
“Waterbrook Park is answering a demand for larger industrial units in Ashford, which will help local businesses grow and boost the economy,” explains Tony Bowles, Managing Director at GSE Group.
The next phase of development will include 400 residential homes, with works planned to start in Q1 2021.
Tony adds: “Our residential development at Waterbrook Park will offer people relocating to the area more options to find the right house. Being located close to Junction 10A and the International station, it makes for a fantastic location for commuters.
“Lots of people are moving from London and investing in much nicer houses in Ashford at competitive prices. The high-speed trains from Ashford International to St Pancras makes the commute to London much easier. We’ve even heard some people say that their commute is much quicker from Ashford than when they were living in London.”
Waterbrook Park will also be home to the new Ashford International Truckstop. The current site can accommodate up to 350 Articulated Lorries but the team still has to turn away approximately 600 drivers per week due to lack of space. To meet the demand, GSE Group are building a much larger site, with a total of 650 lorry parking spaces. This will make it the biggest lorry parking site in Europe.
“The Ashford International Truckstop is a favourite for lorry drivers. Our facilities have won ‘Best Large Truckstop of the Year 2019’ as well as in 2016. We also won best facilities and security in 2017.
On top of these two key projects, GSE Group has also worked as groundworks contractors on the Curious Brewery and the Ashford College, and takes great pride in helping shape the town’s future.
“We can see that Ashford is the place to be. The developments are bringing the right people to the town, such as Curious Brewing. The opportunities are here and businesses should take advantage of them.
“We have worked on multiple developments in and around the town including the Ashford College and the ever popular Curious Brewery, for both of these projects we completed all of the groundworks elements, which have allowed us to generate more work locally and get involved in the town’s regeneration.
“Ashford is getting busier. People can see the changes happening and are getting excited as they start realising the benefits all the developments.”
Their efforts to support the town don’t stop when they leave the office. GSE Group also values the local community and sponsors a local football team: Stanhope & Beaver Rangers FC.
“We like to give support where we can. Some of our employees play or manage the football team, so it was a fantastic opportunity to get involved in a great community project.”
GSE are very proud to be a part of the regeneration of Ashford and the surrounding areas. They have also purpose built their new head offices in Paper Lane, Willesborough which ideally places them within close proximity to the GSE Group Waterbrook Development as well as in a prime location for potential projects within the town.