Ashford makes the headlines again in The Telegraph BusinessPosted on 5 December 2018
With projects such as Park Mall, Elwick Place and the Ashford Commercial Quarter, the Council is leading the way in rejuvenating the town centre, but also making sure the government cuts won’t affect the services provided to residents. The article states that this strategy will now allow Ashford Borough Council to become self-sufficient by next year.
“[Cllr] Clarkson has enacted a strategy that will make the local authority self-sufficient by next year, through retail, infrastructure, education, employment and leisure.
“Unlike some other councils that have resorted to cutting services to save money, Ashford has been eagerly pumping money into its town centre, buying shopping centres, developing office blocks and even building a cinema complex, Elwick Place, in an attempt to bring in more money.” Sophie Christie, The Telegraph Business, November 28, 2018
“Unlike some other councils that have resorted to cutting services to save money, Ashford has been eagerly pumping money into its town centre in an attempt to bring in more money.”Sophie Christie, The Telegraph Business
With the 34 units in Park Mall now occupied, the shopping mall has become a “bustling centre with annual footfall up 4.1%.” This increase goes against the national trend, which has seen footfall decline 3.5% on average. Acquiring the shopping centre has not only allowed Ashford Borough Council to liven up the high street, but also boost their “coffers because of the extra money brought in through business rates.”
International House has also been a key component in the Council’s strategy. After acquiring it in 2014, the Council “has now made a 12.6% return on its investment through rents and rates, earning around £700,000 a year, up from the £300,000 earned before the council took over the building.”
With a bold, yet pragmatic, approach, Ashford Borough Council has taken its fate into its own hands and decided to act like a business to ensure the town’s bright future.
Read the full article on The Telegraph Business