Elwick Place; Moving Forward

As part of a new £75 million high quality investment for Ashford city centre, and following planning approval in Dec ’15, leading UK developers Stanhope PLC and award winning Guy Hollaway Architects are set to move forward with the technical design for the ambitious Elwick Place project.

The transformation of the derelict former old cattle market site into a leisure-led mixed use scheme proposes to house a ‘boutique’ style cinema, circa 60 bed family hotel, 8 restaurant/bar spaces and circa 280 new car parking spaces.

Set around a new square Elwick Place aims to create a sense of place. The formation of an attractive walk way into the town centre passing the open square of the commercial quarter will bring vitality to the town during the day and the evening; creating a clear landmark destination for Ashford town centre. The new square hopes to house events and pop up markets creating an exciting location to live, work and socialise.

The main cinema building is proposed to be clad in gold coloured, anodised aluminium mesh, shaped to wrap up the building from the first floor, and also shaped in sections to curve around the cinema building. The material will appear opaque during the day, and as evening draws in and the light drops, the material will allow projections to be seen to the back drop of the black composite board cladding mesh.

Plans also include provisions for artwork by local artists and the general public, picking up on the motif of the frame, taking the screen from the cinemas out into the whole development. The old historic market gates will be incorporated into the landscaping to reflect a part of the town’s history creating a meeting point for visitors.

The granting of planning approval for Elwick Place alongside proposals for the regeneration of Victoria Way, both designed by GHA, and the construction of Ashford College which is now underway, are good indications of the progress which are being made as part of a wider set of plans to see a renaissance of the town centre, which will benefit the whole borough and the town’s future prosperity. This dynamic, new, main business hub will stimulate major investment opportunities and create several hundred jobs.

Published on 6 April 2016