Town tops charts in population boom
ASHFORD’S population booming.
New figures out this week reveal that the borough recorded the biggest population rise in the South East over the past decade.
The borough council says that the rising number of residents is a clear indication that Ashford is well on its way to realising ambitious growth plans.
Judith Armitt, managing director of Ashford’s Future, which is tasked with delivering Ashford’s growth agenda, says that the latest population statistics released by Halifax Financial Services reflect the town’s growing popularity as a place to live and work.
Figures show that among local authorities in the South East, Ashford saw the largest population increase in the decade to 2007, with the number of residents going up 15 per cent to 112,500.
Mrs Armitt said: “A growing number of skilled jobs, topquality housing and the prospect of high-speed domestic rail services launching in 2009, which will cut journey times from Ashford to the capital to just 37 minutes, are making Ashford an increasingly attractive place to be.
“Thanks to a carefully managed development strategy, Ashford continues to enjoy sustained economic growth, despite the current economic downturn.
“Major investment is being ploughed into health and education facilities, retail, improved transport infrastructure and jobs to meet the needs of a rising population.
“All this is helping to foster a confident, vibrant town offering a high standard of living for its residents.”
Ashford is pursuing an ambitious £2.5bn development strat- egy, including the creation of 28,000 jobs, the building of 31,000 homes and the creation of 2 million square feet of commercial space, she added.
The town is expected to double in size by 2031 with an estimated £1 billion of investment already secured.
Future projects include further expansion of the Eureka Business Park and the creation of the new Junction 10a on the M20 that is planned to release more sites for development.
Mrs Armitt said: “Ashford offers everything you’d expect from a thriving and expanding town.
“We are firmly on course to reap the rewards of being best placed in Britain.”
More people are moving to Ashford than anywhere else in the South East