10-year plan to transform town
INVITING, connected, fulfilling and prosperous, this is what Ashford will be within the next eight years according to its council. The authority’s top brass has approved a plan of action to transform the town by 2018. It had previously gone out to public consultation in October and November. It found that not enough Ashford residents could spell and do basic mathematics and those that could often left the area for London to look for better jobs. To improve residents’ prospects Ashford council, along with a number of partner organisations including Ashford’s Future, have created a plan of action to address the problem. The authority also hopes to keep more youngsters in the area to continue with their further education and apprenticeships. Currently just one in 10 of Ashford residents is aged between 20 and 30 years old which, ABC say, is because they are going to other areas to continue education or get better jobs. To get tourists staying in the town and the surrounding areas there are plans for new hotels as well as hiking up the amount of sport and leisure facilities on offer. This could include adapting the Julie Rose stadium to hold live music acts. In the last visitor survey it was found that Ashford attracted 370,000 overnight visitors and about 3.3 million day trippers. Also agreed were a set of new buzz words that will be plastered on promotional material for the town. To begin with Ashford will be the “Smart Choice” before being rebranded as the ‘Powerhouse of Kent’. It could also be the “Gateway to East Kent” and “Destination Ashford”. Before the plan is fully adopted it will need to be approved by full council.
To view the plan visit www.ashford.gov.uk
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