‘There’s no better place in which to bring up a family’
Tim Arnold moved to Ashford in 1997 after starting work at the former Police Training Centre in Kennington. He now works at Canterbury Christchurch University
What is the best thing about the town? Its central position in Kent, its links to London and Europe, and the expansion and opportunities that have come with that in the past 10 years. What would you say to encourage someone to visit? Come and see the great experiment in shared space around the town centre. It’s certainly off the wall, even if it isn’t popular with the locals. There is great shopping at the Designer Outlet and plenty of places to eat and even grab a film. What are your favourite shops, bars and restaurants? The County Hotel is my favourite pub, and I like the range of stores at the Designer Outlet. What makes Ashford stand out from other towns? We have an international station, high-speed trains to London, a multiplex, a John Lewis, and an expanding Designer Outlet. What has changed about Ashford most over the years? I moved here in 1997 and the town has doubled in size in that time. There’s certainly no lack of employment and opportunity in Ashford. Even if you commute to London, it’s a better quicker journey than from places like Tonbridge or Sevenoaks. Where is your favourite place? Cineworld What needs improving? There needs to be a strategy around the town centre. We need cheaper rents and schemes to encourage local small businesses. The town also needs a proper theatre/concert venue. Could you see yourself living here for the rest of your life? Yes. I can’t see a better place to bring up a family. Do you feel proud to live in Ashford? Yes. Those that call it Trashford should take a trip to Folkestone, Ramsgate or Dover.
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