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Iwas pleased to hear that full funding has been secured for one of our most critical priority regeneration projects. The full £10.5m has now been secured for the Ashford International Station signalling upgrade, following the government’s Growth Deal announcement made last week.
Andrew Percy MP, Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, announced a government allocation of £102m for capital projects for the South East.
The allocation of £4.8m for our Ashford International Rail Project, means that the total project funding (£10.5m) has now been secured. Ashford is arguably one of the most connected places in the UK, with direct links to major European cities as well as only being 38 minutes from London by High Speed 1.
Upgrading the signalling, which is due to be delivered by spring 2018, will mean that the next generation of Eurostar trains, and any future European rail operators, can continue to stop at the Ashford International Station.
Last Friday I was delighted to open Gallagher’s multi-million pound ready mix concrete and floor screeds plant at the former derelict Rimmel factory site at Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate, now renamed Carlton Business Park.
Nick Yandle, chief executive of Gallagher Group, said: “When it comes to creating the new homes, leisure, retail opportunities and commercial development that Kent needs, Ashford is leading the way.”
At the same time last Friday, Ashford in conjunction with KCC, were opening the new One You health shop in Park Mall. Ashford has joined forces with KCC Public Health and the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to open One You.
The new health shop is part of Public Health England’s national campaign which encourages people to quit smoking, lose weight and be more active. There is a ‘booth of truth’ installed in the shop, where people can find out their true weight and total body fat in private, and then receive on-the-spot advice on healthy weight for adults and children.
One You offers a friendly and welcoming environment where people are encouraged to pop in, ask questions and take advantage of the free health services on offer.