You may have noticed that parts of Ashford Town Centre are looking a little different as new seating, furnishings and bunting have started to appear in upper Bank Street and Middle Row.
This short-term regeneration project aims to encourage active and healthy lifestyles by introducing informal play opportunities, attractive places to meet and dwell and enhancing of public spaces.
It provides a new look and feel to areas of the town centre, with additional cleaning, redecoration and new planting, bunting and seating adding a touch of colour.
Cllr Nathan Iliffe, portfolio holder for regeneration & corporate property, said: “Ashford Borough Council is looking at ways to entice visitors into the town centre, and give them more reasons to visit, spend time with friends and enjoy. We have held a number of popular family friendly events, which have drawn crowds in, and now we’re looking to add a bit of colour to parts of the high street too.
“Already we have received positive comments from passers-by, when some of the new seating and planting was being installed and we know nearby businesses are hoping might help to give their trade a little boost too.
“This temporary pilot scheme delivers some interventions that links to key themes from the Town Centre Reset - integrated play, feature lighting, temporary public realm and outdoor seating. If successful this could lead to further, more permanent features in the future.”
It is important to gain feedback from residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses on these ideas. We are therefore introducing interactive signage around these locations in conjunction with a company called Hello Lamp Post, to capture feedback and explain more about what we are doing via QR codes and text messaging.
The installations will be completed next week - so whether you're on your lunch break, meeting friends for a coffee or just in need of a little rest while shopping in town; swing by, take a seat and enjoy the sunshine.
Tell us what you think! Snap a selfie on the bench, tag @loveashford and tell us your thoughts on Bank Street's makeover.