Green light for Ashford Designer Outlet expansion
Operated by designer outlets group McArthurGlen, the centre expects to open the new extension in 2018.
This second phase of construction at Ashford Designer Outlet will enable McArthurGlen to add 38 new luxury and premium brands to the existing 80 names which include the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
An additional 500 jobs will be created to bring the centre’s total workforce to 1,500.
McArthurGlen has committed to the Council that it will fund a shuttle bus linking the outlet, the town centre and the international train station at weekends and during the school holidays. The company is also providing funds for the enhancement of pedestrian and cycle routes from the station.
Gary Bond, McArthurGlen’s managing director of development, said: “With many major brands wanting to open at Ashford Designer Outlet, we are delighted to have obtained the support of Ashford Borough Council to deliver an even more compelling shopping experience to our customers in the Kent and London areas and the substantial number of tourists who visit.
“We are hugely excited about the opportunities that Ashford Phase 2 will bring to the town and to the wider county. We are now focused on the final stages required to enable building works to start next year.”
McArthurGlen is also planning to install six new restaurants and cafes in the centre together with a new events space, huge vertical green walls, and a children’s play area. In addition, a new car park will be built to provide 725 more parking spaces.
The new extension will take Ashford Designer Outlet’s retail space to a total of 285,000 square feet. Designed by Sir Richard Rodgers, the centre originally opened in 2000.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We are pleased to approve plans for the Designer Outlet expansion, which will transform it into one of the UK’s premier outlet centres. The expansion will bring nearly 40 stores including more of the best names in luxury, premium and designer fashion as well as creating a further 700 jobs, enhancing the whole shopping experience and providing stronger links with the town centre.”
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