Planning approval has been granted for Newtown Works, a £250m film studio-led regeneration of a derelict railway works in Ashford, Kent.
Ashford Borough Council’s decision means the site, which has been abandoned since the 1980s, will put the town on the map as a key UK hub for the creative industries, boosted further by fast connections to London and Europe from the adjacent international station. U+I is the funding partner for the scheme with Quinn Estates as the master developer.
The scheme comprises 240,000 sq ft of dedicated production space, a 120-bed hotel, workshops, 300 apartments, a rooftop restaurant and multi-storey car park. Work will begin immediately, with a target date of 2022 set for the launch of Ashford International Studios, supporting the creation of 2,000 jobs and a major new creative hub for the UK.
“Newtown Works will be a jewel in the crown of the UK’s entertainment industry, enlivening and rejuvenating this previously underused part of Ashford with a creative new community.
The scheme demonstrates how, through collaboration and creativity, the property industry can work together to deliver homes, generate jobs and create meaningful places even during challenging times.” Richard Upton, Chief Development Officer.