With planning permission approval granted in September 2020, the Ashford International Studios project, Newtown Works, is widely regarded as one of Kent’s most important regeneration projects. Enabling works have commenced and construction is due to start in the Summer of 2023.
The Ashford Borough Council has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Quinn Estates to deliver this project. The site will see the redundant 12.6-acre former railway works yard, with Grade II derelict-listed locomotive sheds, transform into an exciting mixed-use major regeneration scheme with the assistance of ‘Levelling Up Funding’ from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
This exciting project comprises the creation of the following:
- 80,000 sq. ft. TV / Film studios, with associated post-production offices and ancillary spaces, workshops and media village
- 20,000 sq. ft. Film school in partnership with local further education institutions
- A 120-bedroom hotel, including ancillary space, and a further 62 serviced apartments and conference space
- A 383-space multi-storey car park
- Internal and external alterations to the Grade II listed Engine and Locomotive Shed buildings, including increasing the height by two storeys to provide flexible commercial floorspace for use in connection with the TV / Film studios
- 302 residential units, including a café and internal parking for 322 cars within the locomotive sheds
- Gym and restaurant use
- Change of use, internal and external alterations to three other listed buildings on site to provide ancillary uses to the TV / Film studios
- A fully landscaped new public realm running the length of the estate
CGI courtesy of Quinn Estates
Potter Raper have been employed to act as the Fund Monitors. We are providing Ashford Borough Council with a clear understanding and monitoring of the project risks, along with the drawdowns of the funds applied for during construction.
Our Director-in-charge of this scheme, Paul Denny, said, ‘Potter Raper are delighted to be appointed on this strategically important scheme for Ashford Borough Council and to continue our long-term association on fund monitoring their projects. Having worked previously with Ashford on Elwick Place, and with Quinn Estates on their Ashford Commercial Quarter, we are look forward to delivering this exciting scheme with both parties’.
CGI’s courtesy of Quinn Estates
Elwick Place and Ashford Commercial Quarter formed part of Ashford Borough Council ‘Big 8′. A set of large-scale developments that unlocked major opportunities, delivering new jobs, housing, retail and cultural facilities to the area.
Newtown Works forms part of the new campaign, the ‘Super 6’. The ‘Super 6’ projects include; Newtown Works, South Ashford Garden Community, Project Green, Ashford College – Phase 2, Town Centre Reset and Stodmarsh.
On 25th November, the delivery team, Ashford MP Damian Green, key Whitehall officials and other stakeholders met at Newtown Works for the official opening ceremony. The event revealed the progress over the past year since Ashford Borough Council applied for and received £14.7 million in ‘Levelling Up Funding’, which has allowed vital enabling works to take place.
Mark Quinn CEO and Chairman of Quinn Estates pictured right at the Newtown Works Event. Photos courtesy of Matt Bristow.
With quick links to London from Ashford, the site is an ideal location for key players in the online streaming, film and TV industries, offering state-of-the-art film and TV production space in the heart of Kent.
Watch the video below to see the story of Newtown Works.