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Ashford’s Future Company Ltd Business Plan 2010-11


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Foreword We have pleasure in providing this business plan for Ashford’s Future Company Limited for 2010-2011. The company has now been established for over 16 months and is well-advanced with a programme of vital projects to unlock the growth of Ashford. The company carries out its responsibilities on behalf of the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board. The partnership’s own plan is contained within the Programme for Development approved by government in December 2008. During the last year we have obtained an additional £32m of funding for projects, the largest three sums being £16m for the construction of Victoria Way, £8m for improvements to Junction 9 of the M20, and £7m for improvements to Drovers Roundabout. All three schemes began construction in spring 2010.

The longer term is more uncertain in a difficult public expenditure climate, and the possibility of new government priorities. However, we are planning for all eventualities as we embark on a year of greater construction activity than Ashford’s Future has ever known before. We believe we have a strong record commending itself to government going forward. In order to create a sustainable and prosperous community and ensure that a mixed economy flourishes to serve the needs of its current and future residents, Ashford’s Future will also oversee key community and social infrastructure projects led by others to ensure social development keeps apace of the economic development of Ashford.

Looking ahead we are able to build on a new Strategic Housing Programme and an Economic Strategy commissioned and prepared by the partnership during the year. New marketing and branding material is available following work done for us by Harrison Fraser, and Sir Terry Farrell has been appointed Design Ambassador for Ashford.

Robyn Pyle, Chairman

Judith Armitt, Managing Director


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Contents Foreword 1. The Vision for Ashford

4. Operating Budget and Programme Description

1.1 The Vision

4.1 Capital Programme 2009-2031

1.2 Delivering the Vision

4.2 Revenue Programme

1.3 The Role of the Company

4.3 Operating Budget 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 4.4 Founding Partner Contributions

2. Programme Review 2009-10

4.5 Other Partners’ Contributions

2.1 Key Achievements

4.6 Risk Register

2.2 New Challenges Ahead

4.7 Benefits Management

2.3 Funding 2009-11

4.8 Housing

2.4 Tariff and Cost Plan

4.9 The Economy

2.5 Monitoring Measures 2.6 Future of Growth Assets

5. Looking Ahead to 2011-2014

3. The Programme 2010-2011

6. Communication Strategy

3.1 Economic Context of the Overall Programme

6.1 Communication progress – 2009-10

3.2 Progress to date

6.2 The Strategy for 2010-11

3.3 An Enhanced and Expanded Town Centre 3.4 Enabling Development to the West

7. Who We Are

3.5 Enabling Development to the East 3.6 Weaving it all together

8. Conclusion

3.7 The Recession Appendices Appendix 1 – The programme Appendix 2 – Project Milestones Appendix 3 – Economic snapshot Appendix 4 – Housing Trajectory


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Map Key


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1. Delivering the Vision for Ashford 1.1 The Vision The vision for Ashford has been developed by Ashford’s Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and further developed by Ashford’s Future Partnership during the year as Ashford sets out to become the Powerhouse of Kent. Even though the United Kingdom has been through a severe recession, and is only gradually starting to recover, the last year has been very significant for Ashford. The 37 minute high speed train (HS1) services to London are already hugely successful and have confounded the sceptics. Work done on a new economic strategy, and on place-branding, have confirmed Ashford as the potential Powerhouse of Kent, a key tenet of Sir Terry Farrell’s Vision for Kent launched in January 2010. Projects to improve Ashford station and bring forward Town Centre development have been completed, and several others started. 2010 will be a year of strong delivery against this vision with construction and completion of projects totaling over £42m. In addition 2010 will see tangible

progress on the planning and development of Ashford’s two major urban extensions at Chilmington Green and Cheeseman’s Green. This vision and drive for delivery informs the business plan of Ashford’s Future Company Ltd for 2010-2011 and sets out the context of how the company will achieve completion of one phase and preparations for the next. This business plan takes forward the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board’s Programme for Development within a changing economic setting. In preparing the business plan we have re-evaluated our progress to date, acknowledged the key contributions of our partners and the importance of responding to economic events. The step change proposed in last year’s business plan is in progress but will continue to be a challenge with the required growth targets of 31,000 homes and 28,000 jobs by 2031. In the remaining year of the current programme for development we intend to complete and deliver, on time and within budget, the vital projects needed to unlock this potential.


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1.2 Delivering the Vision The Ashford’s Future Partnership Board The Ashford’s Future Partnership was set up in 2002 to drive Ashford’s growth. It has had a number of successes including: • Securing Government and private sector funding • Gaining strong local consensus around plans to double the population of the town through extensive community engagement • Granting of planning permission for over 6,000 homes • The remodelling of the ring road and opening of County Square shopping centre • Water supply improvements including the Bewl pipeline, and improvement to the Bybrook waste treatment plant • Agreement in principle to a strategic tariff • Around 8 hectares (HA) of land assembled in the town centre

The Ashford’s Future Partnership Board is responsible for overseeing the delivery of Ashford’s growth programme. It approves the Programme for Development and allocates resources. It has set up the Ashford’s Future Company as its delivery arm. The membership of the Partnership Board is listed in section 7, Who We Are. During 2010-11 the emergence of the Single Conversation (led by the Homes and Communities Agency but involving all key partners, including the company) will be a key driver in the development of a single investment plan based on the funding requirements to support the growth, regeneration and housing needs of Ashford.


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1.3 The Role of The Company Company Board Ashford’s Future Company Ltd was incorporated on 30 November 2008. The company board has eight directors, four from the public sector (Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council, SEEDA and the Homes and Communities Agency) and four from the private sector, including a private sector chair. This brings a wide range of skills and experience to the company. The membership is listed in section 7, Who We Are. All board members have undergone induction and the company has registered for VAT purposes. The company: • Provides a programme management function for the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board • Delivers specific infrastructure projects identified in the Programme for Development • Promotes effective partnership working to support project delivery • Works closely with partners and Ashford Borough Council’s Strategic Sites Team to co-ordinate all interests and help enable the timely determination of planning applications • Develops a robust infrastructure cost plan, to identify timing of infrastructure and appropriate funding mechanisms The company is able to: • Enable and promote the partnership’s projects • Hold, manage and develop assets • Enter into contracts to deliver infrastructure • Manage growth area and other funding (at the discretion of the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board) to deliver projects for which it is responsible

The company’s funding comes from: • Growth Area Funding (GAF) from the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), via the Homes and Communities Agency • Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), a joint CLG and Department for Transport funding stream • The Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF), sponsored by the South East’s regional bodies • Contributions from founding partners eg the Homes and Communities Agency and SEEDA and other partners e.g. the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) All our projects required substantial input and support from other partners and most notably our colleagues in Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council, SEEDA and the Homes and Communities Agency. The total programme for 2008-2011 has attracted £22.5m of Growth Area Funds, £16m of Community Infrastructure Funds and £15m of Regional Infrastructure Funds. This represents a total investment package of £53m to 2010-11, which is forecast to unlock private sector investment in the region of £300m.


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2. Programme Review 2009-10 2.1 Key Achievements Location and Connectivity During 2009-10 we achieved significant milestones in regard to the programme, additional funding and partnership working. The key achievements are listed below:

2.1.1 Increased Funding • The CIF bid for Victoria Way and in September RIF bids for M20 Junction 9 and the Drovers Roundabout schemes were approved, increasing our funding by £31.6m. • A successful bid for Interreg funding of 500,000 euros to deliver a Green Renovation project for sustainable refurbishment of the Art at St Mary’s project. This will also fund the sustainability elements of the Gateway Library Plus. • LSC funding of £60,000 for the establishment of a Skills Co-ordinator to support and manage the Skills Strategy. • SEEDA provision of £50,000 towards phase III of the Broadband project. • The £25,000 second phase of the Learning Laboratory project in Ashford funded: study visits to Harlow and Sheffield; assisted in the establishment of an Ashford focused design review team; provided project management training for our team and partners; and funded the May partnership building day. • The Environment Agency, in partnership with Ashford’s Future, secured £30,000 of funding from Defra to detect and correct misconnections in urban development in Ashford. • A bid for £40,000 per annum for two years towards a Cycle to Work post was approved by Cyclists’ Touring Club/NHS that provides funding for a new post and activity to encourage cycling to work. • £223,000 has been secured from Sustrans towards a pedestrian and cycle route through the proposed Willesborough Nature Park in south Ashford. The cumulative total of these extra sums is £32,528,000.

2.1.2 Town Centre Projects • The station improvement and refurbishment programme (NSIP) was completed for the launch of the full high speed service in December 2009 in conjunction with Southeastern, extending the booking hall, enhancing the environment including better connections by foot, cycle and public transport and better signing to the town centre. • As part of the Southern Expansion Quarter the Victoria Way scheme was designed, planning permission obtained, land deals, statutory orders completed and tenders obtained. The main works contract is set for completion in March 2011. • Masterplanning work by SEEDA has started for both the Southern Expansion Quarter and the Commercial Quarter, and feasibility work has commenced to examine delivery options for a new ‘gateway bridge’ to link Elwick Place with Victoria Way. • The Ashford Town Centre Area Action Plan was published by Ashford Borough Council in July 2009; an examination in public was held in November 2009, with the plan being adopted by the Council in January 2010. The company team provided support for the plan, including reviewing the car parking strategy. • SEEDA signed a Development Agreement with Stanhope plc for Elwick Place and approved the scheme in late February 2010.


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2.1.3 Progress with major transport projects • The M20 Junction 9 and foot/cycle bridge and the Drovers Roundabout schemes have been developed and the land deals completed. The land deals include the purchase of land for the first Park and Ride site and an express bus priority route through the roundabout for future SmartLink bus rapid transit. Developer agreements will repay over one third of the RIF funds, with the balance to be met by a strategic tariff. Planning permission was sought in January 2010 and was received in April 2010 for a new foot/cycle bridge over the M20. The schemes were tendered in spring 2010 and will be completed by spring 2011. • The SmartLink and Park and Ride project has been developed and passenger modelling complete to enable the business case bid to be made to DfT for major scheme funding from March 2011. • A number of traffic studies are underway to support the Urban Sites and Infrastructure Development Plan to be published by Ashford Borough Council in Spring 2010, including options for a new route to support development between the A28 and A251 to the north of the town.

2.1.4 Economic support Interventions • Phase 3 of the Broadband project was taken forward by Analysys Mason and significant progress was made linking developers and telecommunication companies. Significantly we have worked with BT Openreach to develop a masterplan to their provision of fibre optic to new development land in Ashford. This is the first time this has been attempted in the UK. • A new Economic Framework and Action Plan in conjunction with Ashford Borough Council has been prepared. • An employer engagement group on skills provision in Ashford is now active. • Our top 50 employers have been identified and an employer liaison group of key business intervention organisations are developing a coordinated approach to working with our employers. • We have embarked on a curriculum review for the delivery of an enhanced further and higher education (FE/HE) offer for Ashford and established an Ashford’s Future Learning Partnership of key educational and training providers and agencies to find a successor to the Ashford Learning Campus project.

2.1.5 Reinforcement of Partnership Working • A successful Visioning event was held with both Boards in May 2009. • Ashford’s Future partners prepared the new Strategic Housing Programme. This identifies interventions partners have and will make to boost housing delivery. • A workshop has been held to discuss the long term management and maintenance of the public realm in Ashford and refine the preferred options for delivering a sustainable regime for the future. • The multi-agency and cross disciplinary Strategic Sites Team came fully into operation in September 2009 after training and team building over the summer. • Work to update the cost plan and prepare for the introduction of a strategic tariff by July 2010 has been prepared jointly by Ashford’s Future, Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council.


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2.1.6 Sustainability Interventions • Facilitation of an early win for Defra by piloting best practice guidelines to detect and correct water misconnections. • Design of a combined water and energy retrofit pilot project design. The tender process is in place and the project started in March 2010.

2.1.7 Developing our Green Spaces • Studies have also been carried out which ensure that the three proposed strategic parks complement each other in terms of use, activity and sustainability. • The concept and vision for Discovery Park has been completed ready for the forthcoming AAP process.

• Resolution of all water quality issues, including phosphorous treatment.

• A Green Spaces and Water SPD has been drafted and is under consultation.

• River Stour restoration projects have been completed to generate biodiversity benefits and water quality improvements in Ashford.

• A business plan for translocating wildlife from future development sites as a result of which developers can proceed with development has been drafted.

• Ashford’s Future and Arup held workshops with Chilmington Green developer and stakeholder groups on sustainable energy generation options, which will now feed into Area Action Plan processes. • Completion by Southern Water of £40m improvements to Southern Water’s Bybrook wastewater treatment works to improve water quality and provide capacity for continued growth in Ashford. • Completion of a new strategic water main from Chilham to Howfield by Southeast Water to enable flexibility of water supply for Ashford.


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2.2 New Challenges Ahead

2.3 Funding 2009-2011

• Energy infrastructure capacity has the potential to become a significant new challenge. Working closely with developers and energy providers Ashford’s Future has been exploring the strategic network reinforcement required in Ashford and potential delivery options. This will be essential to ensure that future commercial and residential development can proceed in a timely fashion and it is important this work is taken further in 2010-11. • Area Action Plans for the south Ashford urban extensions are likely to begin this year. It will be important to make sure that the strategic parks and other green infrastructure elements are successfully embedded into this process. However, after a year of limited activity progress is now being made at both Chilmington Green and Cheeseman’s Green.

Following submission of the Refreshed Programme for Development (October 2008) CLG announced in December 2008 growth fund allocations through to 2010-11 for Ashford’s Future were revised upwards from the original allocation. However, following a national consultation on growth funds undertaken by the HCA (on behalf of CLG) in the face of changed Government priorities, these were subsequently revised down in July 2009, but have been finalised as per the table below. The total programme for 2008-2011 has attracted further significant funding on the back of its growth status, including £16m of Community Infrastructure Funds and £15m of Regional Infrastructure Funds. Direct match funding for specific projects has also been successfully drawn in and is listed in section 4.1 along with the funding being levered in as a result of this investment.

Growth Funds Capital Revenue Total

2008/09

2009-10

2010-11

Total

£10,607858

£7,492,956

£4,253,886

£22,354,700

£281,267

£235,074

£258,001

£775,342

£10,889,125

£7,729,030

£4,511,887

£23,130,042


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2.4 Tariff and Cost Plan The masterplanning that underpins the growth plans for Ashford (crystallised in the adopted Core Strategy in July 2008) led to development of an Infrastructure Cost Plan setting out the required infrastructure to deliver a sustainable community. The Cost Plan assumed funding from a variety of sources e.g. growth area funding from central government, other dedicated funding streams (CIF/RIF and other grant funding), mainstream public sector funding, and from the private sector either directly or through strategic tariff and developer contributions. During 2009-10 we received notification of RIF and HCA monies to support J9 and J10a respectively. These are both forward funding mechanisms and need to be paid back, the mechanism being the Strategic Tariff. As part of these funding agreements, ABC have committed to introduce the Tariff by July 2010.

The Infrastructure Contributions & Strategic Tariff Supplementary Planning Document and supporting evidence base is now under development, with a joint committee of KCC, ABC and the company; with the company supplying a significant proportion of the project management team. This Supplementary Planning Document relies on a well prepared Infrastructure Cost and Funding Plan as a firm evidence base to justify the level of tariff. Essential infrastructure projects may have to be forward funded in advance of the tariff receipts and we will need to demonstrate the timing of the expected cash-flow funding gaps. The company is custodian of the Infrastructure Cost and Funding Plan ensuring it is maintained and linked to the forward planning of future funding bids. Revision of this plan started in 2009-10 and is due for completion in the first quarter 2010-11.


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2.5 Monitoring measures

2.6 Future of Growth Assets

The company has responsibility for monitoring the overall programme for the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board. It has to hold all partners and the company team to account for timely delivery of the programme to budget, and to agreed quality specifications and milestones.

SEEDA and the Homes and Communities Agency have agreed to establish a regional joint venture to progress development projects across the South East. It is understood that the Ashford assets will be transferred to that joint venture but subsequently a local joint venture for each project will be set up with private sector partners to take development forward.

Both the company and partnership boards receive quarterly update reports on progress against the programme through a consolidated report on the overall programme, and through specific project highlight reports. Project funds are managed through funding agreements which release funds against agreed milestones and spend profiles.


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3. THE PROGRAMME 2010-11 3.1 Economic Context of the Overall Programme It is crucial to understand the economic context in which our programme sits and to ensure the Ashford’s Future Partnership and the company secure and deliver the most appropriate projects for delivery of our overall targets of 28,000 new jobs and 31,000 new homes. Last year’s Business Plan provided key economic facts about Ashford and an update is provided in Appendix 3. The overall programme divides into four subprogrammes: 1. Enhancing and expanding the town centre 2. Enabling growth to the west 3. Enabling growth to the east 4. Weaving it all together Within each sub-programme the objective is growth in jobs and homes encouraged by sustainable investment in transport, green spaces, utilities, education, skills and health projects. The Ashford’s Future Partnership’s investment in these projects will be far outweighed by the private sector’s investment. Our role is to create the conditions in which developers bring forward high value schemes. For this year we will consider how the programme is progressing in the context of the work completed for the Economic Framework review undertaken by Shared Intelligence during 2009-10. For 2010-11 the partnership is putting emphasis on delivery, and projects currently allocated for the spending period up to March 2011 are reviewed in this section with delivery milestones. The Economic Framework has proposed five strategic priorities and our projects are matched against one or more of them. The five strategic priorities are: 1. Maximising the opportunities for business attraction and growth arising from the introduction of the domestic high speed train service; 2. Securing infrastructure improvements that will stimulate employment creation opportunities; 3. Accelerating plans for the Commercial Quarter and enhancing the town centre; 4. Establishing an effective and responsive dialogue with Ashford’s top employers; and 5. Addressing Ashford’s skills deficit, enhancing the further and higher education offer and promoting workforce development.

3.2 Economic Progress to date Considerable investment has already taken place to improve the attractiveness and accessibility of Ashford Town Centre including the ring road, County Square and the Stour Centre. The motorway network has seen recent improvements at Junction 10 of the M20, with planned improvements for Junction 9 and the new Junction 10a. In addition to significant investment in infrastructure, positive achievements so far include: • The Eureka Business Park at Junction 9 – outline planning permission granted for 1,000,000 sq ft of office space, building work underway, with phase one complete; • Eureka Leisure Park – including development of a 74 bed Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant complex; • The Designer Outlet – the only centre in the country financially stable for the first quarter of 2009; • Waitrose at Repton Park – opened in November 2009; • County Square – expanded and refurbished retail centre at the heart of Ashford town centre. The latest figures show that there was an increase of 7.5% in terms of visitors to County Square during 2009 bringing the total to 5 million visitors. Improvements have been made to enhance the quality of facilities, the public realm and building work. Examples include the completion of the Singleton Environment Centre (a sustainable community resource); and the creation of the largest shared space in the UK. However, challenges remain. Despite remarkable growth, Ashford’s economy is characterised by comparatively low value added industrial sectors, labour productivity, average earnings and skills levels. The recession is having an effect though the impact is less than some parts of the county. Ashford suffers from a lack of modern, high quality office and commercial premises particularly in the town centre.


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3.3 The Programme - An Enhanced And Expanded Town Centre

Dover Place Predicted Spend

Over the next 20 years the urban area of Ashford is due to grow to twice its current size. The existing small town centre is being expanded to the south and east and a significant Commercial Quarter will be assembled to provide a focus for increased business activity and growth. The company will work with SEEDA to complete land assembly for the Commercial Quarter.

GAF3

Ashford has an established business and industrial estate portfolio with 16 estates - but it is clear that the overall quality must be improved substantially, particularly in the town centre, if Ashford is to be able to respond to the massive opportunities which will arise over the coming years.

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Nil

Nil

tbc

£700,000

tbc

SEEDA

Note – potentially GAF3 could fund the activity in 2010-11. This is a reserve scheme within the over-programming

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

Progress 2009-10

• Completion of • Formation of delivery comprehensive team for comprehensive masterplan including masterplanning of the design brief – August Commercial Quarter 2010 • Finalise investigations for delivery mechanisms for new-build art centre April 2010

This is a critical issue and one which must be addressed if Ashford is to capture the benefits of investments that have already been made and those associated with the arrival of the high speed train.

• Further land assembly

Currently, there is a clear impression among stakeholders that good quality office supply in Ashford and the surrounding area is very restricted, especially for high-quality headquarters-style premises.

3.3.1 Developing a new Commercial Quarter – Dover Place and Elwick Place This key project involves developing higher value office space, enabling the creation of a stronger labour market for knowledge jobs, by enabling land assembly for a private sector led, mixed use development at Dover Place. This project will leverage in excess of £100m of private sector investment. Based on the calculation of one job per 20 sq m it is predicted this quarter would contain 2,500 jobs in 50,000 sq m of office space. There will also be around 150 new homes.

• Commence marketing to deliver development partner for phase 1 – March 2011 Elwick Place will lever around £80m of private sector investment, create around 600 full-time equivalent jobs and potentially up to 300 new homes, 30% of which will be affordable. Expenditure in 2009-10 and 2010-11 will be met by SEEDA and the developer. Elwick Place Predicted Spend GAF3

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£108,576

Nil

Nil

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Complete developer agreement

• Masterplan complete – March 2011 • Planning application submitted – May 2011


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Victoria Way


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3.3.2 Completion of an improved public realm frontage to the new Latitude Walk development Providing an improved public realm frontage to the new Latitude Walk development in keeping with the quality standard along Elwick Road/Godinton Road frontage at a cost of £300,000. Latitude Walk Predicted Spend GAF3

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Nil

Nil

£300,000

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Detailed design complete

• Implementation of scheme due to commence April 2010

3.3.3. Creating a Southern Expansion Quarter through the construction of “Victoria Way” Victoria Way will ultimately become a tree lined ‘urban avenue’ incorporating quality public realm and an enhanced Gateway footbridge to Elwick Place to improve connectivity with the rest of the town centre. The scheme will be delivered in two phases; a first phase to deliver a new through route by 2011 will be followed by enhancements and widening as developments take shape along the corridor, to be funded largely by the private sector. The scheme provides a new road linking the A2042 Beaver Road to the A28 Chart Road, and includes a new Victoria Square. The scheme enables and supports the delivery of 1,678 new homes, 30,000 sq m of retail, leisure and other uses. Latitude Walk Predicted Spend

Predicted end date of project: July 2010.

GAF3

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£573,594

£30,000

£200,000

Nil

£3m

£13m

CIF Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Detailed design complete including a new Victoria Square

• Ecology mitigation to complete April 2010

• Planning approval received for the new route • Ecology mitigation and asbestos removal has taken place • Design code for future scheme produced • Voluntary land negotiations completed negating the need for CPO • Side roads orders confirmed • Tenders sought and returned – contract awarded

• Demolition and site clearance work to complete May 2010 • Utility service diversions – April 2010 to March 2011 • Road construction contract – April 2010 to March 2011


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3.3.4 High Speed Train (HS1) Domestic Service Maximising the opportunities for business attraction and growth arising from the introduction of the domestic high speed train service is vital. Prior to late 2009 Ashford station and its environs provided poor facilities for pedestrians with no sense of arrival for visitors. The traffic within the forecourt of the domestic side is congested. It is intended to now create a high quality public realm at the Station Forecourt. Phase 1 utilised match funding from Network Rail’s National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP) to provide a £2.5m expansion and facelift of the station building. Phase 2 saw £110,000 of intermediate public realm improvements on the station forecourt, whilst phase 3, due to commence in summer 2010 will see £2.5m of permanent public realm improvements to the station forecourt.

Station Improvements to expand the ticket hall and front of station (Phases 1 and 2)

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

GAF3

Nil

£1.36m

Nil

NSIP (Network Rail)

Nil

£1.25m

Nil

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Nil

£300K

£2.2m

Station Improvements to the Forecourt (Phase 3) GAF3 Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Steering group established

• Tender for construction issue spring 2010

• Project Management engaged

• Construction company engaged spring 2010

• Extensive consultation with Stakeholders

• Construction onsite spring 2010

• Formal presentation of final Concept Design to Ashford’s Future Board planned for 16 March 2010 Project end date predicted: spring 2011


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3.3.5. Developing a new cultural facility at St Mary’s Church

3.3.6 Creation of a new community library with the building of Gateway Plus

Creation of an offer of new cultural and artistic opportunities with the refurbishment of St Mary’s Church will enhance the community’s engagement with the hidden artistic talent already working within Ashford. It will begin the expansion of a cultural offer in Ashford for a growing population and stimulate an arts provision as a visitor attraction.

Gateway Plus is a multifunctional building that will include a new Ashford library, adult education centre, Skills Plus centre, café and Register Office. It will also contain a drop-in facility for adults with learning or physical disabilities and their carers. It will be located at the site of the current library. KCC are the delivery organisation for this project and are contributing significant funding.

Arts at St Mary’s Predicted Spend

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Gateway Plus

£45,838

£125,162

£1.029m

GAF3 Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Design complete and Church permissions sought

• Faculty Award, May-June 2010

• Tenders returned & contractor selected.

• Start on Site, summer 2010

• Additional 280,000 Euros of Interreg funding obtained for sustainability measures. • Additional £50,000 funding from St Marys PCC confirmed Predicted end date of project: March 2011

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

KCC

Nil

£300,000

£5.3m

GAF3

Nil

£300,000

£1.65m

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Design enhanced

• Site clearance April 2010

• Planning permission granted in February 2010. • A Contractor appointed

• Temporary Library opens in Park Mall, April 2010 • Demolition of old library building. April/May 2010 • Start on site May 2010

Delivery end date of project: May 2011- Ashford Gateway Plus opens – May/June 2011


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3.4 The Programme - Enabling Development To The West The western arc of Ashford provides one-third of the area for development in the period up to 2031. It includes the areas of Eureka Leisure and Business Parks extending up to the growth proposed at Kennington, the mainly residential development of Repton Park and crucially, the first of Ashford’s urban extensions at Chilmington Green (a new community of 6,500 dwellings). Chilmington Green will provide an attractive proposition for the first wave of new commuters to London on high speed services, as well as highly qualified local entrepreneurs and seekers for the high value jobs in an expanded town centre. The first phase of these 10,000 new homes and jobs will be unlocked through the delivery of capacity improvements to M20 Junction 9 and nearby Drovers Roundabout. The scheme delivers access to the town’s first Park and Ride site, and a new foot/cycle bridge over the M20 forming part of a new strategic route heading south to the town centre. The ultimate delivery of 7,750 new homes at Chilmington Green (of the 10,000 homes cited above), with the potential to deliver around 1,000 jobs, the development of Discovery Park and the SmartLink bus rapid transport scheme, will in due course require the next stage of capacity improvement along the A28 Chart Road corridor. The new residents of Chilmington Green will contribute to the overall economy of Ashford but will need new services and facilities, in themselves offering increased job opportunities. This new community will create a growing demand for lifelong learning. We need to ensure SmartLink and the Gateway to Elwick Place enables access to the Learning Campus in the town centre and good provision of local schools and health facilities for all residents.

3.4.1 Unlocking new homes, office, community and retail development through: improvements to Drovers Roundabout; improvements to M20 Junction 9; and development of an enhanced pedestrian and cycle bridge Improvements to M20 Junction 9 opens up housing and brings forward the expansion of Eureka Business and Leisure Park. In addition the development of an enhanced designed pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M20 at an extra cost of £3m will provide a statement of quality at a key entry point to the town. Drovers

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£242,521

tbc

tbc

Predicted Spend GAF3 Roundabout RIF M20 Junction 9 and footbridge

£7m

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Predicted Spend GAF 3

£2.5m

RIF

£8m

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• RIF funding award by SEEDA for two schemes incorporating new M20 foot/cycle bridge

• Award contract for construction – May 2010

• Outline and detailed design work completed

• Commence bridge works – Sept 2010

• Voluntary land acquisition completed avoiding CPO

• Complete works – spring 2011

• Commence road works – May 2010

• Planning application submitted for M20 bridge • Tenders issued and returned for both schemes Predicted end date of project: spring 2011


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3.4.2 Development of a new strategic park Discovery Park The new strategic park (currently called Discovery Park) will become a significant economic attractor for Ashford, as visitors travel to the park and local residents benefit from its high quality green space. It will be a significant contributor to land values and enable future premium housing development. Discovery Park will be a park of strategic significance with extensive facilities for sports, performance and outdoor events. It should incorporate facilities capable of generating substantial income and be a dynamic, contemporary park, which expresses Ashford’s transformation and sets high standards for the surrounding development. Strategic parks Predicted Spend GAF3

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£135,565

£242,000

£322,000

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• The concept and design of the park has been completed

• Further work will be carried out to establish the other strategic parks – March 2011

• Discovery Park • Studies completed masterplan will be to ensure the three complete and become proposed strategic parks embedded within the complement each other AAP process – Jan 2011 Predicted end date of project: March 2011

3.5 The Programme - Enabling Development To The East Large employment and mixed use sites are planned at Sevington and Waterbrook in the arc of development to the east. The new area at Sevington is in a high profile location close to the proposed new motorway junction, 10a, and will provide an opportunity for larger-scale employment developments that are less suited to mixed use areas. The Greater Ashford Development Framework (GADF) proposes the Sevington area could deliver approximately 2,500 jobs by 2021. A second urban extension, for a new community of about 6,000 homes, is to be built to the south east of Ashford at Cheeseman’s Green. The economic advantages of this new community are similar to Chilmington with even better connectivity to the station using SmartLink. The development of a more intensive mix of employment, residential and other purposes will help integrate Cheeseman’s Green with the existing built up area. No growth funds are required for this. Early implementation of Junction 10a will enable approximately 5,000 new dwellings and 3,000 new jobs by 2021. Initial feasibility work is now underway to identify options to create access from Junction 10a to Orchard Way - the road from the A2070 to Junction 10a, through to the developments at Sevington, Waterbrook and Cheeseman’s Green, including a new crossing over the high speed train (HS1) service to connect with the A2070 south of Park Farm. Capital funds are not yet required for this. During 2010-2011 the company will give support to a new interim scheme for the Orbital Park roundabout. This could enable a start on site at Cheeseman’s Green within the year.


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3.5.1 Creating access through high quality open space Access within Willesborough Nature Park will be improved by a new pedestrian and cycle way across the site at a cost of £1.2m approximately. This is now on hold until further funding becomes available. In the long term it is hoped that Willesborough Nature Park will be an important wildlife habitat and educational and community resource and will link to the strategic open space proposed for Cheeseman’s Green Area Action Plan. GAF funding has levered in funding from Sustrans for the start of the greenway. In the long term there is the opportunity to lever in funding from Land Fill Tax Credits, Community Spaces, Green Infrastructure Funding, HLF Stewardship Funding, English Nature Stewardship Funding, Forestry Commission Funding, Access to Nature and Big Lottery funded programmes.

Foot and cycle way Willesborough Greenway

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£135,565

£242,000

£322,000

Nil

Nil

£223,000

Predicted Spend GAF3 Sustrans Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• £223,000 of external funding has been secured for the delivery of this project from SUSTRANS

• Planning permission and construction documentation will need to be completed once funding is identified


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3.6 The Programme - Weaving It All Together The company is supporting activities that are ‘weaving’ Ashford’s sustainable growth together. These areas are infrastructure, including broadband, sustainability, establishing a blue green grid, supporting skills development and tackling social exclusion within Ashford. Lastly, but of significant importance there is a marketing and communications strategy and implementation plan which is described in section 6. All three spatial sub-programmes require a significant level of under-pinning infrastructure that is common to all: • Utilities strategy encompassing water; sewerage and energy including reducing energy carbon usage and flood risk; • Enabling an innovative broadband telecommunications strategy ensuring Ashford is at the forefront of new technology opportunities; • Improving accessibility and travel choices All development needs to reflect the highest standards of sustainability, increased resource efficiency and adherence to climate change mitigation so that Ashford is at the forefront of technological advances and promotions. This component gives economic advantage, as well as moral imperative for our programme.

Water is a vital resource and its efficient use will be critical to delivering the vision of the Ashford Integrated Water Management System that future development and expansion of Ashford will lead to protection and enhancement of the River Stour. Managing all aspects of the water cycle will contribute to this vision, from flood risk and Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs), treatment of waste water, supply infrastructure and reducing per capita consumption. The company is promoting the reduction of carbon emissions through greater energy efficiency on new developments and providing sustainable generation with new technologies. In addition it is working to create greater awareness of the need to recycle and address the increase in waste as a result of our growth in the population, necessitating innovative methods of recycling and collection. In addition we will take the opportunity to align our efforts in this field with our construction infrastructure projects and encourage reuse and recycling of materials to ensure the reduction of environmental impact.


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3.6.1 Improving accessibility and travel choices Implementation of the town’s first Park and Ride site at The Warren linked to the SmartLink bus rapid transit system to serve the growth areas and linking to the town centre, station and main employment areas.

SmartLink

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

GAF3

£85,830

£1,481,000

£212,361

KCC

£62,500

£400,000

£500,000

Predicted Spend

Up to 2,600 parking spaces to support the town centre by 2031 will be delivered by the Park and Ride scheme of which Warren Park will provide 1,000 with the delivery of 600 by 2012.

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Vision for SmartLink exhibitions held

• Business case submitted to DfT – summer 2010

Promoting the early implementation of the SmartLink bus rapid transit scheme at a cost of £30m, by carrying out advance design work for segregated highway running (where possible); passenger information systems, design codes for new development and preparing a major scheme business case with Kent County Council to deliver the scheme through the LTP/RTB funding programme. The scheme will be implemented in phases in line with progress on major development sites – phase I envisaged by late 2012 will link Eureka Business Park-Warren Park and Ride-Repton Park-town centre-stations- Designer Outlet VillageNewtown-Orbital Business Park.

• Outline design of route priorities and Park and Ride completed and costed

• Ecology mitigation for Park and Ride and priority routes carried out – May 2010

• Predicted passenger modelling work completed

• CPO for land for priority routes issued – May 2010

• Business case model tested and sensitivity analysis completed

• Planning application for Park and Ride site submitted – June 2010

• Draft business case produced, approved and ready for submission to DfT

• Planning approval – Sept 2010

This work will ensure that a major business case is submitted to the Department of Transport by spring 2010. If successful this will secure major funding for a scheme to begin before April 2011. Outcomes will include securing future growth as reduced car use is an integral part of the core strategy and a positive impact on climate change.

• Programme entry – Sept 2010

• The Warren Park and • Conditional approval Ride site land purchased from DfT – Dec 2010 • Detailed design work to tender – Jan – March 2011 Predicted end date of project: Spring 2012 for works; autumn 2012 for first phase of SmartLink to commence.


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3.6.2 Developing a walking and cycling network The company has continued to assist Kent County Council in a strategy focused on pulling together Local Transport Plans (LTP) and developer funding to provide a high quality, attractive network of routes linking the town centre and other key destinations, such as the railway station, retail and employment areas, with residential areas and extending into the new urban extensions and green space/leisure provision. The network is being delivered as components of other projects, e.g. Willesborough Dykes, the M20 foot/cycle bridge, and through on-site developer contributions.

The current AIWMS action plan has focused on: • Providing Sustainable Drainage Systems guidance for developers • Increasing water efficiency • Improving water quality • Provision of necessary strategic infrastructure by utilities The flood risk mitigation scheme is essential in enabling development to go ahead in the town centre, and will therefore indirectly support the creation of over 3,000 jobs and around 2,000 homes. Flood risk mitigation

In late 2009, Ashford’s Future in partnership with NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT successfully submitted a bid to host a CTC ‘Bike-to-Work’ Project in Ashford. Beginning in spring 2010, this project will run for two years and will fund a dedicated post and activity totalling £100,000 to encourage many more people to use their bicycles to travel to and from work.

GAF3

In February 2010, Ashford International Station was awarded ‘Station of the Year’ at the National Cycle rail Awards for dramatically improving cycle parking and cycling access at the station in 2009. Not resting on its laurels, the company, with its partners Southeastern and Network Rail, has plans to increase this provision even further in 2010-11 as part of the major £2.5m scheme to improve the station forecourt.

• Working with water companies to ensure strategic infrastructure for water supply and waste water are aligned with water company business plans price review mechanism by Ofwat

If successful this will secure major funding for a scheme to begin before April 2011. Outcomes will include securing future growth as reduced car use is an integral part of the core strategy and a positive impact on climate change.

3.6.3 Development of an Ashford Integrated Water Management Strategy including mitigating flood risk We are taking steps to ensure the developments in Ashford cause no detriment to the river quality of Stour downstream and that the Stour remains a key advantage in terms of our landscape offer. We have continued to work with key stakeholders to deliver the Ashford Integrated Water Management Strategy.

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Nil

£15,000

£35,000

Predicted Spend

Progress 2009-10 • Developing a linked Flood Risk model for Ashford and growth area, in partnership with Environment Agency and developers/landowners

• Completion of strategic water infrastructure for water supply and waste water treatment, including significant improvements at the Bybrook Waste Water treatment works to increase effluent discharge standards and improvements to Stour river quality • Completion of Upper Stour Strategic Review has confirmed the effectiveness of Ashford’s existing flood storage reservoirs and Environment Agency’s commitment to maintain these • Working with partners to deliver ‘Savings on Tap’ water efficiency projects for new and existing homes • Protecting future developments from flood risk and our current community from flood risk as a result of our growth, through initiatives being developed by the Environment Agency Milestones for 2010/11 • Test development scenarios using flood risk model May-Jan 2011 • Work with key stakeholders to review completion of current AIWMS 5 year action plan and develop action plan for 2011-16 – by Jan 2011


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3.6.4 Reducing carbon emissions Ashford’s Future is working in partnership with key stakeholders to enable development in Ashford to meet Ashford’s aspirations for carbon neutral development, and responsible use of all resources. We will endeavour to help to deliver policy CS10 of the Ashford Core Strategy, which states that all developments must incorporate sustainable design features to reduce the consumption of natural resources and help deliver the aim of zero carbon growth in Ashford. Flood risk mitigation

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

GAF3 – Sustainable Energy

Nil

£39,650

£50,000

GAF3 – Combined Retrofit

Nil

£15,000

£20,000

£56,963

£61,537

£18,406

Predicted Spend

GAF – Waste Management

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Established a viable business case for sustainable energy generation in Chilmington Green

• Delivery of combined retrofit project delivery in pilot neighbourhood of Ashford and secure long term programme for combined retrofitMar-Sept 2010

• Design of a combined water and energy efficiency retrofit pilot project • Provision of site waste management advice and training to construction sites in Ashford • Providing Exeter University and collaborators with a case study to examine integration of energy and water infrastructure to test approaches for sustainable development

• Establish strategic sustainable energy requirements and finalise sustainable energy strategy for Chilmington Green May 2010-Jan 2011 • Complete waste management projects March 2011

Predicted end date of project: Retrofit project expected completion end of October 2010.


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3.6.5 Implementing the Green & Blue Strategy Ashford’s environment is one of its greatest unique selling points – the Green & Blue Grid Strategy aims to make the most of this superb asset, for the benefit of local communities, wildlife and Ashford’s economy as a whole. Furthermore, the creation of good quality open space has been found to add as much as 19% to the value of closely located property (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors 2007). These open spaces will aim to improve the quality of life for Ashford residents, providing an integrated network of safe, attractive routes and functional sustainable transport links. The Green & Blue Grid Strategy locates and defines an integrated network of existing and new open space across the Ashford growth area. The strategy identifies three new ‘great parks’ for Ashford along with a linking network of distinctive open space, providing safe walking, cycling, horse riding and other recreational opportunities. These spaces will provide multi-functional benefits and therefore merit significant investment. Over the coming year the Green & Blue Green Strategy will be embedded in the planning system through the Open Spaces and Water Supplementary Planning Document. Overall GAF 3 funding for implementing the Green &

Blue Strategy is detailed below: Strategic Parks, Wildlife Mitigation Sites, Green Space Trust, Green & Blue Grid Strategic Development, Kentish Stour Countryside Project

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

£140,737

£408,000

£474,000

Predicted Spend GAF3 Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• The Green Spaces & • A draft Green Spaces Water SPD will be and Water SPD has been adopted – July 2010 produced • Work on the cost plan and strategic tariff has begun

• Important links for the Green Necklace will be identified and embedded in planning policy – Jan 2010

• Wildlife Mitigation - A business plan has • Plans for Conningbrook been completed which will be embedded identifies sites suitable within the DPD & future for translocating wildlife plans agreed – Jan 2011 • A number of community engagement projects are being completed by Kentish Stour Countryside project.

• The Business Plan for mitigation sites will be complete and sites purchased to help enable development – Jan 2011


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3.6.6 Developing the skills for the labour force and addressing social exclusion Wages, an indicator of the value of employment activities, are lower in Ashford and growth has been sluggish compared to other areas. The average Ashford resident earns considerably more however, suggesting people are commuting out to higher paid jobs in London and elsewhere. This wage differential is a reflection of Ashford’s industrial structure, lower levels of productivity and the skills and qualifications of residents. Addressing this challenge will require action on all fronts. The skills offer is a key challenge for Ashford. The fifth strategic priority of the Economic Framework is the need to address Ashford’s skills deficit, enhance the further and higher education offer and promote workforce development. High level qualifications are lower than for Kent and the South East and there appears to be a skills gap in some key qualification and occupation areas within the borough’s resident workforce. This is important in terms of local people’s capacity to compete for positions with new employers – but the lack of a higher education and R&D presence in Ashford is a serious drag on the borough’s ability to attract high technology businesses. Our endeavours will focus on the regeneration of key sites for employment and mixed use with improved transport access and broadband infrastructure. There will be a focus on creation of a skilled labour market through good education and training provision. Despite the demise of the Learning Campus as a project we will undertake a review to make recommendations to develop a curriculum offer relevant to the developing needs of the Ashford economy. In addition we will investigate the potential for a capital project, in the form of rationalisation and refurbishment (rather than

through new-build), to accommodate this enhanced offer and bring it forward for consideration to the Ashford’s Future Learning Partnership, on which our company partners are represented. Raising FE/HE Attainment in Ashford

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Nil

£30,000

£65,000

Predicted Spend GAF3 Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Draft recommendations for a curriculum offer to meet the skill needs for the growing economy

• Recommendations to develop a curriculum offer relevant to the developing needs of the Ashford economy - May 2010 • Recommendations for a capital project, in the form of rationalisation and refurbishment (rather than through new-build) - June 2010

During 2009-10 Ashford’s Future Company Ltd gained LSC funding to employ a skills co-ordinator and established a new employer engagement group which gave key employers a voice as they formed a new engineering and manufacturing process sub group. In addition the liaison group of Business Intervention Organisations addresses the fourth strategic priority to establish an effective and responsive dialogue with Ashford’s top employers.


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Our infrastructure projects now provide an opportunity to realise synergistic skills benefits. We propose new procurement rules and supplier contracts to deliver skills training and opportunities for apprenticeships, sustainability standards and recycling and waste management in our GAF 3 and CIF and RIF projects. A research study into the social and economic value of the voluntary and community sector in the borough (Habitus Associates 2006) found that the voluntary and community sector currently employs almost 3,000 people (plus over 12,000 volunteers) and that to meet anticipated demand of Ashford’s growth will need to expand by approximately 50% by 2031. The voluntary and community sector could therefore create around 1,500 of our 28,000 jobs creation target. Community and Voluntary Sector Community Chest capital spend

2008-09 £119,064

2009-10 £177,000

2010-11 £136,000

Revenue support for Neighbourhood Development Worker

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

GAF3

£59,391

£55,000

£53,000

Note - £68,000 of community chest spend in 2010-11 is a reserve scheme subject to over-programming

Progress 2009-10

Delivery Milestones 2010-11

• Community Chest Project – refurbishment of Swan Community Centre (£200,000). Contract let with work to start April 2010

• Community Chest Projects – Complete both projects • Project impact reports

• Assist with the implementation of • Community Chest Youth Framework, Project – Improvements Ashford Volunteering to Berwick House Plan, Ashford (£45,000). Community Network Business Plan, Bridging • Bridging the Gap the Gap conference project to improve recommendations commissioning of health and well-being services. • Assist Ashford • Strengthen Ashford Community Network sub-groups; Youth Framework published and participated in implementation workshops and refocusing of the Youth Advisory group; • Established Ashford VCS Health and Well-being consortium; • Assistance with the writing of the Ashford Volunteering Business Plan to stimulate new volunteering and job opportunities.

International Association to become a registered independent charity • Facilitate the engagement of the Ashford Community Network and local stakeholders in the development of high quality, integrated community facilities into the urban extensions plans • Feasibility study for town centre Voluntary & Community Sector hub.

Predicted end date of project: Swan Centre: Completion scheduled by July 2010 Improvements to Berwick House to be completed by summer 2010


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3.6.7 Providing Fibre Optic Broadband Infrastructure for Ashford With the growth and expansion of the town, comes the opportunity to develop fibre optic broadband infrastructure that will provide capacity for the future. The development of the telecommunications infrastructure in new neighbourhoods and business parks providing superfast broadband could transform the technologies that are used within these homes and businesses to ensure Ashford has the provision and capacity for future generations within its new developments. During 2009-10 with SEEDA funding and support we engaged Analysys Mason, a nationally renowned consultancy to accelerate Developer and Telecommunication Companies’ engagement to provide fibre to the premises on critical sites in Ashford. As a result there has been extensive marketing of the benefits of FTTP to key developers in Ashford and at least one developer is about to implement FTTP During this period of work we have developed a significant relationship with BT Openreach and begun the process of jointly masterplanning the possible provision of future telecommunication infrastructure to match the construction phases of our planned phases of development. It is vital that this process proceeds during 2010-11.

We will be seeking funding to continue the process of engaging with developers and reaching firm proposals to provide a planned provision of the necessary infrastructure in partnership with developers and telecommunication operators. Fibre Optic Broadband GAF3 SEEDA

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

ÂŁ127,962

Nil

Nil

Nil

ÂŁ50,000

Nil


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39

4. Programme and Operating Budgets 4.1 Capital Programme 2009-2031 Appendix 1 provides the project details including costs, funding and outputs following a review of the Programme for Development and in the light of funding sources secured. The table below summarises the total capital programme of the company and where the funding is coming from. The capital programme currently consists of schemes with a total value of £57m. £26m is funded from Growth Funds (GAF3), £16.5m from the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF2) and £15m from the Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF). These funding streams have been estimated to have levered in around £204m from other contributory funding including private sector investment.

The capital expenditure had deliberately been profiled to effectively roll forward each of the annual allocations across the three-year funding period in order to maximise the spend and outputs achieved from the projects in the programme. Similarly, the capital programme has deliberately been over-programmed to mitigate for risks inherent to the programme’s delivery and for unforeseen slippage. This shows over-programming of around £1.1m. There are a number of projects, which amount to around £7m of risk, where spending may not occur during this period or be substantially less. A number of reserve schemes are currently being worked up for provisional approval such that total capital spend can be maximized against the available capital funds.

On a year by year basis, the table below shows the available capital funding, the provisional allocation of this funding, and the current predicted spend profile. Available GAF3 Funding

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Other Direct Project Funding

Total Funding

£10,607,858

£7,492,956

£4,253,886

£791,349

£23,146,049

Provisionally Allocated Funding

£6,998,228

Spend Profile

£6,998,228

(Note 1)

£16,981,663

£23,979,891

(Note 2) £5,128,582 (Note 4

(Note 3) £12,403,332

£24,530,142

( Note 5)

(Note 6)

Notes: 1. Actual capital spend in 2008-09 2. Funding agreements are currently being finalised to reflect the 2009-10 and 2010-11 allocations following the latest revisions to the programme. The total allocation to each project has however been set and is reflected in the total allocation (see note 3) 3. Projected total commitment to capital spend from GAF3 (over-programmed) 4. Predicted 2009-10 capital spend (as at end of December 2009) 5. Profiled capital expenditure for 2010-11 (as at end of December 2009) 6. Projected total capital programme expenditure (includes other contributory funded expenditure and over-programming)

Shared Space in Elwick Road


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4.2 Revenue Programme As with the capital programme, Appendix 1 describes in detail the revenue programme. The table below summarises the revenue programme. This will need to be kept under review as there are limited revenue funding streams and capital funds can only be used for capital purposes.

Available Revenue Funding

There have been successful bids to draw in match funding for several revenue projects. For example, SEEDA is contributing £50,000 in 2009-10 towards the latest phase of the broadband project looking at what interventions can be made to bring forward next generation fibre optic infrastructure.

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Total

£281,267

£236,074

£258,001

£775,342 £787,693

Provisionally Allocated Funding

297,277

£277,685

(Note 1)

(Note 2)

£212,731 (Note 3)

Predicted Spend Profile

£297,277

£277,685

£212,731

(Note 4) £787,693 (Note 5)

Notes: 1. Actual revenue spend in 2008-09. The additional spend was funded from other sources 2. Predicted 2009-10 revenue spend (as at end of December 2009), includes spend to be funded from other sources 3. Profiled revenue expenditure for 2010-11 (as at end of December 2009) 4. Projected total revenue programme expenditure, includes spend to be funded from other sources 5. Whilst the total spend profile is above the total allocation of GAF3 revenue funding, when other contributory funding is taken into account there will in fact be unallocated revenue funds available for additional revenue project activity in 2010-11


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Following discussions with the accountable body for the Growth Funds, namely Ashford Borough Council, the accounting treatment of the revenue programme expenditure relating to the Strategic Sites Team and the Communications and Marketing Strategy has been changed during 2009-10 in order to make better use of the revenue funding available and ensure compliance with capital expenditure rules applicable to local authorities. The Strategic Sites and the Communications and Marketing teams will continue to charge a proportion of their costs against the projects they will be assisting to deliver within the capital programme. However, under the accounting treatment arrangements the residual costs of the Strategic Sites Team and the Communications and Marketing Strategy are now met through the company and are treated as an overhead cost. These additional costs are factored into the fee chargeable by the company against capital projects being delivered within the programme and project and programme management services. These fees are a key source of income for the company. This also means these significant costs are no longer within the revenue programme which can now be delivered within the funding available.

The key activities within the revenue programme include: • The development of the skills agenda required to support growth and economic development within Ashford • The development of options to deliver the broadband strategy • Promoting recycling • Implementing improved waste management by construction projects • Creating community cohesion through the voluntary and community sector networks • Feasibility and outline design studies for schemes that will be implemented beyond March 2011


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4.3 Operating Budget 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 The table set out here in summary form outlines the proposed operating income and expenditure of the company for 2010-11. The company currently receives £600,000 per annum of direct revenue support from Communities and Local Government to perform the activities as the local delivery vehicle. The Homes and Communities Agency provides £250,000 per annum to support planning processes. The other significant source of income is from the fees charged to projects within the capital programme profiled to be £900,000 in 2010-11.

The change in accounting arrangements for Strategic Sites and Communications teams means that, since these costs are now included in the company overhead and will be recouped through fee income, there is no longer a need to generate a surplus to contribute to the revenue programme (which itself balances). Other income for specific activities or to support projects directly currently accounts for £85,000 of further income to offset the operating expenditure of the company. Project expenditure for projects directly delivered by the company is reimbursed through the Growth Fund capital grants to ensure an income and expenditure position that will break even. Given 2010-11 is the final year of the three-year funding programme the forecast break-even position includes a modest element of contingency that has been factored into the budget.


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Income

2009/10 Predicted Outturn

2010/11 Projection from previous Business Plan

Proposed 2010/11 Budget

600,100 250,000 860,000 75,000 50,000 75,000 49,921

600,000 250,000 400,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A

600,000 250,000 900,000 75,000 10,000 TBC 0

1,960,021

1,250,000

1,835,000

808,040 198,297 75,309 74,550 2,130 78,750 182,000 443,000 N/A

841,716 178,762 94,951 45,732 4,500 150,000 N/A N/A N/A

815,840 218,240 85,000 55,000 5,000 N/A 182,000 443,000 30,920

Total Expenditure

1,862,076

1,315,661

1,835,000

Balance (in-year)

97,945

- 65,661

0

CLG Revenue Grant HCA Grant Fee income SEEDA grant LSC grant Project contributions Other contributions Total Income Expenditure Employees Premises Supplies and Services Support Services Transport Contribution to programme Communications Strategic Sites Team Contingency

Note: These budget profiles have not been adjusted for opening and closing balances. The forecast balance for 2009-10 of ÂŁ98,000 will be available for 2010-11 expenditure. The original projection in the previous business plan showed an in-year deficit position, covered with an opening balance of ÂŁ109,210 brought forward from 2009-10.


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4.4 Founding Partner contributions 4.4.1 Ashford Borough Council The borough council plays a central role in the planning and delivery of the growth agenda. Local councillors are accountable to the local community and work hard to make sure that the growth agenda helps to deliver the aims of the Ashford Sustainable Community Strategy. Councillors and officers devote a very significant proportion of their time to help deliver the Government’s growth agenda – in addition to the normal running of the Council. The Council’s efforts as a whole have helped to ensure that the local community remains broadly supportive of the growth agenda – providing it meets the objectives set locally and nationally. In a period of tight restraint on public spending it is crucial to the effective operation of the Ashford’s Future growth programme that there is continuing financial support to enable the Council to carry out this crucial role. Enabling/Leading • Leadership – Since the inception of the growth area Ashford Borough Council’s Management Team and Executive have been pro-active in driving the agenda and raising the profile of Ashford within Government and on a national stage • The Council has worked with its partners to make sure that key strategy documents have been aligned with the growth agenda – these include:

• Sustainable Community Strategy

• Housing Strategy

• Leisure Strategy

• Critically the Council has led the plan-making process and was among the first councils in the country to have its Core Strategy adopted. It also now has the detailed planning framework in place for the growth of the town centre – the Town Centre Area Action Plan has now reached adoption stage. Work is progressing on further plans for the rest of the urban area and the first two urban extensions • Through its Policy Advisory Group and other Council forums, Council members play a key role in helping shape project design and delivery – this is a crucial way of feeding in local views to help shape projects

• The Council leads the Strategic Sites Team to assist developers through the planning process – the team also brings together KCC and other key agencies and draws on skills including planners, lawyers, urban designers, traffic engineers and others • The partnership’s programme to deliver infrastructure largely depends on the strategic tariff approach established in the Council’s Core Strategy – work is continuing to set up the details of collecting and distributing this tariff • The Council has driven the design agenda by building capacity among staff, councillors and the local community and by a series of actions which will drive quality design, to which all partners have signed up (e.g. the Regional Design Panel in Ashford; the adoption of Building for Life; and the Design Charter) • Officers from all sections of the Council are involved in supporting the company on many aspects of project management and delivery – including legal, community involvement, design and maintenance and planning advice Direct Project Work • Stanhope PFI (£146m) – a regeneration project tackling a deprived housing estate which is a key part of the mend before extend philosophy • Art at St Mary’s Church – an innovative dual use as a performance space and a place of worship. Service Delivery • The growth of Ashford results in rapidly increasing demand for services such as open space management, street cleansing and refuse collection – the need to address these issues with partners in project bidding and funding is an ongoing debate • Leisure Trusts (Financial support to Voluntary/Trust Sector circa £1m) – a number of the borough’s leisure facilities are managed through leisure trusts. These give access to certain tax efficiencies, enhance community involvement and are supported by the council’s officers • Project Office – this team provides support to specific projects e.g. Art at St Mary’s, Willesborough Dykes Cycle Path, and the Community Chest projects • Legal Services – this team provides support to a number of trusts, the company and provides legal support to the planning department to help deliver complex development agreements. It has driven the legal process in relation to the RIF project with SEEDA.


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4.4.2 Kent County Council

Direct project delivery

Kent County Council is one of the four founding partners of the Ashford’s Future growth area, and has a central role in development and delivery. Officers from all Directorates of the council are involved in supporting and delivering the Ashford growth agenda. In addition to the direct delivery of service priorities and supporting Kent County Council’s interests, it also supports the work and broader agenda of the Ashford’s Future Partnership. It has roles in leading, facilitating and enabling a wide range of activities and projects.

Kent County Council is working closely with the company and Ashford’s Future partners to ensure that Kent County Council’s areas of direct delivery are closely co-ordinated and integrated. Kent County Council has a well-defined role in the provision of highways and public realm projects, and a number of significant major schemes, critical to the growth of Ashford will be coming forward over the course of the coming year. These include:

Kent County Council’s input into Ashford’s Future is driven by the Vision for Kent, the Countywide Community Strategy together with Unlocking Kent’s Potential, KCC’s Framework for Regeneration. Kent County Council’s support is listed under the headings leading, enabling, direct delivery and representation. Leading This agenda is currently led for Kent County Council by the Regeneration and Economy Division of the Chief Executive’s Directorate. The Division provides a range of specialist roles on the growth agenda, including specialist input on major sites and community infrastructure requirements on behalf of Kent County Council, including the development of the proposed strategic tariff. Co-ordination of KCC input into Ashford’s Future, together with the activities of other Kent County Council service areas is to be undertaken through a proposed corporate Ashford’s Future Group, which is to be chaired by Kevin Lynes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development. Over the course of the coming year, Kent County Council will be working with the other founder partners to drive forward any changes needed to support the growth area agenda, in the light of the expected reduction in public sector funding in the round. Enabling and facilitating Kent County Council is providing support to the Ashford’s Future Company in particular through the delivery of major transport infrastructure and associated public realm improvements, for example, the delivery of the Victoria Way regeneration corridor. Other key areas include waste and sustainability activities, the support of urban design, green space infrastructure and the developer partnering exercise underway for the Elwick Road site. Other services provided include supporting legal services.

• The development of the new Victoria Way, which will open up a key part of the enlarged town centre, the Southern Expansion Quarter; • Improvements to M20 Junction 9 and the Drovers Roundabout, including the provision of a new foot/cycle bridge across the M20; • Continued development of the SmartLink project, dependent upon the outcome of a funding bid to the Department for Transport. The full range of Kent County Council services are involved in delivering Ashford’s Future, including: • Improvements to existing primary and secondary school provision (including the 14-24 skills development agenda) and new schools in the urban villages; • The development of the new Gateway Plus Centre, which is scheduled for completion in mid 2011 and will bring together the library with Adult Education, Registrars and Adult Social Services together with the relocated Gateway centre, on the existing library site in the heart of Ashford’s town centre. Representation Kent County Council is represented at all levels including Cabinet Member and Director representation on the Partnership and Company Boards as well as representation on the officer SELG group and working groups. Kent County Council has a senior level officer leading the growth area agenda, and a middle manager dedicated to co-ordinating its input into Ashford’s Future. Highways and Development Investment staff have been recruited to the Ashford Strategic Sites Team, demonstrating Kent County Council’s continuing commitment to the growth area. It is currently estimated that a minimum of 11 FTE of Kent County Council officer time is devoted to supporting the Ashford’s Future agenda and/or engaged in direct delivery of regeneration and transport projects in Ashford.


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4.4.3 The Homes and Communities Agency

4.4.4 SEEDA

Supporting the growth agenda in Ashford is one of the regional priorities for the Homes and Communities Agency. Existing commitments include £250,000 per annum up until 2010-11 to support the revenue funding of the Ashford’s Future Company. In 2008-09 and 2009-10 this funding was used to help support the programme and the Strategic Sites Team.

SEEDA is a founding partner of the company and provided essential resources and expertise in its creation and establishment.

In addition to programme support, the HCA is involved in five other areas of work: • Investment in infrastructure to enable growth including Junction 10a and Victoria Way (through the Communities Infrastructure Fund); • National Affordable Housing Programme investment; • Supporting the development and construction industry through the Kickstart programme; • Providing housing grant to Ashford Borough Council through Local Authority Newbuild programme to develop new council housing stock, and; • The direct investment in development sites at East Street/West Street and Victoria Road. Future investment will be set out in Local Investment Plan and Agreement following the ‘Single Conversation’ for Ashford.

SEEDA has provided key support for Ashford’s growth programme from its inception and acquired key strategic sites in the town including International House and Elwick Place. It has also been heavily involved in land assembly for Dover Place and masterplanning work for the International Station, as part of the overall strategy to develop the economic opportunities for the town, through the creation of the commercial quarter. SEEDA has played the major role in acquiring the developer Stanhope plc as the investor for Elwick Place and continues to support the process to enable this important development to come to fruition. Given likely constraints on funding in the future, SEEDA is reviewing options for the property assets it owns in Ashford to establish how best to leverage funding, minimise tax and accelerate delivery of schemes in partnership with the HCA and Ashford’s Future. As part of the delivery of the Regional Economics Strategy, SEEDA has also been an important contributor to the economic development of Ashford, in supporting the post of the Head of Economic Development and the subsequent development of critical economic projects. SEEDA’s staff have also contributed their expertise and input to a wide range of cross thematic work in terms of the programme and has led the way in raising the skill profile of the company through its Learning Laboratory project. This has enabled a wide range of upskilling of the company’s employees in professional regeneration skill development.


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4.5 Other Partner Organisations

4.5.2 Environment Agency

4.5.1 Highway Agency

We continue to have the support of the Environment Agency. Their work includes:

We continue to have the support of the Highways Agency following the co-ordinated approach to the transport modelling that advised the GADF and LDF Core Strategy examination and adoption. Their work includes: • Staff input to the Strategic Sites Team and project steering groups for M20 Junction 9 and 10; • Continuing support for the co-ordinated approach to transport planning, promoting SmartLink, Park and Ride and other sustainable travel modes to reduce the impact on the highway network; • Support for the promotion, funding strategy, and early delivery of M20 Junction 10a; • Being receptive to a phased approach to delivering junction access works on the A2070 trunk road to assist in the viability and phasing of development to the south east of Ashford; • Encouragement and support for the RIF funding initiative at M20 Junction 9 and the development funding strategy to repay the RIF fund.

• Staff input into strategic sites team and preparation of planning documents to support Ashford Integrated Water Management Strategy (AIWMS), SUDS strategy and SPD, PPS5 review • Co-ordination of the delivery of aspects of the Ashford Integrated Water Management Strategy (AIWMS) and monitoring and reporting on the whole strategy. Specific outputs produced this year have been the Ashford River Health Toolkit model and the Upper Stour Flood Risk Management Strategic Review • Representation on project steering groups and forums as required. The agency continues to support Ashford’s sustainable growth agenda through exploring with the company issues surrounding water quality, flood risk, efficiency and infrastructure and they continue to lobby on behalf of Ashford to government and regulators.


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4.6 Risk Management

4.7 Benefits Management

The company has an adopted risk management policy and strategy. The risk register is reviewed monthly by the company’s officers and at least quarterly by the board, where the most significant risks to the operation of the company and its strategic objectives are presented. The company board also looks at the most significant project and programme risks as part of its remit to undertake programme management on behalf of the Ashford’s Future Partnership Board.

Benefits management is the process by which the company keeps track of project delivery to secure the ultimate outcomes we are funded to achieve are delivered in practice. The driving purposes behind the growth programme are the building of 31,000 homes, the creation of 28,000 jobs, and the establishment over time of a sustainable community at ease with growth. Most of the new homes and jobs will be achieved through direct investment by the private sector. The purpose of the company, and the partnership, is to create the conditions that encourage the private sector to invest, including delivery of the key infrastructure projects needed to unlock that investment. We continue to monitor activities and projects to make sure our efforts are generating the required results.

Project management training was held during 200910 and was open to all delivery partner organisations. This was funded through SEEDA’s Learning Laboratory and as well as specific project management techniques was used to focus partner attention on how the programme will evolve into the next comprehensive spending review period 2011 to 2014. Given the likelihood that the level of available funding is likely to be significantly less than has been received during this period it will be important that the programme is prioritised appropriately in order that limited resources can be directed to achieve the strategic outcomes of the partnership.

Regeneration and growth are long-term activities that out-last economic cycles. Performance will vary from year to year. The expectation in the early years of the programme (and it is still only five years since the Sustainable Communities Plan was published) is that progress will be modest while planning takes place and business and investment cases are worked up and approved. Then as planning gives way to delivery, projects gather momentum and confidence grows so the number of homes built and jobs created will grow exponentially.


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4.8 Housing

4.9 The Economy

As a major growth area in the south east Ashford has continued to deliver housing development throughout the current recession and downturn. Ashford’s Future Partnership has been proactive in assessing the current status of the market and reviewing Ashford’s position to respond to the upturn.

We believe the trend in jobs in Ashford will broadly follow the housing trajectory.

Ashford’s Strategic Housing Partnership has reviewed all strategic housing sites and their current constraints and identified interventions that the public sector partners can deliver to unlock future housing development. A Strategic Housing Programme has been developed that identifies the partner’s priorities for ensuring continued delivery of housing and sustainable communities in Ashford. This information has informed a revision of Ashford’s Housing Trajectory (Appendix 4), which demonstrates confidence in increasing housing delivery so that the partnership will be on course to deliver 20,350 homes by 2021, and meet the growth target of 31,000 by 2031. Ashford has continued to deliver housing development throughout the current recession and downturn and has been less affected than many other areas. In total, from 2001 to the end of 2008-09 over 4,700 dwellings were completed and the outrun forecast for 2009-10 is for completions of around 320, bringing completions to March 2010 to over 5,000. There are also currently nearly 7,000 homes in Ashford with at least outline planning permission. Ashford is set for an exciting re-launch in spring 2010 to coincide with full operation of the high speed train service, completion of place branding, start on site of a series of key projects, and confirmation of motorway junction schemes that we hope will give a further boost to housing investment in Ashford. We anticipate delivery of over 670 homes in the coming year.

Year

Number of jobs in Ashford

2001

43,961

2002

44,547

2003

43,652

2004

44,772

2005

47,307

2006

47,572

2007

47,816

2008

49,460

Change to 2009

5,498

Source: Annual Business Inquiry 2009

In the period between 2001 and 2008 nearly 5,500 new jobs were created, almost 20% of the total required by 2031. Significant job numbers associated with projects underway in this business plan include 4,600 additional jobs at Eureka Business Park, once the improvements to Junction 9 of the M20 are completed and the issues surrounding longer term power supplies have been resolved, 2,875 in the commercial quarter, and 1,000 jobs in each of the urban extensions as they are developed (arising from the retail, leisure, education and health demands of these new communities). We anticipate the initiation of development of the major employment area of Sevington to start in 2015 following the completion of Junction 10a of the M20 motorway, and the mixed use development at Waterbrook to start by 2011/2012. In this context the target of 28,000 jobs by 2031 remains realistic. An updated profile of the economic position is provided in Appendix 3.


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5. Looking Ahead to 2011-2014 5.1 The Recession The recession has had a severe impact on housing starts and completions throughout the UK. It is essential that Ashford is right at the forefront of the market when the upturn emerges2; and that partners work innovatively and collaboratively to encourage developers and house builders to maintain momentum through the downturn. Recent evidence suggests that the Ashford housing market is picking up, stimulated in part by the roll out of high speed domestic train services. As growth picks up, it will be important to ensure new developments are of the highest possible quality and that they contribute to the borough’s overall quality of life and environment. It will also be important to recognise that in the next few years, as we emerge from recession, population growth may occur at a faster pace than employment growth. This is an inevitable consequence of the current economic conditions and the added stimulus of the high speed train on the housing market. However, rather than seeing this as a weakness, it will be important to maximise the benefit of any increase in commuting through capturing local retail expenditure, which can support the vitality of the town centre. In addition, population growth will also directly support employment growth by increasing demand for local services. Previous research has shown that for every 100 people added to the population 23 additional jobs will be created in the local economy3. We confidently expect a second wave of inward economic investment in Ashford as businesses recognise the benefits of location in Ashford with its improved connectivity.

In response to that need, there are already a number of development sites coming forward that will significantly enhance the portfolio and the Ashford offer for office and industrial use. We aim to accelerate progress on these sites. Major infrastructure investments are planned to enhance access to these sites and to improve connectivity with the motorway network and Ashford International Station. Attracting additional resources to Ashford over the next decade – a period when we can all expect public and private finance to be relatively constrained - will be vital if the growth targets are to be achieved. However, it is impossible to ignore the significant pressures facing public sector financing and the impact of this on securing resources for infrastructure investment. Promotion of Ashford’s successful track record in public and private investment will be a major lever in making the case for continued investment – both to government and to developers and businesses. Success breeds success. 2

Recent anecdotal evidence suggests that there are early signs of

recovery in the housing market with the opening of HS1 providing a boost to house prices 3

GLA Economics, More residents, more jobs?: The relationship between

population, employment and accessibility in London, 2005


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5.2 Looking Ahead to 2011-2014

2011-2014

The company and partnership will soon embark on the third and final year of the three year Government spending period 2008-2011. During 2010-2011 the focus will be on ensuring full delivery of the capital programme, and spending the allocation of £22.3m without overspending, or overrunning timescales. However, the period beyond March 2011 will be more uncertain, first because the general election may result in revised political priorities; and secondly, because of the difficult public expenditure climate that will follow, regardless of the outcome of the election. Although plans for 2011-2014 can only be tentative at this stage the range of potential scenarios is set out for consideration.

It is very difficult at this stage to anticipate the level of funding that will be available in 2011-2014. It is our aim during 2010-2011 to demonstrate that Ashford’s Future Company, and the Ashford’s Future Partnership more broadly, are well placed to take forward the programme at any level of funding available. There will be a process for setting priorities during 2010-2011 as discussed below, but at minimum we will need to progress the following projects:

Despite this time of uncertainty the underlying longterm need for Ashford to grow substantially over the period to 2031 has not changed, and in making plans for the future it will be important to consider how the longer-term position can be safeguarded. This underlines the importance of not coming to conclusions too hastily.

• Replacement for the Ashford Learning Campus project (potential PFI and partnership funded)

Finishing the Current Programme During 2010-2011 the company‘s primary objective is to complete the projects already under way, as well as commencing and completing construction on the following projects that are not yet under contract: Project

Contract Award Date

Victoria Way

May 2010

Junction 9, M20 and footbridge

April 2010

Station forecourt

June 2010

Arts at St.Mary’s

May/July 2010

Latitude Walk

May 2010

Berwick House

May 2010

Whilst it is possible for the Government to withdraw its funding for part or all of the programme at any time, it is considered extremely unlikely that funding will be withdrawn once contracts have been let. Further, given that the Government undertook a carefully managed consultation on the reductions in 2010-2011 funding, formalised last December, we are not anticipating further capital programme reductions during 2010-2011.

• Land assembly, masterplanning, and attracting development of the Commercial Quarter • Removing remaining obstacles (including if necessary utilities infrastructure) to development at Eureka Business Park

• SmartLink (£30m is currently set aside by DfT for funding in 2011-12) • Warren Park and Ride (land acquisition completed in 2009-2010); construction programmed for 20112012 • A2070 Orbital Park Roundabout – interim scheme (developer funded) • Chilmington Green and Cheeseman’s Green masterplanning (developer funded) • Discovery Park • Gateway to Elwick Place (potential for developer funding) • Victoria Way Phase 2 • SEEDA/Stanhope plc’s continued development of Elwick Place A number of these schemes will, it is anticipated, be funded by developers, and in some cases partners, but they will still need help in promotion, design, co-ordination, negotiation and problem-solving from Ashford’s Future. The scale of the programme that will be possible beyond the schemes in the list above will depend on the funding available. Further Funding from the HCA The company’s and partnership’s principal funder is currently the Homes and Communities Agency, who now control the Growth Area Funds (GAF). As of writing it is not anticipated the GAF Programmes as such will continue but will instead be replaced by part of the new ‘Single Conversation’ process. In this process the HCA aims to combine all its current funding streams into one sum provided to support a Local Investment Plan for Ashford.


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The inception meeting for this process took place in February 2010 and is expected to take most of the next year. There may need to be negotiation later across the partnership and particularly with Ashford Borough Council to allocate a sum for regeneration and growth projects from the amount finally awarded by the HCA. The amount awarded will allow the list of projects set out in 6.5 below to be extended in line with the priorities of the partnership as secured through the Single Conversation. It is expected to take some months after the general election to resolve the level of funding available to the partnership and the company from this process. For illustrative purposes at this stage it is proposed to bring forward three scenarios for development and discussion with partners and the HCA and Government. These are set out below: Scenario A. Funding is available at comparable levels to the current position i.e. £30m for SmartLink and approximately £20m or more for other projects, from a combination of developer and HCA/Government funding. In this case the current company staffing and premises would be largely retained but not expanded overall. If notice is served by the landlords for Charter House we will seek new premises closer to the station. Selective use of short term contractors working directly on projects would be recruited where appropriate to obtain specialist expertise, rather than recruiting additional staff. There would be continued support for the ABC/KCC Strategic Sites Team and ABC’s Communications team. Scenario B. The SmartLink funding is confirmed but a smaller programme for other projects is available at approximately £12-15m, again potentially funded by a combination of developers and Government/HCA. In this situation the staffing of the company will be reduced through terminating contractors and natural wastage to about two thirds of the current size, and smaller premises will be sought. There would be a commensurate reduction in the financial support given to the Strategic Sites Team, and possibly the Communications team. Scenario C. The total programme funding available from a combination of developers and Public Sector partners is £10m or less.

In this situation the challenge still remains of delivering Ashford’s growth objective and a focused approach is considered the most appropriate to do this. It may be appropriate to review the present structure of the company, reduce staffing to half the current level or less, possibly transferring the remaining staff to Ashford Borough Council and moving them to council premises. There would be very limited or no resource available to support the Strategic Sites Team and Communications team. Maintaining the credibility of the programme to key stakeholders would be an important issue to address. The Consequences of Scaling Down Activity There would be significant consequences from a scaling down of the company and partnership’s activity and these need to be kept under review. Key points to emphasise are: • It is essential no motivation or momentum is lost in the drive to complete the current capital programme during 2010-2011. All discussions need to be mindful of this context. • Any scaling down of the activities of the partnership and the company would without doubt have a major impact on achievement of the growth programme, and the ability of Ashford to meet its targets of 31,000 new homes and 28,000 new jobs by 2031. • Exit strategy arrangements were entered into by the company’s founding partners prior to incorporation, to cover the costs of liquidation of the company. These include agreement on costsharing by the founding partners in the event the company’s assets are insufficient to provide for these. • Partners would also be affected by any major reduction in funding. In particular Ashford Borough Council, and to a lesser extent Kent County Council, would be affected by any decision to reduce the level of support available to the Strategic Sites and Communications team. The Ashford’s Future Partnership faces uncertainty during the coming year. However, it is clear that whatever funding is available there is no shortage of work to do and as considerable momentum and progress has been achieved since the company was incorporated in November 2008 it is important to build on this success in moving forward.


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6. Communications and Marketing Proposals for Spring 2010 campaign 6.1 Communications progress 2009-10 The 2009-10 communications strategy focused on four key strands - the promotion of the arrival of high speed links to London, the communication of a clear inspirational vision for the future, the development of the www.ashfordbestplaced.co.uk website and a communications campaign with developers/investors. The arrival of high speed train links to Ashford was supported through an ongoing campaign with national and trade journals that produced some key articles including double page spreads in the London Lite, Evening Standard and The Times. In addition, a joined up campaign with Locate in Kent, Southeastern Trains, Thameside and Medway included direct mail, advertising at King’s Cross St Pancras and on Southeastern rail and London tube trains as well as a radio promotional campaign on LBC radio. An Ashford specific campaign included a promotional campaign on Invicta FM and promotions at the station. Working with Harrison Fraser, a place making brand consultancy, brand values have been created to underpin the Ashford Best Placed in Britain brand. The values of Inviting, Connected, Fulfilling and Prosperous have been used as a touchstone to develop a new look and feel for Ashford’s Future collateral to help us communicate the Ashford offer in a more powerful and engaging way. On the website, a completed re-design of the front page of www.ashfordbestplaced.co.uk and the way in which the site is navigated was completed in 2009. The front page is now interactive and there

is clearer signposting to pages relevant to the visitor. Traffic to the site has more than doubled year on year to 24,690. As part of an ongoing programme of engagement with landowners and developers four forums were held over the last year with between 30 and 50 attendees. The forums are interactive and host speakers share learning and best practice. Discussion items have included the Town Centre Area Action Plan, the strategic tariff, transport, SmartLink, waste management and marketing and promoting Ashford. In addition, the bi-annual publication of a six page brochure, the Ashford Briefing, is mailed to 3,000 housebuilders and developers. All of these activities have been underpinned by an ongoing proactive media campaign which year on year is achieving an increase in equivalent advertising value. A total £2.3m value has been achieved to date, £796,000 over the last year with 82% of the coverage adopting a positive tone of voice. Visits and interviews with journalists from key newspapers and publications have been arranged including Property Week, Regeneration & Renewal and Estates Gazette. A range of communications activities has also been delivered to promote and support some of the key growth infrastructure projects and to engage the local community. Roadshows, exhibitions, on-line community and business newsletters as well as the Ashford Best Placed photography exhibition all promoted the growth programme and encouraged understanding and engagement on plans for some key projects including SmartLink, Victoria Way and St Mary’s.


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6.2

The Strategy for 2010-11

6.2.1 Introduction We have a refreshed Ashford Best Placed in Britain brand underpinned by an inspirational set of values and a new look range of promotional materials that will help us better communicate what Ashford has to offer and to position Ashford as a serious contender as ‘the smart choice’ for a place to live, work and invest in. The new high speed domestic rail link is now fully operational with two trains running per hour, all day every day. In the town centre, a number of major infrastructure projects will be reaching critical stages of development and completion over the next 12 months. There is a new economic framework that sets out an action plan for achieving new jobs and houses and suggests a robust communications programme will be a key component of attracting new businesses into the area. In addition, Ashford has appointed a design ambassador, world renowned architect and spatial planner Terry Farrell. This presents us with opportunities to communicate a strong Ashford message about excellence in design and place shaping on a regional and international platform. It is also vital that in the final year of the GAF3 funding, a strong impression is made to government and other stakeholders that the growth agenda is being delivered, that Ashford has a bright and prosperous future and that investors, businesses and residents understand and are beginning to experience the benefits of working/living in Ashford. So, Ashford has a lot to shout about! To ensure our voice is heard, a focused, joined up schedule of marketing and communications activities is required, which seeks funding and partnership from the private sector so maximising the budgets and funding available to us, and exploits a range of communication channels including social networking and new media.

6.2.2 Communications Objectives – 2010/11 • Intensify the promotion of the Ashford vision and the benefits that the town has to offer including connectivity, quality of life, value for money, excellence in design, opportunity and prosperity (clearly articulating Ashford’s values of prosperous, fulfilling, inviting and connected) and placing Ashford as a serious contender or ‘the smart choice’ as a place to live and work • Build awareness and maintain interest in the investment programme for Ashford, promoting existing and potential future opportunities where they exist • Maintain confidence in Ashford’s ability to deliver the growth area targets, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Ashford’s Future Partnership and Ashford’s Future Company • Positively influence perceptions on the ground with key opinion formers and the local community to foster a sense of pride and advocacy with the people and businesses of Ashford

6.2.3 Key Audiences • Local residents • Bright young things • Couples pre-family • Young parents • Commuters from London • Businesses – prospect – knowledge based companies, call centre/back office functions, sustainable construction providers • Housebuilders, commercial developers – particularly those looking to build office space speculatively • Businesses – existing – London and South East, Ashford businesses seeking to expand • Stakeholders – including CLG, GOSE, KCC, SEEDA, HCA, ABC, LIK, DFT


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6.2.4 Tactical campaigns will include: • Launch of the new Ashford brochure to key stakeholders • Rebranding of all Ashford’s Future collateral to reflect the new brand values and look and feel • A series of events featuring Sir Terry Farrell that will act to raise the profile of Ashford and our commitment to good design. The events will engage key stakeholders and the local community and act as a springboard for proactive media opportunities. Events will include a roundtable stakeholder event, a ‘thinktank’ event with place shaping experts from a brand, design and economic development background, and a community engagement event at Ashford International

• High profile consumer facing campaign addressed to a younger audience to place Ashford as a serious contender as the ‘smart choice’ for somewhere to live or work. This will include station events and an incentivised on-line promotion supported through the line with media, advertising and promotions at a local and regional level. • Housebuilder and developer engagement programmes including forums and Ashford Briefing • Proactive and robust media engagement programme to promote Ashford – addressing local, regional, national, business and trade press • Local community engagement programmes including roadshows, consultations, photo competitions and media events • Re-designed and upgraded website to boost search engine optimisation and traffic to the site


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7. Who we are Ashford’s Future Partnership Board Members • Cllr Paul Clokie – Ashford Borough Council (Chair)

Ashford’s Future Company Limited

• Pam Alexander – Chief Executive of SEEDA (ViceChair)

Directors of the Ashford’s Future Company Board • Robyn Pyle - Chair (Private Sector representative)

• John Bunnett – Chief Executive of Ashford Borough Council

• Cllr John Kempt - Ashford Borough Council

• Kevin Lynes - Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Supporting Independence, Kent County Council

• Lee Amor - SEEDA

• Lee Amor - Executive Director of Enabling Infrastructure and Development, SEEDA • David Edwards – Regional Director South East England, Homes and Communities Agency • Robyn Pyle - Head of Urban Community Development, Land Securities Limited • Barrie Neaves - Projects Manager, Environment Agency • Martin Tugwell - Director of Development, SEERA • Howard Ewing - Deputy Regional Director of Housing and Planning, GOSE • Arthur Norton - Regional Director for the South East, Highways Agency • Tony Allen - Skills Funding Agency • Geoff Miles - Managing Director, Maidstone Studios Observer

• Mike Austerberry - Kent County Council • David Edwards - Homes & Communities Agency • Courtney Collins - Private sector representative • Bill Brisbane - Private sector representative • Vince Lucas - Private sector representative

Ashford’s Future Company Limited – Executive Team • Judith Armitt - Managing Director • Tom Dobrashian - Programme Director/ Deputy MD • Andrew Phillips - Head of Transport • Linda Doran - Head of Economic Development • Stuart Nicholls - Programme Manager • Irene Seijo - Green and Blue Grid Project Manager • Laurienne Tibbles - Sustainability Manager

• Cllr Rita Hawes - Ashford Borough Council Observer

• Stephen Bourner - Sustainable Transport Officer

• Cllr Peter Davison - Ashford Borough Council Observer

• Jane Ripley - Office Manager

• Amanda Harrison - Director of Assurance & Strategic Development, East Coast Primary Care Trust

• Liz Edwards - Programme Officer • Julie Whitehead - Company Receptionist and PA

Our Communication Team joint with Ashford Borough Council • Brigid Burnham - Head of Communications • Dean Spurrell - Senior Communications Officer • Sinead Mason - Senior Communications Officer


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8. Conclusion Ashford’s Future Company Limited can be proud to reflect on its achievements through 2008-09 and 200910 as it gears up to ensure delivery of the programme in 2010-11. It has successfully fulfilled its remit to prove strong programme management and to enhance delivery of the programme, demonstrating the added value establishing the company has brought as the delivery mechanism for Ashford’s Future Partnership. Looking ahead we are able to build on a new Strategic Housing Programme and an Economic Strategy that will inform bids for future funding for the period 2011 to 2014, specifically through the HCA’s Single Conversation process which will focus partners on the next delivery milestones to ensure the 28,000 jobs and 31,000 new homes are kept on target for delivery. Through its demonstrated ability to deliver the programme required to support the growth agenda the company and the partnership are providing added confidence to the private sector that Ashford is ripe for investment opportunities as it strengthens its position as the smart choice for investment.


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9. Programme of Activity 2009-10 to 2010-11 Appendix 1

CAPITAL  Actual Spend/ Claimed

Growth Fund Project ID

Actual Spend/ Claimed

Project Revised Allocation

2008/09

2009/2010 (to end Q3)

242,521

242,521

-

GW

1

M20 J9 and Drovers Roundabout

GW

1

Foot/Cycle Bridge over M20 near J9

2,500,000

0

-

GE

3

Newtown Bridge

1,427,527

1,423,000

 

WT

1

Warren Park and Ride/SmartLink

1,779,191

85,830

 

TC

9

Victoria Way

289,562

573,594

 

TC

1

Ring Road

3,690,285

3,678,208

 

TC

7

Station Improvements NSIP

1,200,000

 

1,200,000

TC

8a

Station (Environment) Improvements P2

110,000

 

110,000

TC

8b

Station (Environment) Improvements P3

2,500,000

 

47,893

WT

7

Enterprise Centre

200,000

-

7,000

WT

14

Flood Risk

50,000

 

7,280

WT

13

Energy

100,000

 

23,105

GE

4

Willesborough Dykes cycle path

800,000

183,104

65,595

WT

24

Art at St Mary’s

1,200,000

45,838

85,290

GW

2

Chilmington Green Community Hubs

30,000

30,000

 

 

 

Green Infrastructure 08/09

 

135,565

 

WT

16/17/18

Strategic Parks & Green Necklace

563,965

 

135,339


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Overall Predicted Spend

Additional Funding Contribution to project (offsets spend profile)

Match funding (cost falls outside of Growth Fund programme)

2009/10

2010/11

Total 2008/09 to 2010/11

-

 

242,521

 

11,000,000

RIF

-

2,500,000

2,500,000

 

4,000,000

RIF

 

-

1,423,000

 

 

1,481,000

212,361

1,779,191

 

962,500

KCC

-286,797

 

286,797

 

16,000,000

CIF

 

 

3,678,208

 

 

1,200,000

-

1,200,000

 

1,250,000

110,000

 

110,000

 

 

 

295,778

2,178,112

2,473,890

 

 

 

10,000

50,000

60,000

 

 

 

19,000

31,000

50,000

29,220

 

EA, Private Sector

39,650

50,000

89,650

 

 

 

137,723

702,278

1,023,105

223,000

 

Sustrans

125,291

1,503,000

1,674,129

474,129

 

Church/ ABC/ Interreg

 

 

30,000

 

 

 

 

 

135,565

 

 

 

241,774

321,514

563,288

 

 

 

Source

KCC,Network Rail

KCC, Interreg NSIP


62

Appendix 1 (cont) WT

19

Wildlife Mitigation Sites

64,200

 

13,085

WT

20

Greenspace Trust

127,400

 

3,244

WT

21

G&BG strategic development

109,600

 

50,811

WT

22

Kentish Stour Countryside Project

38,000

5,172

5,172

WT

25

Community Chest 08/09

119,064

119,064

 

WT

25

Community Chest (Berwick House) 09/10

45,000

-

551

WT

25

Community Chest (Swan Centre) 09/10

200,000

-

15,952

WT

15

Water and Energy Retrofitting (Efficiency savings)

35,000

-

8,850

TC

2

Elwick Precinct

108,576

108,576

 

TC

12

Gateway Plus

1,950,000

 

 

TC

10

Raising FE/HE Attainment In Ashford

200,000

 

 

TC

3

Gateway to Elwick Place

230,000

 

 

TC

15

Latitude Walk

300,000

 

 

WT

6

Fibre Optic Broadband

250,000

127,962

 

WT

25

Community Chest (Citizens Advice Bureau)

60,000

 

 

WT

25

Community Chest 10/11 (TBA)

90,000

 

 

TC

5

Strategic acquisition Site 1

1,370,000

 

7,000

 

 

Strategic Sites Team

300,000

32,125

 

 

 

Communications

600,000

-

 

 

 

Ashford’s Future Team

1,100,000

207,669

64,138

23,979,891

6,998,228

1,850,305

 

 

 

 

 

2008/09

 

GAF3 Capital Funding

 

10,607,858

 

Variance

 

3,609,630

 

SUBTOTAL CAPITAL

Key:

Completed project


63

33,837

30,200

64,037

 

 

 

21,560

105,840

127,400

 

 

 

101,715

10,000

111,715

 

 

 

9,578

6,500

21,250

 

 

 

-

 

119,064

 

 

 

4,521

40,479

45,000

 

 

 

172,952

27,048

200,000

 

 

 

15,000

20,000

35,000

65,000

 

EA/ KCC/ ABC

 

 

108,576

 

80,000,000

Private Sector

300,000

1,650,000

1,950,000

 

5,600,000

30,000

65,000

95,000

 

 

 

30,000

200,000

230,000

 

 

 

 

300,000

300,000

 

 

 

 

-

127,962

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,000

1,363,000

1,370,000

 

 

 

138,000

138,000

308,125

 

 

 

35,000

35,000

70,000

 

 

 

860,000

900,000

1,967,669

 

 

 

5,132,582

12,439,332

24,570,142

791,349

118,812,500

 

 

 

 

2009/10

2010/11

Total

 

 

 

7,492,956

4,253,886

22,354,700

791,349

Other Funding

 

2,360,374

8,185,446

2,215,442

1,424,093

Overprogramming

 

KCC

 


64

Appendix 1 (cont)

WT

19

Wildlife Mitigation Sites

64,200

 

13,085

WT

20

Greenspace Trust

127,400

 

3,244

WT

21

G&BG strategic development

109,600

 

50,811

WT

22

Kentish Stour Countryside Project

38,000

5,172

5,172

WT

25

Community Chest 08/09

119,064

119,064

 

WT

25

Community Chest (Berwick House) 09/10

45,000

-

551

WT

25

Community Chest (Swan Centre) 09/10

200,000

-

15,952

WT

15

Water and Energy Retrofitting (Efficiency savings)

35,000

-

8,850

TC

2

Elwick Precinct

108,576

108,576

 

TC

12

Gateway Plus

1,950,000

 

 

TC

10

Raising FE/HE Attainment In Ashford

200,000

 

 

TC

3

Gateway to Elwick Place

230,000

 

 

TC

15

Latitude Walk

300,000

 

 

WT

6

Fibre Optic Broadband

250,000

127,962

 

WT

25

Community Chest (Citizens Advice Bureau)

60,000

 

 

WT

25

Community Chest 10/11 (TBA)

90,000

 

 

TC

5

Strategic acquisition Site 1

1,370,000

 

7,000

 

 

Strategic Sites Team

300,000

32,125

 

 

 

Communications

600,000

-

 

 

 

Ashford’s Future Team

1,100,000

207,669

64,138

23,979,891

6,998,228

1,850,305

 

 

 

 

 

2008/09

 

GAF3 Capital Funding

 

10,607,858

 

Variance

 

3,609,630

 

SUBTOTAL CAPITAL


65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Predicted Spend

 

 

 

2009/10

2010/11

Total 2008/09 to 2010/11

 

-

18,000

 

 

 

50,000

-

50,000

50,000

 

SEEDA

37,500

13,100

93,100

 

 

 

24,037

5,306

48,806

 

 

 

54,482

52,991

166,864

 

 

 

108,666

141,334

250,000

 

 

 

 

25,000

25,000

5,000

 

AFPB

 

 

157,923

 

 

 

60,000

90,000

150,000

130,000

 

AFPB

334,685

327,731

959,693

185,000

 

 

2009/10

2010/11

Total

 

 

 

236,074

258,001

775,342

185,000

Other funding

- 98,611

- 69,730

- 184,351

649

 

y the accountable body across 2008/09 to 2010/11

Additional Funding

Note 1  


66

Appendix 2

Business Plan 20010/11 milestones Project

Lead

Milestones

Milestone dates

Dover Place

Martin Barrow

Completion of masterplan including design brief

August 2010

Finalise investigations for delivery mechanisms for new build art centre

April 2010

Further land assembly Commence marketing to deliver development partner for phase 1 Elwick Place

Latitude Walk

Martin Barrow

Jamie Watson

March 2011 March 2011

Masterplan complete

March 2011

Planning application submitted

May 2011

Implementation of scheme

April 2010

Completion of scheme Victoria Way, including Cherry Court A23/ Matalan Junction and Gateway to Elwick Road

Station Forecourt Improvements

Arts at St Mary’s

Gateway Plus Library

Drovers roundabout and Junction 9 improvements and footbridge

Strategic Parks

Foot and Cycle Way – Willesborough Greenway

Andy Phillips

Linda Doran

Chris Dixon

Lesley Spencer

Andy Phillips

Irene Seijo

Jerry Fox

Ecology mitigation to complete April 2010

April 2010

Demolition and site clearance work to complete

May 2010

Utility service diversions

April 2010 to March 2011

Road construction contract

April 2010 to March 2011

Tender for construction issue

April/May 2010

Construction company engaged

May/June 2010

Construction onsite

June 2010

Faculty Award,

April/May 2010

Start on Site,

May/June 2010

Site clearance

April 2010

Temporary Library opens in Park Mall,

April 2010

Demolition of old library building.

April/May 2010

Start on site

May 2010

Award contract for construction

April 2010

Commence road works

May 2010

Commence bridge works

Sept 2010

Complete works

March 2011

Further work will be carried out to establish the other strategic parks

March 2011

Discovery Park masterplan will be complete and become embedded within the AAP process

Jan 2011

Construction to start at latest (once funding is identified)

June 2010


67

SMARTLINK

Flood mitigation

Carbon reduction

Green and Blue Strategy

Raising FE/HE attainment in Ashford

Community and Voluntary Sector

Andy Phillips

Laurienne Tibbles

Laurienne Tibbles

Irene Seijo

Linda Doran

Simon Bannister

Business case submitted to DfT

April 2010

Ecology mitigation for Park and ride and priority routes carried out

May 2010

CPO for land for priority routes issued

May 2010

Planning application for Park and ride site submitted

June 2010

Planning approval

Sept 2010

Programme entry –

Sept 2010

Conditional Approval from DfT

Dec 2010

Detailed design work to tender

Jan – March 2011

Test development scenarios using flood risk model

May – Jan 2011

Work with key stakeholders to review completion of current AIWMS 5 year action plan and develop action plan for 2011-16

Jan 2011

Delivery of combined retrofit project delivery in pilot neighbourhood of Ashford and secure long term programme for combined retrofit.

Mar – Sept 2010

Establish strategic sustainable energy requirements and finalise sustainable energy strategy for Chilmington Green

May – Jan 2011

Complete waste management projects

March 2011

The Green Spaces & Water SPD will be adopted.

July 2010

Important links for the Green Necklace will be identified and embedded in planning policy.

Jan 2011

Plans for Conningbrook will be embedded within the DPD & future plans agreed.

Jan 2011

The Business Plan for mitigation sites will be complete & sites purchased to help enable development.

Jan 2011

Recommendations to develop a curriculum offer relevant to the developing needs of the Ashford economy.

May 2010

Recommendations to develop a capital project, in the form of rationalisation and refurbishment (rather than through new-build),

June 2010

Community Chest Projects: Swan Centre – complete works

July 2010

Berwick House - complete works

July 2010

Facilitate the inclusion of high quality, integrated community facilities into the urban extensions plans

Sep 2010

Write brief and engage consultant to carry out feasibility study for town centre VCS hub.

Sep 2010


APPENDIX 3

1. Ashford – An Overview 1.1 Population 70,260 people now live in the area known as the Ashford growth area around the existing town centre1 and this will rise to at least 135,000 by 2031. Ashford has also been successful in attracting new people into the area. Over recent years the labour market has been ‘tight’ with high levels of employment and economic activity. The employment rate in 2009 was 81.8% dropping from 83.1% in 2008 but remains higher than the South East averages of 78.5% in 2009 and 78.4% in 2008. Correspondingly, levels of unemployment and economic inactivity are low. In 2009 the previous years figure of 12% of local residents classed as economically inactive rose to 16.7% compared to the regional average decrease to 17.6% in 2009 from 18% in 2008 and a slight increase in national averages to 21.1% in 2009 from 21% in 2008.

1.2 Job Numbers and Wage Rates In 2006 Ashford had some 56,000 jobs made up of 47,000 employee jobs and 9,000 people in self employment. The NOMIS figures for June 2009 indicate that there are now 59,000 in employment, of which 7,500 are in self employment. Commuters out of Ashford are balanced by commuters into the town to work. This is a balance to continue to aim for as Ashford grows, though the high speed trains (HS) will increase the attractiveness of commuting to London and give a wider choice of employment opportunities for local people. The number of jobs created since 2001 is 5,498 making Ashford the fastest growing district for employment in Kent. Significantly there are up to 783,000 adults of working age within a 40 minutes drive of the town centre.

1.3 Businesses Business density in Ashford is notably higher than the Kent, the regional and national averages. This indicates a strong local economy; more businesses mean more opportunities for supply chain links and collaboration. Where firms are in competition, it can help to drive productivity growth. There is a strong entrepreneurial culture, exhibited in high levels of business start ups and high levels of self employment. Levels of self-employment, at 9.4% of the working age population, are currently on a par with regional (10.2%) and national (9.1%) averages2 . While there is evidence ‘churn’ with high rates of VAT de-registrations, business start up rates are greater than the Kent, regional and national figures – there were 56 new VAT business registrations per 10,000 resident adults in Ashford, compared with 43 in Kent and 48 in the South East3 . Annual population survey 2007 – September 2008 1

2009 Mid-year ONS estimates

2

October 2007-September 2008, Annual Population Survey, ONS

3

2008, VAT Statistics, BERR

1.4 Employment Trends and Deprivation Levels Ashford has historically had relatively low levels of unemployment but during the recession unemployment has been rising with the claimant count increasing by 135% from June 2008 to June 2009 albeit from a very low base. Like elsewhere in the Country youth unemployment is becoming a particular challenge, with 32% of JSA claimants falling in the 19-24 age group. Unemployment to vacancy ratios are deteriorating with 5.2 unemployment people to every vacancy in April 2009, compared to a ratio of 1.9 the previous year. However, as growth resumes we expect the position to improve again. Ashford generally has low levels of deprivation with the Borough of Ashford having 17 Super Output Areas in the 20% least deprived areas in the country. However there are pockets of high deprivation to the south of the town centre, accounting for 4 Super Output Areas in the 20% most deprived areas in the country, based on income, employment, health and access to skill training domains.

1.5 Quality of Life and Social Inclusion Issues The Ashford Social Inclusion Strategy was adopted in 2008 and has been used as a framework for an innovative and successful partnership project to increase public participation in physical activities for social excluded groups. The Active Swim and Active Gateway schemes have utilised PCT funding to target free swimming lessons and sessions and taster days for a range of sporting activities for a number of groups who have found it difficult for a number of reasons to access these activities in the past. The results for the first 6 months of the scheme have been very promising with a total of 1,038 people taking part making 3,690 visits. 84 swimming lessons were booked meaning that potentially 84 new people will be able to access the pools in the longer term. The feedback has been very positive and it is hoped that these schemes will be extended to further groups and continue to March 2011.

1.6 Kent Wide Area Agreements and the Local Area Agreements Kent area wide and Local Area Agreements - The Sustainable Community Strategy for Kent (Vision for Kent or V4K) is also being reviewed in 2010 by the Kent Partnership. The Kent Agreement 2 will enter its final year during 2010 providing an opportunity to review the targets set in 2008 and paving the way for the third round of LAA. The achievement of some targets have been adversely affected by the recession leading to negotiations with the Government office and amendments over the last 18 months, for example, the number of new homes completed. In the light of this it is unlikely that there will be a second round of performance reward grant for achievement of LAA targets.


69

2 The Economy 2.1 Ashford’s Performance in Comparison with the Regional and National Performance Since 2003 The following chart provided by Kent County Council’s research department visually demonstrates the change in the Ashford economy since 2003, 2008 and 2009. Broadly, on each indicator the nearer to the web’s edge a measure is located, the better. It should be emphasised that this diagram shows Ashford’s position relative to other district and unitary authorities in England. The rankings for five indicators have improved; 3-year business survival rates, GVA per head, employment rate, Full-time earnings (Residence) and those qualified to NVQ and above relative to the rest of the country. Although the percentage with regard to higher level qualifications is still significantly higher in the rest of region compared with Ashford. Other indicators demonstrate that the % in the knowledge economy and full-time earnings (workplace) have fallen.

2.2 Comparison of Ashford’s Progress Against the South East Table 1 shows there is a continuation of higher earnings and GVA per head in the South East compared to Ashford, business growth in terms of stock of VAT registered businesses compares well. Most striking is the difference in the percentage of employees working in the knowledge economy and the associated lower numbers of people in the population of Ashford with degree level qualifications or higher (23.8% in Ashford as against 31.5% for the South East). This points to the importance of projects that will raise FE/HE attainment as part of the company’s business plan. Given Ashford’s position as one of the UK’s key growth areas our aim is to improve Ashford’s economic position relative to other South East communities over the next ten years.

Economic Performance Indicators Ashford, Kent Unemployment Rate 100

% Working Age Population with NVQ4+

75

Median Full-time Earnings (Workplace)

50

% Employees in the Knowledge Economy

25

Median Full-time Earnings (Residence) 2003 2008

0

2009 GVA per head

Employment Rate

3 year Business Survival Rates

© KCC, Analysis & Information Team

Total Employees

Stock of VAT Registered Businesses


70


71

APPENDIX 3

2008 Ashford

2008 South East

2009 Ashford

2009 South East

2010 Ashford

2010 South East

1.4

1.4

1.9

2.1

2.8

2.9

Median full-time earnings (workplace)

414.3

480.7

416.0

499.8

456.4

513.6

Median full-time earnings (residence)

445.2

499.6

484.4

523.2

479.1

536.6

76.6

78.3

83.1

78.4

81.8

78.5

47,604

3,673,074

47,816

3,730,286

46,460

3,757,711

4,935

357,215

5,175

366,680

5,400

372,810

Unemployment Rate

Employment Rate Total Employees Stock of VAT Registered Businesses 3 year Business Survival Rate

65

66.3

71

66.9

62

67.4

15,793

19,475

17,217

20,360

17,524

21,248

% Employees in the Knowledge Economy

12.4

21.3

11.8

21.3

10.6

20.6

% Working Age Population with NVQ4+

22.2

30.5

32.0

30.8

23.8

31.5

GVA per head


72

Appendix 4 Ashford Housing Trajectory 2001-2021 (Ashford Growth Area) AMR 2008/09

2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10

Under construction on small sites in Growth are  Completions on urban sites excluding sites below

 

 

 

 

 

35  

516

487

564

484

207

96

111

46

Strategic Sites / Major Sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extant units on large sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

59

Templar and Rowcroft Barracks

 

 

 

71

12

 

124

14

60

Stanhope

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 91

55

30

Park Farm South & East

130

71

77

23

 

 

168

112

50

Hunter Avenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Singleton

 

58

146

220

189

124

154

135

66

Cheeseman›s Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Wyvern School Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

87

62

58

83

86

 

 

 

Newtown Works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashford south school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jemmett Road (SKC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilmington Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chart Estate / Leacon Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Harvey Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterbrook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheeseman’s Green Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kennington North

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Urban Extension area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobbs Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Town Centre Sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brisley Farm

Town Centre completions not on sites below

2

3

 

4

1

8

2

43

 

Commercial Quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elwick Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Park Mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vicarage Lane Car Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elwick Rd/ Station Rd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Godinton Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Way East

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gasworks Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powergen North

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Way South

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former B & Q site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Street South

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Street North (Farm Foods)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Sites DPD allocations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

699

706

849

860

492

314

468

405

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

320

Cumulative Completions

699

1,405

2,254

3,114

3,606

3,920

4,388

4,793

5,113

Core Strategy (RPG9 + RSS) Ashford Growth Area Allocation

790

790

790

790

790

1,040

1,040

1,040

1,040

MONITOR - No. dwellings above or below cumulative allocation

-91

-175

-116

-46

-344

-1070

-1642

-2277

-2997

Past Completions Projected Completions


73

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 TOTAL  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,511

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

73

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

132

100

135

140

140

140

100

100

100

14

 

 

1,250

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

100

100

120

130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,081

100

100

130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

350

40

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,182

43

50

50

50

135

175

177

150

150

150

150

1,280

52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

74

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

501

 

50

100

50

50

100

150

150

150

100

28

928

 

50

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

 

 

41

100

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

241

 

 

100

150

200

225

225

250

250

250

250

1,900

 

 

50

50

50

 

 

 

 

50

50

250

 

 

 

 

50

50

50

50

50

50

 

300

 

 

 

50

100

100

100

150

150

150

150

950

 

 

 

 

50

100

100

150

150

150

150

850

 

 

 

 

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

600

 

 

 

 

 

 

300

300

300

300

300

1,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63

 

 

 

50

 

50

 

 

50

 

 

150

 

 

50

50

100

100

 

 

 

 

 

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

50

 

 

100

 

 

 

 

 

50

50

 

 

 

 

100

 

50

50

50

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

200

 

50

50

50

50

50

50

 

 

 

 

300

50

100

100

50

50

 

50

50

 

 

 

450

 

 

50

50

50

 

 

50

50

50

 

300

 

 

 

100

100

120

60

 

 

 

 

380

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

100

100

120

420

 

 

 

50

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

50

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

136

136

136

136

136

136

136

136

136

136

1,360

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,793

674

921

1,217

1,306

1,561

1,456

1,698

1,786

1,700

1,586

1,334

15,559

5,787

6,708

7,925

9,231

10,792

12,248

13,946

15,732

17,432

19,018

20,352

20,352

1,040

1,040

1,040

1,040

1,040

1,040

1,200

1,200

1,200

1,200

1,200

20,350

-3363

-3482

-3305

-3039

-2518

-2102

-1604

-1018

-518

-132

2

 


74

Ashford’s Future Company Ltd T: + 44 (0) 1233 330812 T: + 44 (0) 1233 625794 enquiries@ashfordbestplaced.co.uk www.ashfordbestplaced.co.uk


Ashford future business plan