Last week's announcement from Debenhams made national news with concerns as to the future of the Ashford branch. Here's what Ashford Borough Council has to say...
Debenhams’ difficulties have been well reported across the media in recent weeks.
This announcement is as sad for Ashford and those who could lose their jobs as it is for the many town and cities nationwide where stores are set to close.
Nationally the retail market is changing and research shows that there is simply too much retail space in the UK, hence we must expect further changes to our high streets in the future as part of this national trend.
Footfall in Ashford High Street in 2019 is up considerably on last year, and this is the same in the County Square.
We continue to adapt our town centre offer to reflect local demands and a national changing market, and give residents a reason to visit. Last year events such as Splashes of Summer, Battles Over and the Snowdogs trail have attracted people into the town, while we also continue to support local businesses as much as we can in difficult times.
In the meantime we will continue to work with the owners of County Square, Kennedy Wilson, to look at new occupiers if the proposed closures are confirmed.
While is it sad to see Debenhams go, recently we have seen footfall increasing, and with the new Picturehouse cinema and other developments on the horizon such as the new Brewery and Coachworks opening soon, this shows that the town is moving in the right direction in providing residents with reasons to come into town.