Image for news article entitled What do sporting legends and model railways have in common?

What do sporting legends and model railways have in common?

Published : 03/07/2019

Ashford Borough Council and Stanhope PLC have today (3rd July) announced details of more tenants taking space at Elwick Place in the town centre.

AIMREC – the Ashford International Model Railway Exhibition Centre – has agreed a 12 month deal on Unit 2 and will spend up to six weeks setting up a number of interactive model railway sets and other display materials in the 3,541 sq ft space.

Open to the public free of charge on Saturdays and Sundays, the AIMREC board will use the Elwick Place unit as a marketing suite to promote their longer term plans to create a permanent model railway entertainment and educational centre in the town. Potential investors will be given a tantalising glimpse into what the much-anticipated project could look like.

PempoulAshford-based Recursive Media has signed a six month deal on unit 7C. Describing the Elwick Place space as “perfect” for their needs, Recursive has fitted out the unit into a concept retail store for the digital high street of the future. At the heart of this futuristic retail experience are a series of sports-based trials featuring footballing and sporting legends who are currently global ambassadors for the Puma sports brand.

Recursive will be inviting its client, based on New York’s 5th Avenue, to visit Ashford to view its work. The mock up is not open to the public. Recursive is based in the town’s Park Mall and it relocated to Ashford four years ago from Brighton, citing the town’s fast rail links to London as one of the reasons for the switch. The company specialises in developing bespoke audio-visual and multimedia services for blue chip clients operating in international markets.

Gresley BeatLast week it was announced that leading independent food and drink company Macknade had signed up to take the largest unit at Elwick Place.

Following these announcements, landlord Ashford Borough Council and project partner Stanhope PLC say that talks are ongoing with more potential tenants and further announcements are expected soon.

The first phase of Elwick Place opened in December 2018, anchored by the six-screen Picturehouse boutique cinema and the 58-bedroom Travelodge hotel. As part of the phased opening of the development, the council and its agents have been involved in detailed negotiations with a number of potential users.

AIMRECAshford Borough Council funded the construction of Elwick Place in partnership with Stanhope PLC. Built on the site of a former cattle market, it is part of a wider £520m of investment in development in Ashford town centre under construction or with construction to start soon.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to help two local businesses find space where they can showcase their very different products. While AIMREC’s board continues to seek a permanent home for a model railway experience that has the potential to draw tens of thousands of visitors to Ashford every year, this temporary arrangement gives them a chance to show off what they can offer.

“I’m delighted to hear the managing director of Recursive Media describe Elwick Place as the perfect place for them to showcase their concept sports retail store of the future – their hi-tech approach to helping global brands to engage with a new generation of shoppers is really helping to put Ashford on the world map!”