Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Tender opportunity: Elwick Place, Ashford, Kent

17 January 2020
Tender opportunity: Elwick Place, Ashford, Kent

An exciting food and drink company is being sought for a brand new leisure destination in the heart of one of the fastest growing towns in the south east.

Elwick Place in Ashford, Kent, is offering a completely blank canvas to a quality and experience driven operator that is looking to either launch a new concept or expand their business.

On offer is a flexible retail unit from 3,000 to 4,500 sq ft with capped services within the development, which was purpose built to offer a unique and exciting hospitality and leisure destination in Ashford’s town centre.

A very attractive incentive package is available along with a negotiable capital contribution to the fit out of the space, making this an exceptional opportunity for the right tenant partner.

Designed by the acclaimed Guy Holloway Architects, Elwick Place is the result of a progressive partnership between property developer Stanhope Plc and Ashford Borough Council that is part of a wider £520m investment in the development of Ashford town centre.

The boutique cinema group Picturehouse is an anchor tenant at the scheme, which houses the company’s first ever new-built venue and offers circa 1,000 seats within the six state of the art film screens. A 58-bed Travelodge hotel is also an anchor tenant.

Other tenants already confirmed for Elwick Place include the award-winning food hall, delicatessen, butcher and cafe Macknade Fine Foods, and 24-hour gym Snap Fitness, which opens this month.

Set to open in February 2020, the new Macknade operation will be the second site for the family-run business that has crafted a rich 170-year history of food, farming and retail in nearby Faversham.

Bespoke celebration cake maker Blé Couture Cakes will launch in April, offering baking workshops and cupcake parties alongside an all-day cafe and cake ordering services.

In the same month, chef and caterer Funmi Aina will open Dansaki, a 110-cover restaurant, bar and tapas lounge serving a fusion of traditional Afro-Caribbean and continental cuisine. Also opening in Elwick Place soon is Matches Sports Bar.

Ashford is one of the fastest growing towns in the south east – the current population of 126,000 is forecasted to soar to 150,000 by 2030, according to figures published in the Ashford Local Plan.

Boosted by a series of exciting events organised by Ashford Borough Council, this has increased footfall to the town’s centre while the majority of others in the UK have seen it decline. Footfall was up by 5.8% year-on-year in 2018 and 7.9% in the year to November 2019.

This was one of the key drivers in attracting Macknade to Elwick Place, as Managing Director Stefano Cuomo explained: “I have seen how Ashford has grown and moved forward over the past decade, which aligns with us as a business as we are scaling up and taking ourselves forward. We have had a lot of support from Ashford Borough Council and other stakeholders within the town.

"We thought the way Ashford was going with the excitement around it and the strength of the food and drink offering, meant that it was a good location for us to get involved in.”

Gary Bourne, Development Director at project partner Stanhope Plc, said: “A key priority of the scheme is to boost Ashford’s evening economy and, as a destination venue, Macknade Ashford will support that by providing the local community with a vibrant new dining experience, as well as drawing visitors to the town centre from further afield.”

Experience Curators, led by Founder Ainara Mateu, is facilitating the portfolio of operators being installed at the new leisure scheme.

She added: “Elwick Place is an exciting and vibrant addition to what is already a thriving town centre and it represents an incredible opportunity for the right business.

“Already we have some fantastic tenants lined up and to complete this unique destination, we are looking for a food and drink operator that can truly deliver in terms of quality, experience and innovation.”

The deadline for submissions of interest is 17 February 2020. Click here for more details.

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