Business News

KM Group moves into Park Mall

Love Ashford sign in Park MallThe reinvigoration of Park Mall shopping centre since it was purchased by Ashford Borough Council in June 2015 has left everyone impressed.

Following the council’s acquisition – to breathe new life into the formerly run-down area of the town centre following calls from residents to improve its fortunes – there have been many success stories from businesses who have made Park Mall their home.

Primarily these businesses have been quality independent retailers, who have proudly fashioned a fresh offer within Park Mall. They have brought enthusiasm, creativity and a sense of community not just to Park Mall but to the town centre as a whole, in which 46% of businesses are quality independents. This has been best evidenced in the entrepreneurial independent businesses within the council’s Made In Ashford shop project and the events themed around Easter and Halloween, in addition to treasure hunts.

Footfall has risen in Park Mall by almost 7% as a result and has led to six existing retailers renewing their leases as well as attracting more than a dozen others. This has proved the council’s astute commercial approach and the competencies it has in-house to conclude such important agreements with businesses, all of whom are proactively championed through LoveAshford.com – the UK’s first digital high street.

And with developers demonstrating confidence in the local economy with a wide range of major regeneration projects ongoing – such as the Ashford College campus, Elwick Place, Chapel Down brewery, part of forthcoming developments on both sides of the Victoria Way – local businesses are also showing increased faith in Ashford town centre.

March 2017 brought yet more exciting news for Park Mall. Ashford Borough Council is delighted to welcome the KM Group to Park Mall. The nationally respected regional publishing group which writes, prints and distributes The Kentish Express, the leading newspaper title for the Ashford borough, is moving into Unit 4, opposite The Little Teapot.

KM Group Operations Director Duncan Gray said: "We are delighted to be relocating our team into Park Mall, it's a great location and it is exciting to be part of the centre's developing community. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Ashford Borough Council; whose regeneration team have worked so hard to bring this opportunity to fruition.”

In April 2017, the KM Group announced that Iliffe Media Ltd had acquired the entire shareholding of the KM Media Group.

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