17 December 2021

Ashford Borough Council appoints Milligan to lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver its ‘Town Centre Reset’

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been appointed to progress the approved Ashford Town Centre Reset Strategy that will deliver a transformative ‘town centre reset’.


Milligan was appointed following a competitive process and after assembling a multi-disciplinary team of placemaking experts especially for the project. Allies and Morrison, CACI, Partnering Regeneration Development (PRD) and Gleeds will bring together specialist skills in architecture, urban design, place identity, data, insight and social value creation.

Milligan will lead the team establishing an action plan with short and medium-term development, public realm and placemaking improvements helping Ashford Borough Council achieve its ambitious master plan, coined as the ‘reset’.


Ashford town centre finds itself at an important crossroad in its history. Its forward-thinking council has already defined several themes that are now shaping its places, destinations and the uses available in the town for its residents, workers, visitors and communities. The declining role of retail, changing needs of residential and type of cultural offers available will be key drivers of the action plan.


Paul Hanegraaf, Milligan’s Creative Navigator said, “Ashford has nurtured a very special collection of boutique places – eateries, retail and leisure hang-outs. There are emerging brands and unique finds everywhere you look. The key will be to amplify this creative heart and entrepreneurial spirit, give it structure and stability within the backdrop of a historic and well-connected town.


“Everything coming together in Ashford is bespoke to the fabric of the community. That’s the key to creating enduring places in a post-pandemic, post-online and post-consumerism destination. That’s why it was so important for us to assemble the very best minds and the very best thinking to get under the skin of what makes Ashford special and deliver an action plan that creates enduring social value.


“We’re excited about this type of innovation and think that Ashford is making a bold move that other local authorities should follow.”


Ashford Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Corporate Property, Councillor Nathan Iliffe said: “We’ve been listening carefully to what our residents and businesses have been saying over the years. Change in the town centre during the pandemic has been a catalyst for long-awaited transformation, allowing us to drive forward our ambitious plans for a thriving future.


“Our businesses and residents have shown true resilience over the last 18 months, and now it is time to focus on creating a town centre for everyone. Milligan have assembled a unique and skilled team who will ensure we are putting our communities needs at the forefront of our regeneration plans.”


The initial strategic work which will set-out the business plan for Ashford’s town centre is due to be completed by the project team in March 2022.


Image from left to right:

Jane Manning – Director at Allies and Morrison, Emma Powell – Development Manager at Milligan, Jo Fox – ABC Development & Regeneration Manager, Mark Chaplin – ABC Placemaking Team Leader, Emily Heritage – ABC Regeneration Officer (Town Centre), Cllr Nathan Iliffe – ABC Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Corporate Property, Paul Hanegraaf – Creative Navigator at Milligan, Andrew Osborne – ABC Economic Development Manager