Javelin Way Development, Ashford
Javelin Way is an employment site on the Henwood Industrial Estate in Ashford. This project will support the development of the site for employment use, with a focus on the development of Ashford’s creative economy.
This scheme will develop the Javelin Way site on Henwood Industrial Estate for employment use. The scheme consists of two elements:
- The construction of a ‘Creative Laboratory’ production space (with a ground floor internal area of 1,293 sqm). This will be leased from Kent County Council by Jasmin Vardimon Company, a world-renowned dance company and creative organisation.
- The development of 29 light industrial units (with a gross internal area of 3,046 square metres), for sale and/or lease, suitable for additional creative businesses as well as the general market. Mezzanine floors will be available for the 29 industrial units, with full flexibility on the sizes of mezzanines to meet market demand.
The total cost of this scheme is £11,083,120. This is funded by:
- Kent County Council (£5.2 million)
- Growing Places Fund (loan) (£1.597 million)
- Arts Council England (£3.069 million)
- Ashford Borough Council (£0.75 million)
- Getting Building Fund (£0.578 million)
Kent County Council’s contribution, and the repayment of the Growing Places Fund loan, will be through capital receipts from the sale of the industrial units.
As well as providing cultural facilities, the Javelin Way project will deliver additional employment space. The development of new employment floorspace meets with a core objective of the Growing Places Fund, and responds to evidence of an undersupply locally.
The objectives of this scheme are to:
- create sustainable employment and business opportunities by unlocking 4,382 square kilometres of commercial floorspace and 1,293 square metres of learning and training floorspace
- grow the creative sector in mid Kent and create secure accommodation for a major artistic operator in Kent
- develop the distinctiveness of Ashford’s economy
- create 256 jobs and assist up to 48 learners.
The decision by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Accountability Board to grant Getting Building Funding for the Javelin Way scheme was made on 20 November 2020.
In June 2020, Local Enterprise Partnerships were invited to put forward projects for the Getting Building Fund. Specifically, Government were looking for shovel-ready capital projects which can be delivered within 18 months.
Nationally, the size of the Getting Building Fund pot totals £900 million.
The overarching objectives of the fund are to drive economic growth, create new jobs and support green recovery. This includes funding to enable:
- town and city centre modernisation through targeted infrastructure investments unleashing their longer-term economic potential
- investment in physical connectivity to improve the functioning of the local economy
- investment in innovation ecosystem including through improvements to research and development facilities driving up business productivity
- improvements to human capital
- improving digital connectivity, in order to support economic performance, particularly in more isolated areas.
SELEP has been successfully allocated £85 million Getting Building Fund. This funding must be spent by 31 March 2022.
The government Growth Deal provides money to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, funding projects which drive Kent’s economic and business growth.