Waterside Boost to Ashbourne’s Economy

10th August 2009

The major, multi-million pound development at Ashbourne's Waterside Park is helping to build a brighter future for the town.

Peter Gadsby, Chairman of Derby-based developers, Cedar House Investments is making a key note presentation to a special meeting of Ashbourne councillors tonight (Monday) and he claimed the project could play a pivotal role in shaping the area's future.

He said: "We wanted to give local authority members from both the Town and District Councils a detailed up-date on the progress we're making with a project which is ploughing well over £25 million worth of investment into the town and which will eventually help to create hundreds of new jobs.

"The imminent opening of one of the new style Marks and Spencer Simply Food outlets will add a new and crucial dimension to Ashbourne's retail offer and the importance of a major brand name like M & S coming to the town shouldn't be underestimated.

"They offer the potential to attract large numbers of shoppers from a wide surrounding area – something which will add vibrancy to Ashbourne and help to build a brighter and more prosperous future."

He added: "As someone who was born in Ashbourne, I'm excited by the prospects and, as a company, we want to ensure the whole town benefits from what we are undertaking at Waterside Park.

"It is a catalyst for change and we hope to continue to work in partnership with the town as the development scheme and the associated community projects are completed."

Already Halfords and Homebase have successfully established outlets on the retail park, the first companies have moved into the business park and office development and a public house is to open soon close to the roadside hotel.

Mr Gadsby explained: "We're making progress despite the extremely difficult economic climate. The downturn is obviously having an impact on all developments of this nature but, against this sort of background, the decision of M & S to locate in Ashbourne should be seen as a tremendous vote of confidence."

At the meeting, Mr Gadsby will unveil a range of new initiatives to help link the retail park to the town centre.

These will include a free 'shopper hopper' bus service which will run on four days a week, special information boards on the historic town itself and an innovative cycle hire facility.

"We'll be encouraging people to leave their cars at the retail park and take a short ride into the town centre to browse around other elements of Ashbourne's retail scene. It's a trial scheme but we believe it will offer something different – an attractive option for some shoppers," said Mr Gadsby.

"We're totally committed to making sure the overall Waterside Park project – which also includes the highly successful, now-completed residential area – serves to provide a positive boost to Ashbourne and helps to make a real difference to the area."

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