Councillors in Ashford, Kent, have agreed to fund the construction of a £75m town centre leisure complex which will include a 58-bedroom hotel.
Developer Stanhope was given planning consent for the Elwick Place development in December last year. It will see the transformation of a 6.42-acre vacant brownfield site, which originally house the town’s cattle market.
The development, which will be owned by the council once it has been completed, will feature a six screen cinema, a 58-bedroom hotel, seven restaurant and bar spaces, 282 car parking spaces and a new public space with landscaping.
The council said the plans are part of an “alternative business model” after funding from central government has reduced by 40% in the last six years.
Leader of Ashford Borough Council, Gerry Clarkson, said: “This investment, and our continued commercial approach, has the potential to significantly contribute to our ability to be self-reliant despite reduced government funding.
“We firmly believe that enabling this regeneration project to be brought forward quickly is in the best interests of the borough. This investment will enable services to be maintained, and will also continue the revitalisation of Ashford town centre.”
It is expected the development will generate around 250 jobs.