Less than three months after getting planning permission to redevelop the former Rimmel factory site at Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate, Ashford, Gallagher Properties has delivered a new home for Aspire Landscape Management.

Ashford Borough Council took the decision in September 2015 to bring responsibility for grounds maintenance across the borough back in-house and created Aspire Landscape Management.

Aspire’s new facility was opened by Cllr Clair Bell, portfolio holder for borough presentation at Ashford Borough Council, and Pat Gallagher, Chairman of Gallagher Group.

The new organisation covers the day-to-day work of mowing, pruning, planting, clearing and litter picking on various spaces owned by the council, including open green space, parks, floral beds, cemeteries, areas around housing sites, hedges, sports pitches and associated footpaths.

Nick Yandle of Gallagher Properties said: “We’re delighted to hand this part of the site over to Aspire. Following planning permission and after enabling works, we quickly got under way on the grounds maintenance depot. This project involved our property, aggregate, civil engineering and building teams, which explains why we were able to quickly deliver all aspects of the project.

“Given Ashford’s very positive approach to creating employment space to go alongside its housing developments, we are confident there will be many other projects we can help deliver in the borough.”

Work has now begun on phase two, developing a ready-mix concrete plant for Gallagher Aggregates to be followed by up to 70,000ft2 of commercial units.

Cllr Clair Bell said: “Today marks a real journey for the council. From October Ashford Borough Council will be bringing the responsibility for grounds maintenance across the borough back in-house, under the name Aspire Landscape Management.

“This initiative is a key part of delivering the adopted Land Management Improvement Plan, which aims to make the borough a pleasant and enjoyable place to live, work, visit and enjoy. By enhancing Ashford’s overall appearance and attractiveness this will raise civic pride and make the borough more attractive for residents, visitors and businesses.

“The new in-house service will give us greater flexibility as we will be able to move resources where they are needed most, with an ability to be more fluid with changing priorities. We are pleased that this site will be brought back into use, not just for Aspire but other commercial uses too, and I would like to thank Gallagher for helping us to get where we are today. It has been a pleasure to work with them on this exciting initiative.”

When complete the five acre site, which has been derelict for nearly a decade following the fire which destroyed Rimmel’s former factory, will be home to more than 200 jobs.

Gallagher Group employs more than 300 people in Kent, and has carried out construction work in, and supplied construction materials to, the Ashford area for many years.

For more information on Gallagher Group and the Ashford development go to www.gallagher-group.co.uk
For more information about Aspire Landscape Management go to www.ashford.gov.uk/aspire-landscape-management