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Ashford International House - Correction

11 March 2011

In response to recent media coverage on lighting at International House and which incorrectly reported that the South East England Development Agency has its headquarters at International House, Ashford, SEEDA spokesperson Oona Muirhead, acting chief executive said:

"SEEDA’s HQ is in Guildford, however we do own International House, a key commercial building in Ashford town centre.  We are delighted that since we bought and refurbished International House in Ashford in 2005, we have been able to increase the business occupancy from 50% to 100%. This is a great achievement in the current economic climate and shows Ashford’s potential to be a booming growth town.  International House is opposite the Eurostar Terminal and improving its appearance is part of creating an environment that is attractive to potential business investors.

We have attracted 25 companies and organisations into the building; a total of 500 jobs for the town. In the longer term the objective of our work with our partners in Ashford is to bring £100m private investment, attract more business to the town and create a further 3,500 jobs giving a huge boost to the Ashford economy."


SEEDA has its headquarters in Guildford and it does not have any staff located in Ashford.

International House, a key commercial building in Ashford’s town centre has provided a major boost to the local economy providing accommodation for 25 companies and organisations employing over 500 people.

International House, which is owned by SEEDA and wholly occupied by tenants, is ideally located at the gateway to Ashford International Station occupying a prime location offering excellent rail transport links to Europe, London and the rest of the UK.  The building currently generates a rental income of £1.1 m per annum which SEEDA is able to reinvest in other programmes to boost the local economy. Since acquiring the building in 2005, SEEDA has increased occupancy from 50% to 100%.

Planned improvements to regenerate the area, in partnership with Ashford Future Partnership and Ashford Borough Council are aimed at attracting further investment into the town. Regenerating the area as Ashford’s Commercial Quarter will boost the economy and create jobs in the town. Ambitious plans include attracting £100m private investment to the Commercial Quarter creating an additional 3,500 jobs.

SEEDA is running a continuous refurbishment programme for the building to ensure that occupancy is maintained at a high level; the lighting scheme was a part of this planned programme to improve the look and feel of the area.


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