Global workplace provider giant Regus moves into “thriving” Ashford

Kent businesses will soon be able to rent modern and affordable, town centre office space after global workplace provider Regus agreed a deal to move into The Panorama, Ashford.

The long-term lease sees Regus take on more than 12,000 sq ft of commercial space in the town’s newly-refurbished landmark building. The business units are split between The Panorama’s north and west wing ground floors. Businesses have the opportunity to book a range of business spaces and sizes – from day offices to meeting rooms, business lounges and flexible hot-desk facilities – and take advantage of the free super-speed Wi Fi connection on offer. Regus expects to welcome its first occupants from April.

Richard Morris, UK CEO, Regus, said: “We’re excited to be establishing a presence in Ashford, which is building a reputation as a thriving international town and is widely recognised as one of Kent’s most attractive business locations.

“The opening of our first location here testifies to the town’s need for cost-effective workspace that matches today’s flexible workforce. We know that more and more people are working flexibly, instead of the traditional 9-5 in the office, and we are seeing month-on-month growth in interest in flexible working options which provide a more agile alternative to fixed offices.”

David O’Neil, Development Director at The Panorama, said: “We’ve already begun to receive enquiries from businesses looking to find out more about office availability and so I’m sure that with The Panorama’s central location and proximity to Ashford International, there will be no shortage of requests for the flexible office space that is available to rent.”

Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for town centres and business, said: “I’m delighted to learn that companies of this calibre are recognising that Ashford is an essential location for their business. We look forward to welcoming Regus and their high-tech, easy access offices in the coming months. This is the modern way of working for many businesses and of course Ashford, as a growing international town, is right at the forefront of this quality provision.”

The Panorama, formerly known as Charter House, comprises 232 high-quality homes, with a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments spread across nine floors, and 14 luxury penthouses and a further eight duplex penthouses on levels eight and nine. Each penthouse has its own terrace, while duplexes boast a private terrace on both floors. The roof garden allows residents to savour the views across the rolling Kent countryside. The ground floor of the building is dedicated to commercial use.

Handover of the residential development is due to start in February.

The decision by Regus to expand its UK network into Ashford comes as a growing number of businesses continue to be attracted to the town – including Handelsbanken, one of Sweden’s leading banks, and Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, which has moved its headquarters to Ashford’s International House.

These developments follow a study carried out by Locate in Kent which identified Ashford as the best business location in Kent. The report measured the attitudes of key business figures in the South East towards Kent as a business location, with Ashford coming out on top as the number one choice for developers and businesses.

Two thirds rated Ashford highly for its rail links – the HS1 high-speed service to St Pancras takes just 38 minutes – while road links, proximity to Europe and London, location and available sites were all listed as positives.