Kent

£4.2m cash boost to improve Ashford

St Mary the Virgin church, in Ashford
Image caption Some of the funds will be spent on turning a church into an arts venue

More than £4m is to be spent on projects to improve Ashford town centre including developing an arts centre and revamping a railway station forecourt.

The council has been allocated £4.2m from the government's Growth Area Funding scheme.

Some of the funds will be spent on the Arts at St Mary's project, where a Victorian church is being turned into an arts venue, the council said.

Council leader Paul Bartlett said it was a "huge boost" to the town's plans.

He said: "At a time when cuts in public spending are reaching unprecedented levels, the new coalition government has shown its confidence in Ashford's growth programme.

"This further investment will fund a range of improvement projects in the town to make Ashford a better place to live and work for our residents."

He said the area was also benefiting from other successful government funding bids which had led to more than £54m being invested in Ashford in 2010/11.

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