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Leading independent food and drink brand, Macknade, to open in Ashford

Leading independent food and drink brand, Macknade, to open at Elwick Place, Ashford

Press release

27 June 2019 

Macknade, one of the country's oldest independent and leading food and drink brands, with a history in Kent that dates back over 170 years, islaunching an exciting new food and drink hub at Elwick Place in Ashford.

In a jointannouncement today (27thJune), Macknade, Ashford Borough Council and Stanhope PLC confirmed that the company will be the first food and drink tenant to move into the town centre development. It will occupy the largest retail space at the new site.

Further tenant announcements are expected very soon following the successful completion of lengthy negotiations with Macknade.

Faversham-based Macknade's new venue will offer an all-day dining experience, bar and delicatessen, showcasing the best of local and international produce. It willbe the go-to spot to enjoy freshly prepared produce with rich provenance for breakfast, lunch and evening dining, delivered in a relaxed and communal environment.

Customers will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of events, ranging from informal producer tastings through to tutored classes and live music as you shop and dine. Whether you are out with friends and family or looking for a space to engage your business guests, Macknade at Elwick Place will offer a space to escape, breathe out and enjoy being part of a growing community in the heart of the Garden of England who all share a love for good food and drink.

Dishes on the menu will include burgers and steaks prepared by Macknade butchers, andvegetarian and vegan options reflecting Macknade's Kentish and Mediterranean roots. Customers will also be able to enjoy home baked cakes and delicious coffee, alongside deli platters and cocktails.

The bar will stock the very best beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks from Kent's flourishing drinks scene, and the delicatessen will feature an array of local, British and continental cheese and charcuterie, which is a highlight for customers of Macknade's flagship food hall in Faversham.

Macknade Managing Director, Stefano Cuomo, said:"My family business started life at Macknade, near Faversham, more than 170 years ago and this year we celebrate 40 years of retailing. It is an honour for me to see Macknade grow and for the whole team to be a part of the exciting development of Ashford and its wider community.

"It is a big step for us, and I am very grateful for all the support that has been given by both Ashford Borough Council and Stanhope. We are here for the long term and hope to make Ashford very proud."

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: "I am delighted to welcome our first food and drink tenant to Elwick Place, where they join our anchor tenants, Picturehouse and Travelodge. Securing their investment in Ashford represents a notable success for the council and a just reward for months of thorough and meticulous negotiations away from the glare of the media and public.

"With Macknade coming to Ashford it will not only further boost our economy, but will also send a strong message that Ashford is responding to the changing dynamics of town centre shopping. I look forward to welcoming more companies to Elwick Place to share in the Ashford success story."

Gary Bourne, Development Director at project partner Stanhope Plc, said: "We're delighted to have secured one of Kent's most loved food and drink operators for Elwick Place. Macknade is a perfect fit for the scheme and brings an exciting new dimension and additional choice to Ashford's restaurant scene.

"A key priority of the scheme is to boost Ashford's evening economy and, as a destination venue, Macknade Ashford will support that by providing the local community with a vibrant new dining experience, as well as drawing visitors to the town centre from further afield.

"We've had very encouraging interest for the retail units within the scheme and we expect this to intensify now that we have confirmed this well-established brand," added Gary.

The first phase of Elwick Place opened in December 2018, anchored by the six-screen Picturehouse boutique cinema and the 58-bedroom Travelodge hotel. The development also features nine retail / restaurant units on the ground floor and a 282 space car park.

As part of the phased opening of the development, the council and its agents have been involved in negotiations with a number of potential users, leading to today's announcement.

Ashford Borough Council funded the construction of Elwick Place in partnership with Stanhope PLC. Built on the site of a former cattle market, it is part of a wider £520m of investment in development in Ashford town centre under construction or with construction to start soon.


Notes for editors

For more information about Macknade visit
For more information about Elwick Place visit


  • Macknade is one of the country's leading food & drink brands, with a rich history in Kent that dates back over 170 years.
  • Stefano Cuomo is the Managing Director and the sixth generation of the family business.
  • For the first five generations, Macknade Farm was one of the country's leading growers, nationally renownedfor its hard fruit, hops and livestock.
  • Today, the family no longer farm the land, but the award-winning Macknade Food Hall is right at the heart of where the business started in 1847, situated on the original farm site in Faversham.
  • Set over a thriving 10,000 sq ft, customers travel from far and wide to enjoy the acclaimed food hall, café, butcher and delicatessen, which now stocks over 200 varieties of cheese.
  • In 2019, Macknade celebrates its 40thyear of independent retailing.

 Elwick Place

Planning permission was granted to Stanhope PLC in December 2015 by Ashford Borough Council, and a legal agreement for funding the construction of the Elwick Place scheme on land owned by the authority was finalised in May 2017.

  • The scheme is a cornerstone of Ashford Borough Council's ambition to be able to operate free of government grant. It is using the income generated through rents and business rates to sustain and improve its services without the need for central government funding.
  • Elwick Place is home to the Elwick Etchings, a public arts initiative commissioned by Stanhope and delivered by Kent public arts company, Strange Cargo, which comprises 100 memories from local residents of all ages. To establish a longstanding legacy within the local community, the memories have been engraved into paving slabs across the site.

Public relations issued on behalf of Ashford Borough Council.

For more information contact:

Darren Laws
01634 671167
07958 304375