From treehouse to boardroom

Editor’s Blog Posted 07/07/15
This week I've discovered how businesses in the region are demonstrating creativity and confidence.

Over the last few days I’ve had some great opportunities to meet people in the local business community. First, I was invited to attend the launch of Port Lympne Wild Animal Reserve’s luxurious new Treehouse Hotel. It was a superb day, with the blazing sunshine doing its bit to enhance the occasion. Luckily for the organisers and guests, this meant that one of the Kent hotel’s unique selling points – the staggering view towards the English Channel – was showcased in all its glory. The other big attractions are, of course, the wild animals themselves, but they were mostly sensible enough to seek shelter from the midday sun!

It was interesting to hear about The Aspinall Foundation’s ambitions for both the new hotel and the extra revenue it will generate, while Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins added his views on the contribution the new suites will make to the accommodation offer in Kent. The hotel industry has really upped its game in recent years and personally I’ve found it fascinating to see the creativity and originality that is continuing to emerge in that sector.

Next, I had a busy day at the Kent B2B at Ashford International Hotel. This was a really buzzing event with a broad variety of South East businesses in attendance, every one of them with a story to tell and ideas for future development. One of the big talking points of the day was a presentation on Ashford Designer Outlet’s major expansion plans – if planning permission is granted, there’ll be a wealth of new jobs and opportunities created. But will everyone be pleased about McArthurGlen’s ambitions for the site? The company believes the expansion will bring huge benefits for local businesses and residents, but we’d be interested to hear your opinions on the plans.

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