The booming town of Ashford, Kent, celebrated a new milestone in its regeneration journey: a vast £90 million expansion to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, bringing 500 new jobs to the area and 50 more luxury brands.

More than 3.6 million shoppers visit the centre every year, seeking discounts on designer clothing, home goods and food. Besides low prices, they’re attracted by the stunning architecture of the centre – the world’s largest tented retail structure, designed by Sir Richard Rogers. It also has a giant ‘living wall’ with 120,000 plants.

Since opening in 2000, the Outlet has built up a strong following, as visitors come to shop and eat in its 130 stores, restaurants and cafes. “We’re excited to be able to welcome customers to our beautiful new centre,’ said Peter Corr, centre manager. “This new phase will strengthen our position as the South of England’s go-to destination for fashion, food and homeware.”

Ashford is just 38 minutes from London and has excellent road and rail connections, including the High Speed Eurostar rail link to Paris and beyond.

GRE Assets has a major residential development, Riverside Park, in Ashford