Advising on one of Kent’s most highly anticipated projects to develop a historically significant site into Film and TV Studios

Ashfords advised Ashford Borough Council in respect of a project for the regeneration of a brownfield site (and former railway works) into film studios, commercial space and housing. The project received a £14.7 million grant from the Levelling Up Fund which, together with investment from the Council will bring a derelict and historically significant site back into use.

Ashfords advised on:

  • the structuring of a corporate joint venture;
  • the financing of the project;
  • drafting and negotiating construction contracts;
  • grant funding, subsidy control and procurement considerations; and
  • local government and FOI issues.

The Newtown Works site has a fascinating history, and contains some of the longest Grade II listed railway sheds in the UK. The project is set to be one of the most important economic drivers for the borough in the next few years, creating thousands of jobs and making the town a hub for the creative arts industry.



Ashford Borough Council Studio Project

Ashfords first became involved in the project when the Council was making its application to the Levelling Up Fund. Our subsidy control experts provided an assessment of the project to support the application. Following confirmation of the successful bid, Ashfords went on to advise on the other elements of the project, drawing on its specialist lawyers in the corporate, banking, construction, real estate, planning and risk and regulation teams.

Ashfords successfully negotiated and completed the corporate, finance and grant funding transactions, enabling the project to be delivered to the Council’s timetable. The project officially launched on 25 November 2022 and full construction is set to commence in summer 2023.

Ashford Borough Council Launch.Png
“A very much client led team which has assisted the Council in both understanding complex commercial and legal issues in the purchase and the creation of a new development company. A proactive legal team which has facilitated and enabled the council to carry out the due diligence to the satisfaction of the Council members and Chief officers. In doing so a friendly response service which we have enjoyed and we have felt we are part of a team ethic. Ashfords are a solution based organisation who we have enjoyed working with and the officers of Ashfords are a credit to their profession.”
Ashford Borough Council

For more information on the studios, please visit, or watch the video below.




Please contact our Public Sector team for more information on levelling up, grant funding and subsidy control.

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