Home Kent News Former John Lewis store in Ashford set to become The Range

Former John Lewis store in Ashford set to become The Range

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Original article from Kent Live

Plans to transform a shut John Lewis site into a superstore in Kent could create 95 jobs.

An application, tabled by The Range, was submitted to Ashford Borough Council to transform the former John Lewis site in Fougeres Way, Ashford, into a new branch.

If given the green light, 65 full-time jobs could be created at the store, with The Range branding this as "undoubtedly significant", a planning document states.

Read more: Ashford and Tunbridge Wells John Lewis stores to stay shut

The company said jobs "would be across a range of skills" and pledged more will be created on top of the in-store jobs.

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"In addition to jobs within the store itself, other employment opportunities will be created.

"These include jobs created by the store fit out and merchandising of the store, together with the involvement in the future maintenance and security of the retail unit; cleaners and security guards," the document reads.

A new garden centre would also be located towards the back of the existing car park, which could fit 183 vehicles.

The news comes hot on the heels of John Lewis confirming "with a heavy heart" its At Home stores in Ashford and Tunbridge Wells will remain permanently closed.

Head of branch for John Lewis Ashford, David Reid, said the closure is "a very sad occasion for me personally and my team of partners".

He added: "Everyone who has ever worked here has shown incredible commitment, passion and that has continued throughout these challenging times.

"I could not be more proud of them all and they will continue to be supported in every way possible.

"I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to our customers for their support and loyalty during our time here.”

John Lewis added they will meet with each employee individually to discuss how the company can support them, including looking at "redeployment opportunities", the company said yesterday (June 28).

The plans for the new superstore were received by Ashford Borough Council on June 20.

Original Article