Ten Percent Legal Recruitment

Legal Recruitment in Ashford

Ashford – more than just a clump of trees and a motorway?

Ashford is a town in Kent that was quite literally named after a clump of ash trees. Whilst the trees are unlikely to still exist, Ashford itself has endured as a very famous market town with a population of just under 75,000.  In recent years, it has deservedly earned a reputation as an important centre of European communications, providing transport links to the Channel Tunnel and beyond.  It has undergone significant re-generation since the 1960s and plays a vital role in the Kent economy, as well as being a much sought after location for commuters who work in London.

As with much of Kent, the town and surrounding area is steeped in history. Humans are believed to have settled in the area from around 1500 BC and a collection of Mesolithic tools were excavated in the region during an archaeological dig in the 1990s. Its status as a market town developed during the 13th century after Henry 111 gave permission for farmers in the town to rear animals and the town was the birthplace of Dr John Wallis, an eminent renaissance mathematician who studied under the supervision of Isaac Newton.  In more recent years, the town has become one of the largest centres of print and media in Kent, which included the rise and fall of the world famous Letraset company. Iconic landmarks in the town include St Mary’s Parish Church which dates back to the 13th century. The church has been partly converted into an arts and live music centre and has hosted appearances from a variety of acts including, the Lightning Seeds, The Charlatans and Turin Brakes.

Shopping in Ashford

Ashford boasts some of Kent’s finest shopping experiences and has three retail centres within the town. The town’s biggest shopping centre, opened in 2008, is County Square and offers a range of shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars for all tastes.  The Ashford Designer Outlet is situated just outside of the town and features strikingly distinctive architecture designed by Richard Rogers. The centre attracts over three million shoppers a year and was a recent winner of the prestigious Retail Destination of the Year.  Other retail parks include Waterbrook, Eureka and Orbital Park, which also offers a regular boot fair.

Housing and Education

With its excellent transport and commuter links, Ashford has become an increasingly desirable place to live and was ranked as the 4th best place to live in the UK by Channel Four in 2005. In 2016 the majority of properties sold in the town were terraced houses with an average value of £204,216, with semi- detached houses at £242,601 and detached properties at an average of £242,601.

Ashford has an ample range of schools and academic institutions on offer.  The best Ofsted rated primary schools include, Aldington, Ashford Cofe and Ashford Park, and the highest ranked secondary schools include, The Towers School, The Highworth Grammar School for Girls and the Christ Church of England High School. Finally, further education centres include Ashford College which offers a range of art, design, beauty therapy, business, catering, construction and engineering course amongst its resources.

Sporting Facilities

Ashford offers an impressive range of sporting and leisure options including Ashford United Football Club and Ashford Rugby Football Club who both perform respectably in their respective leagues. The Stour Centre is one of the finest and best equipped leisure centres in Kent with an excellent selection of recreational resources including swimming pools, water slides, gyms and athletics facilities. The town also has an archery and hockey club and is home to the Great Chart Cricket Club which celebrated its prestigious 150th anniversary in 2006.  Finally, the Julie Rose Stadium in nearby Willesborough was opened in 1997 in tribute to local athlete, Julie Rose who died in a plane crash in 1985.

The Legal Scene

Ashford is, for some reason, a very popular destination for crime solicitors. Crime solicitors seem to be here in their droves. Is it the Channel Tunnel nearby, the international train station, the economic status of the area or the proximity to both Dover and London? For whatever reason there always seem to be vacancies in the town. There are over 25 solicitors firms and organisations employing solicitors within 5 miles of Ashford town centre. The overwhelming majority of these are small high street law firms or slightly larger solicitors firms with a number of litigators. Immigration, crime, family and conveyancing are the main areas of work. We have worked with a number of law firms in Ashford over the years and have had some as longer term clients. Difficulties with recruitment tend to be linked to location – Ashford is fine if you live in the area, but trying to travel into work every day from other areas can be a complete nightmare, particularly in the summer months when the port and tunnel traffic increases. Other employers of solicitors in the area include the NHS, the local authority and Brake Bros.