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Ashford International Truckstop – the award-winning HGV park close to junction 10 of the M20, owned by client GSE Group

Park Life

Brief 

  • To promote the business and its importance to Ashford and wider Kent as a whole, and by doing so reinforce the case for its expansion to double its capacity as part of the wider development of the Waterbrook site on which it sits.

Results and highlights:

  • As part of its wider work for GSE Group and its development proposals for Waterbook in Ashford, Maxim was briefed to provide PR support for Ashford International Truckstop, which operates from the site.
  • The 300 capacity HGV park provides secure overnight parking for drivers heading to and from the channel ports, with facilities including showers, a restaurant and bar, shop and gym.
  • Early PR successes helped build the client’s profile, including securing coverage of the business being named UK Truckstop of the Year in 2016 and the launch of its innovative MyTruckParking app.
  • On-going PR support has included media statements following an on-site lorry fire overnight at a weekend.
  • GSE Group’s proposals for the wider Waterbrook site included a new truckstop able to accommodate 600 HGVs with a new, larger, main building. Elsewhere, Waterbrook would see the development of around 400 new homes, commercial property, shops and a park.
  • Maxim was briefed to highlight the vital role the truckstop has to play in helping prevent illegal on-street parking of HGVs in and around Ashford and the fact it had reached capacity and was turning up to 500 HGVs away weekly, ensuring the demand for the new, larger facility was well known and accepted.
  • A visit to the site was arranged for local MP Damian Green who was briefed on the proposals and later wrote of their importance in his column in the Kentish Express.
  • Maxim worked with the client’s planning consultants DHA to organise and staff a public exhibition on the Waterbrook and truckstop plans, and produced a briefing note for distribution to local councillors and other stakeholders.
  • Further PR activity highlighted through both print and broadcast media the role a larger truckstop could play in tackling the issue of post-Brexit congestion on and around the M20 if border checks were to be instigated at the Channel Ports.
  • Following the programme of PR and stakeholder briefings, full planning permission was granted for the new, larger truckstop and outline approval granted for the wider Waterbrook proposals in the summer of 2018. Coverage of the approval featured in local, regional and trade media.
  • Maxim was commissioned to write and produce display banners and multi-lingual leaflets to inform truckstop users of the start of work on the new site.
  • Maxim arranged a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the new truckstop in September 2018, and successfully secured the return of Damian Green MP to carry out the ceremonial turning of the first sod.

Services delivered

Media relations, Public affairs, Community engagement, Crisis communications, Marketing.

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