Stadium on track for first class running facilities

Further evidence of the great partnership working between the council and Freedom Leisure

February 25 2022

Following the complete refurbishment and opening of the excellent new gym and exercise studio last year, Julie Rose Stadium will soon have a brand new athletics track with the announcement that Ashford Borough Council will be investing £300,000 on a completely new running surface.

Freedom Leisure and Ashford Borough Council are working on plans to re-surface the outdoor athletics track at the iconic stadium that was built in 1997 with works due to begin at the end of February/early March and completion expected this summer.

This is further evidence of the great partnership working between the council and the not-for-profit leisure trust to improve the health, wellbeing and sporting facilities for the people of Ashford and the surrounding area.

Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The Council are investing heavily in improving the facilities on offer across the borough. We want our residents to be able to use bigger and better facilities, which is why we have invested significantly in leisure provision across the borough, not only here but at the Stour Leisure Centre, Spearpoint, Waterside and Pitchside as well as in Tenterden.

In addition, we want sports clubs to be able to use the very best athletics facilities locally so this investment in the track will make it one of best around, and I look forward to seeing local runners out on the new track this summer.

Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism

Nestling beneath the beautiful North Downs with stunning views along the Stour Valley and across Conningbrook Lakes, Julie Rose Stadium makes a dramatic backdrop for a wide range of events from world class athletics to triathlons.

It now boasts some of the best health and fitness facilities in Ashford alongside the recently refurbished Stour Centre which has seen a dramatic uplift in customers using and benefitting from some of the best leisure facilities in the region.

The stadium is still regarded as one of the finest athletics facilities in the south-east and with the upcoming improvements this will make it one of the best in the country. The stadium is home to Ashford Athletic Club that use the track for regular training and events and competitions throughout the year.

The club commented on the planned improvements saying this is an investment for the long term future of the stadium and Ashford Athletic Club.

Tom Price, Freedom Leisure’s Area Manager commented; “We are very excited to announce this investment project in partnership with Ashford Borough Council. Julie Rose Stadium has hosted many high profile athletics events in the past and the new track will provide excellent training and competition facilities for many more years to come.”

Price added; “We are proud to manage the best leisure and sports facilities for the community of Ashford on behalf of the council. I’d encourage anyone that is yet to visit the Stour Centre and Julie Rose Stadium to do so and see how they can benefit from using these first class centres.”