‘Folca’ revealed as new name for Folkestone’s former Debenhams


Folkestone and Hythe District Council has revealed the winner in a competition to name the former Debenhams building on Sandgate Road, Folkestone.

Local residents Brenda McKirdy and Karen Capell both suggested the name ‘Folca’ – inspired by ‘Folca’s stone’ which is said to have once stood marking a meeting place for local people – and is the origin of the name Folkestone.

The historic building, once known as Bobby’s and later Debenhams, was bought by the council in May 2020, and is intended to become a thriving centrepiece for the town and district’s ongoing regeneration. Consideration is now being given to future uses of the building, which may include community facilities and workspace.

Over 200 entries were submitted to the competition, which were judged by Cllr David Monk, Damian Collins MP, Chief Executive of Folkestone & Hythe District Council Susan Priest and the council’s Lead Communications Officer, who selected Folca as the winning name. The two winners have won a £50 voucher each to spend in a Folkestone town centre store of their choice.

Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Cllr David Monk, commented: “We were delighted by the response to the competition and to see so many people engaged in finding a suitable name. Folca reflects Folkestone’s history, but can also be applied to the building’s future as a space used by local people.

“We are committed to Folkestone’s continued regeneration, and Folca is a significant part of this activity. Whilst the plans for Folca are currently being prepared, residents and visitors can be assured that Folca will benefit all, and the building will continue to be part of the very fabric that Folkestone was founded on – creativity and community.”


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