Video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham
Forget Mayfair and Park Lane, Leeds Castle and Mote Park take the top spots in a new Maidstone version of the board game Monopoly.After beating off competition from 24 other European countries including Chartres in France, Mr Monopoly has brought his franchise to Kent’s County Town.More than 30 local landmarks, businesses and charities feature in the board game put together from 5,000 suggestions from members of the public.
"Finding four train stations as in the Monopoly original proved a challenge. As did locating Maidstone’s Old Kent Road equivalent", says Ella Gibbs who was involved with producing the Maidstone edition."This is perhaps the most talked about square in the game. In the end we chose a very popular landmark that is both very old and very Kent and we hope this meets with approval!"Archbishop’s Palace was chosen because it dates back to the 14th century.
Monopoly myth busters: have you been playing the game correctly?What is the point of free parking, can you collect money in jail and do you collect two payments of 200 Monopoly money if you’re directed to ‘Go’?Ella Gibbs has the answers.
Leeds Castle’s Debbie Matthews said it’s no surprise Leeds Castle is the most expensive property on the board."The last owner of Leeds Castle, Lady Baillie, bought this enchanted castle in 1926 and spared no expense, with her two internationally acclaimed designers, in turning it into the most luxurious and glamorous backdrop to host her country house weekends. "It seems only fitting that Leeds Castle replace the glitzy Mayfair, as an invite to a weekend here was as hotly pursued as the top square on the Monopoly game board."
For Sam Graves, it’s a huge achievement to be included on the board game, as her gin distillery business is just a year old."We are absolutely thrilled. This is a real keepsake for us and our family. We’ve always loved our business and here we are with our business which launched last year featured on the board."I think Maidstone is under appreciated, it’s a fascinating county town of Kent, it’s got an incredible legacy, manufacturing, factories, distilling, it’s really thriving, the people who work and live here are really passionate about it."