Delivering for our community - consistently and sustainably
Our delivery in the 12 months to March 2022:
Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Recovery & Future
- We have secured and distributed over £53M in central government grants to help local shops and businesses bounce back post pandemic.
- With digital automation freeing up over 50% of the Town Hall we can now offer this space to start-ups and small local businesses through a co-working partnership, bringing up to 400 new office workers into the town centre, as well as new income for the Council.
- The opening of the new Amelia Scott community centre next door to the Town Hall this April will further support the high street recovery by attracting nearly 500,000 visitors a year to the town centre.
- We have seen a positive investment environment with bold plans for the old BHS store, many of the empty shops are now ‘under offer’ or ‘let’ and The Pantiles reported at full retail occupancy.
- AXA, a local employer, has acquired rights to the old ABC cinema site with public consultation and full designs due later this spring.
- We have launched a major consultation so residents can help shape the future of Tunbridge Wells.
Community Hub Investment
- Across the borough, we have been working with parish and town councils to deliver community hubs providing new medical centres for GP practices, community spaces and sports facilities.
- The Southborough Civic Centre opened in 2021 and work is progressing well on delivering similar community facilities across the borough.
- This April the Amelia Scott community hub will open in the centre of Tunbridge Wells with adult education, museum and library facilities. The Amelia Scott is expected to attract nearly 500,000 people per year to our town, helping to support our town centre recovery. Please see this ITV news video for a first look inside the new Amelia Scott community hub - https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2022-04-25/21m-new-building-brings-together-museum-library-and-adult-education
Climate Emergency Action
- The Council has reduced its carbon emissions by nearly 50%, including the installation of solar panels on our leisure centres and new community hubs.
- We have secured over £2m in central government funding to further decarbonise our buildings with air source heat pumps, solar panels, insulation & LED lighting.
- We will shortly be expanding and upgrading electric vehicle charging in our council owned car parks.
- We developed and submitted a new Local Plan this year to manage housing growth across the borough and protect against speculative planning applications on greenfield locations. The Local Plan includes provision for significant new sports and medical facilities across the borough.
- To support the next generation of homeowners, a record 662 new homes were built over the last year, including 272 new homes allocated to social housing providers.
- The Local Plan will deliver further new social, affordable and market housing to support our next generation of Tunbridge Wells residents. This builds upon the 7,935 social housing units we have in the borough.
- We secured government funds for new council owned emergency housing in central Tunbridge Wells to ensure that all rough sleepers have been able to get emergency accommodation.