A new cultural hub is coming to Tunbridge Wells

Organiser Ingrid Pope [pictured] launched Tunbridge Wells Yard Sale last year after seeing a similar event in the US.

History, culture and learning will be coming under one roof in Royal Tunbridge Wells thanks to a £4.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project to create a cultural and learning hub in the town, bringing together Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, the library and Adult Education Centre, is now possible following the announcement of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The building will house the museum’s important objects and paintings, including the internationally significant collection of Tunbridge Ware, and the new setting will tell the story of the not always so genteel past of Tunbridge Wells.

David Jukes, Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: ‘This is a magnificent investment by Heritage Lottery Fund and demonstrates the importance of this project which we believe will change the cultural landscape in West Kent. The borough is indebted to National Lottery players.’

Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services said: ‘This is excellent news about this exciting project which will result in an inspirational new building in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.

‘Officers from both KCC and the borough council have been working together to help bring the hub to fruition and the Heritage Lottery Fund grant will enable us to make it a reality. We look forward to seeing construction work start in the early part of next year.’

Further financial support for the project will come from Arts Council England who have already agreed stage two funding of £886,250 subject to the project successfully securing the HLF grant.

Planning permission for the project has already been granted and now that funding is in place it is expected that building work will begin in 2019.

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