Amelia work to begin but it won’t be open until 2022

Amelia work to begin but it won't be open until 2022
The proposed new cultural hub in Tunbridge Wells

Willmott Dixon Interiors has won the Government procurement process to convert the former library and museum into The Amelia Scott cultural hub.

Construction was scheduled to start in the summer with completion the summer of 2021, but as reported in the Times in September, the project has suffered delays and the redevelopment of the existing site has yet to begin

Now, the contractor has finally been selected and work on the Borough Council-led project, which has the backing of Kent County Council [KCC] and £4million in funding from the National Lottery, can get underway.

However, the combined library, museum, tourist information centre and art gallery will now not be expected to open to the public until ‘early 2022’.

The Borough Council came under fire earlier this year after they decided to drop the surname of Amelia Scott, the town’s famous suffragist and social reformer, from the building’s name.

After being accused of ‘trivialising’ women, the Council did a U-turn on the name, but it is understood the Council ran into problems finding the right contractor to renovate the Grade II listed buildings.

Willmott Dixon Interiors has been chosen for the development because of the company’s extensive track-record for restoring such Grade II properties, having completed the refurbishment of Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall and also the upgrading Dagenham Civic Centre into Coventry University’s new London Campus.

Councillor Jane March, the Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, said: “The Board is delighted that we have reached a very exciting point in the plans for the new Amelia Scott building.

“A lot of behind the scenes work has been taking place, and now we have the construction contract signed work can get underway early in the new year.”

Graham Shaw, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Interiors, added: “We are looking forward to be working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

“It’s an exciting project that celebrates the legacy and history of Tunbridge Wells and we’ll be utilising our skills as a UK specialist for refurbishing heritage buildings to ensure we create a modern space; one that brings the community together.”


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