Entertainment complex will put the town back in pole position

Olympian Louis Smith

Elite Leisure Collection (ELC), which is behind the project, is set to take over the BHS site after agreeing to buy the lease from M&G Real Estate, who have an 80 per cent stake in the unit at RVP.

The remaining stake is owned by British Land, who run the shopping centre, and the deal will be subject to gaining planning permission by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council – who also own a 10 per cent stake in RVP – to change the use of the former BHS unit from retail to leisure.

The plans have been received positively by the Council, with Cllr Tom Dawlings, Leader of TWBC, welcoming the plans that he calls ‘particularly exciting’.

The entertainment complex is set to feature the latest in modern attractions.

The Elite Raceway will be a 240-metre go-kart track featuring electric racing karts, providing eco-friendly fun for anybody over the age of 10.

The three floors of the leisure complex will also contain a host of attractions for people of all ages, including a cinema, a number of bowling alleys, and the latest in virtual reality gaming, featuring e-clay pigeon shooting, darts, laser tag, minigolf and much more.

A range of food and drink options will also be on site, and costs for the activities will start from as little as £8-£10.

According to research carried out by the consultants behind the project, even at half capacity the new leisure complex is set to attract more than 1.5 million visitors to Tunbridge Wells each year, with an expected 4,300 people using the centre each day.

But if it proves popular, more than three million people a year could come to the town for the new attraction from across the South East.

It is also set to create up to 50 full and part-time jobs in the town centre.

Andrew Daniells, Business Director at ELC, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for RVP, Tunbridge Wells and meeting the growing demand for interactive leisure. The Elite Leisure team has the ideal location and space to create amazing and memorable experiences that will also re-energise the town centre.

“Our leisure complex will have attractions for all the family that will bring everyone together for a great day out.

“State-of-the-art technology will keep our racers and gamers updated with skill and performance levels via our interactive app, alongside the traditional games with a bit of added tech. We’ll post regular updates on social media so everyone can follow the development of our exciting project.”


State-of-the-art attractions aimed at all ages

The entertainment planned for the new complex in RVP includes:

  • A state-of-the-art 230-metre go-kart track with more than eight electric racing cars racing over two levels
  • Laser tag – use virtual pistols to zap your opponents
  • AR (augmented reality) Bowling using the latest state-of-the art technology.
  • Minigolf 
  • E-Karting
  • E-Clay pigeon shooting
  • AR Darts (virtual reality darts)
  • Boutique cinema

Front Page Story: Leisure complex plan for BHS site

Read more at: Investment could mark turnaround in the fortunes of shopping centre

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