Tunbridge Wells Culture Hub set for 2021 opening

Hub finally gets underway with community hall and new theatre

Work is set to begin next year on the Tunbridge Wells Culture Hub after councillors gave the project the final green light.

The Cabinet of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has accepted a combined funding sum worth more than £5million from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.

The £13million Hub will renovate the current library and museum to create a more effective use of space.

An art gallery and the town’s Adult Education Centre will also be contained within the space in Civic Way when it opens in 2021, as will the Tourist Information Centre.


The Culture Hub has been through various stages of planning at Town Hall over the past two years and this landmark approval was heard at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, June 21.

Cllr Tracy Moore, Cabinet Member for Civic Development, said: ‘This is such a good news story.

‘It has taken a lot of time and effort to get here. We are delivering on the projects of our five year plan and getting stuff done.

‘We are getting even more funding than we bid for and I am looking forward to seeing work begin.’

The progression is good news for fans of the museum as the enlargement will allow more of their 77,000 items to be on display.

These grants will see Arts Council England give £886,250 and Heritage Lottery Fund will provide £4,294,900.

The amounts are understood to be more than the local authority bid for, which pleased members of the Cabinet.

A spokesman for the hub added: ‘This is an exciting time for Tunbridge Wells and Kent and sets us clearly on the path to the delivery of this landmark project over the next three years.

‘The project team will now begin the task of planning the next phase of the project including decant of the buildings and interim service delivery.’

Tendering for a building contract will take place later this year with a builder set to be on the site by early 2019.

Building is expected to take two years.

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