Town Lock is key winner at Civic Society Awards

Gary Jefferies

THE RENOVATION of the Town Lock and the redesign of The Smythe Library received the top prizes for improving Tonbridge’s aesthetic landscape at the Civic Society’s 2016 Design Awards.

The ceremony was held at the Schools at Somerhill last Tuesday [April 25], with more than 70 people in attendance.

Completed in May 2016, the £1.9million enhancement of the riverside area on Medway Wharf Road was praised for ‘greatly adding to the enjoyment of the river and flood’.

The judges’ statement read: “It is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, providing greatly improved flood protection and a pleasant walking area by the river.”

Borough Council Leader Nicolas Heslop, who accepted the award on the night, described the accolade as a ‘huge honour’, adding: “The recognition that this is a quality scheme is tremendously heartening. It has been a long standing ambition to make improvements to the environment along the river, and this project plus the improvements along River Walk realise this.

“The resulting beautiful open space stretching along Medway Wharf Road to the High Street and the idyllic river bank walk have exceeded all expectations providing a peaceful haven for residents and visitors.”

Tonbridge School also won plaudits for their redesign of the historic Smythe Library. Originally opened in 1962, it underwent a massive £6.1million refurbishment – adding a new mezzanine level for additional learning areas.

The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, in Church Lane, was also commended for its restoration of some 24 memorials.

Civic Society Chair Diane Huntingford welcomed them as a ‘physical reminder of the history of the town’.


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