Published: 09:54, 01 April 2021
| Updated: 09:59, 01 April 2021
Construction work on a new £10 million community hub has been completed and the building officially handed over by the contractor.
The fitting out of the main building of the Southborough Civic Centre is now due to start soon and should take around two months.
Constructed on the site of the former town council offices and the Royal Victoria Hall in London Road, the centre will feature an auditorium, community rooms, GP surgery, library and a shop.
The project has been mostly funded with contributions from Southborough Town Council, Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
Representatives of the three councils were joined by Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark on Friday to be shown around the building by staff from the main contractor, Paddock Wood firm Baxalls Construction.
Mr Clark said: "I congratulate everyone involved in bringing this impressive project to fruition.
"Having worked with Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Southborough Town Council and community groups to get the funding in place I have been eagerly following the progress of the building.
"It was a pleasure to finally take a look inside. The local contractors, Baxalls, have done a wonderful job. It is a superb facility and I am sure the residents of Southborough will be as impressed as I am when they are able to come and use it."
Working closely with the NHS, the project also secured a significant grant of £4.2 million towards a new GP surgery catering for patients in Southborough and High Brooms.
The project was also awarded a grant of £500,000 from the Football Foundation towards the construction of a new pavilion and Tunbridge Wells Youth Football Club has been granted a long lease on the premises.
Despite two breaks in the construction work due to the pandemic, Baxalls managed to complete it and hand over the building only a few weeks later than anticipated.
Another local firm appointed by the project board was HMY, award-winning architects based in Tunbridge Wells, one of whose partners lives in Southborough.
An official opening event for the new civic centre is planned for July.