Published: 12:00, 06 March 2017
A multi million project to develop former town centre offices in Southborough is due to get underway this month.
Bulldozers will move onto the London Road site to demolish the aged building and Royal Victoria Hall.
They will be replaced by the Southborough Hub, which will feature new community facilities, a café and bar, a theatre, library and new council officers.
Southborough Town Council will move in with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council while the work is carried out, with building due to start at the end of this year and
St Andrew’s Medical Centre will relocate to the hub from its premises in St Andrews Court.
Housing will be built nearby as will a new pavilion for Ridgewaye Football Club, with the project estimated to cost £30million in total.
A £500,000 FA grant is being sought to aid the football club project, which will allow for the second floor of the pavilion to be built greatly improving the clubs viability.
All the land needed to deliver the scheme has now been bought from Tesco and Lloyds.
Peter Oakford, county and town councillor, said: “After years of talks, arguments, decisions and planning, we have reached a key point in the provision of this fantastic new facility which will create a vibrant town centre for the people of Southborough.
“At last we will be able to see some physical progress being made and I would like to thank the teams form all three local authorities who have brought us to this point.
“The town’s community facilities are currently in a poor state of repair and the hub will ensure that these are enhanced and sustained for the future. I look forward to the day when the hub is open for business and residents can start using the various services based there.”
Mike Hill, KCC’s cabinet member for community services, said: “I am delighted to see this project come to fruition after so much hard work and effective collaboration between three local authorities. I am sure it will be a much-appreciated facility for the residents of Southborough.”