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Exclusive: Multi-million pound investment to overhaul Tonbridge town centre revealed

By Shams_KSC  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

An artist's impression of what the new Sainsbury's could look like

An artist's impression of what the new Sainsbury's could look like

Comments (6)

A MULTI-MILLION pound project to regenerate Tonbridge town centre, including building a cinema and new leisure centre, has been announced.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council last night voted to proceed with a legal agreement with Sainsbury's to bring forward plans to revitalise the town centre.

The project, which is still subject to planning permission, will see Sainsbury's expanding its supermarket in Angel Lane, building five new non-food retail units and a multi-screen cinema, as well as creating hundreds of jobs.

The Angel Centre, which has been in the town since the early 1980s, will also be closed and a new community and leisure centre will be built on the Bradford Street car park, on the other side of the High Street.

Council leader Nicolas Heslop said he was "delighted" to be securing the deal with Sainsbury's and said regeneration of Tonbridge has been an "absolute priority" for the council.

He added: "It should underpin the town's prosperity for years to come, give shoppers more choice, give retailers more customers and bring us the facilities to compete with other towns.

"We have everyone in mind and are committed to provide a mix of business, leisure and community opportunities right in the heart of the town.

"Best of all, this proposal brings a multi million pound investment to Tonbridge without any cost to the council tax payer."

Double Olympic gold medallist and Hildenborough resident Dame Kelly Holmes, who through the Courier called for more modern leisure facilities, has also given the project her backing.

She said: "It is fantastic news that there is going to be a huge investment into the town.

"I think it is completely right to provide new and modern community and leisure facilities that fit better with local needs and will revitalise Tonbridge completely now and in the future. I am really excited to see the developments move forward."

The project is set to be completed by 2016.

For more on this story, including local reaction, see next week's Kent and Sussex Courier.

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6 comments

  • tanyarichards  |  February 24 2013, 8:30PM

    Artist's impression looks like Bidborough Village Hall, already dated. Mixed sustainable development needed including residential.

    Rate   -2
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  • analyst99  |  February 23 2013, 4:08PM

    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. One only needs to travel to Swanley town centre to see what happens when a very large supermarket is allowed to move in to a town centre, and to dominate the existing small retail outlets. Just how big will the new Tonbridge Sainsbury's be, and will car parking facilities in the town be expanded to cope with the additional customers? And just how much smaller than the Angel Centre will the new leisure centre be? Where will users of the new leisure centre park, given that the Bradford Street car park will not be available? Does Tonbridge need a cinema - would a space that could be used as a hall, theatre or cinema not be a better option? These, and an awful lot of other questions need to be answered before a judgement can be made as to whether this scheme is 'a good thing' or not.

    Rate   1
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  • Gabbyc  |  February 20 2013, 5:03PM

    The Sainsbury's in Tonbridge is dated and so is the Angel Centre. Tonbridge has needed a cinema for a long time and will be able to take some business away from Tunbridge Wells Odeon which is too far out of town for many people without a car in Tunbridge Wells

    Rate   9
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  • sarpatnw  |  February 16 2013, 7:09PM

    Little do they realise that various surveys carried out have discovered that new store openings rarely generate the amount of jobs they initially boast they will.

    Rate   -10
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  • rivervalleypc  |  February 15 2013, 9:44PM

    Yet another plan that wont see the light of day

    Rate   -14
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  • Crawfc  |  February 15 2013, 4:28PM

    Why is it good news to lose the Bradford Street car park ? A key and important access point to th Racecourse recreation area and a much use car park especially at weekends. It has the benefit of being almost on the High Street. I dont see this a progress for Tonbridge High Street and town.

    Rate   -12
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