Breathing new life into historical old building

    One of The Pantiles’ most important landmarks has been recently renovated and now has a new lease of life as a workshop which will service one of Tunbridge Wells’ oldest family-run businesses

    Joseph McCarthy

    The former Swan Garage, so named because of its location opposite the old Swan Hotel – which now trades as The Tunbridge Wells Hotel – has undergone a complete refurbishment.

    It has been transformed from a run-down parking area into a smart new workshop for one of The Pantiles’ oldest retailers, Joseph McCarthy, who specialises in fine frames and mirrors and whose main premises are just across the road.

    The work was carried out by Targetfollow as part of their continued programme of investment for this historic part of Tunbridge Wells.

    Work began on the building, which is now called The Pantiles Coach House, back in 2014. Both Targetfollow and Joseph McCarthy spotted a wonderful opportunity to resurrect this derelict property and provide a home for a vibrant and highly creative workshop and showroom for Mr McCarthy, whose family business dates back to 1837.

    The works were completed in June this year. Mr McCarthy told the Times: “Targetfollow have gone to great trouble and expense to produce a very high quality facility for us and we are delighted to commit to a long-term relationship with them.”

    Swan Garage

    George Craig, Senior Investment and Asset Manager for Targetfollow, added: “We’re really excited to work closely with this creative and unique British brand. We share the Tate’s view that Joseph McCarthy’s bespoke frames are a ‘National treasure’ and a truly unique asset to have in Tunbridge Wells.

    “Joseph McCarthy has been a long-standing tenant of The Pantiles and we are pleased to have agreed a lease that will continue this relationship.”

    Mr McCarthy has more than 35 years’ experience in designing, creating and installing luxurious feature mirrors. His clients include leading interior designers, national institutions, private customers and royalty.

    Joseph McCarthy owns the historically significant Bloomsbury Collection, an exquisite library of boxwood carvings, which has been in continuous use since 1837.

    This unique collection is described by the Tate in London as being ‘of national importance to the history of frame making in Britain’.