New life has been breathed into The Pantiles in recent years and the current owners say footfall in this most historic of shopping areas in the town has increased significantly since they took it over in 2006
The past couple of years have seen quite a transformation,” says Targetfollow CEO Corin Thoday. “We have likened it to some of the niche mixed use locations, like Covent Garden in London, where you get a nice melding of retail and leisure.
“There are 49 units in total and over the past two years we have had new tenants coming in like Vacant Clothing, and The Pantiles Tap which serves niche beers.
“Visitor numbers have gone up – it’s the combination of the whole package that’s attracting people.”
The company estimates that an extra 80,000 people per year are now visiting The Pantiles, and he says what is attracting most people is the new focus on events.
These include the annual food festival, the weekend markets, and the very popular jazz evenings on Thursdays throughout the summer.
This year The Pantiles will welcome new events, including a garden festival and a series of fashion shows to demonstrate clothes from some of the retailers in the area, such as Jack Wills and Vacant Clothing.
Mr Thoday said that the magic of The Pantiles came from a combination of factors.
“We want to maintain the historic element of it but bring it into the 21st century,” he said. “People respond well to that. Also, its setting in the town is absolutely beautiful.”
The Pantiles is currently In the middle of a seven-figure investment programme, including renovations to unit 48 as well as garages on the corner of the Common, which will provide additional workshop space.
Events on The Pantiles
The Pantiles is laying on a host of varied and interesting events throughout the spring – there will be something for everyone…
The Pantiles Markets are back in full swing and take place on the first and third weekend every month. The market provides the perfect opportunity to buy groceries from a wide range of traders selling everything from vegetables, fish, meat, fresh bread and artwork to vintage homeware.
WEDDING FAIR – SAT & SUN, APRIL 23 AND 24
In April, The Pantiles is playing host to its very first wedding fair, with everything you could possibly need for your special day. The fair will include the chance to shop for photographers, florists, dresses and cakes and even find out how you can organise a quirky outdoor wedding on the town’s historic bandstand. To find out more, contact The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
GARDEN SHOW – SAT, APRIL 30 TO MON, MAY 2
The Pantiles will be covered in a sea of greenery for the bank holiday weekend with a spring garden show. Traders selling everything from potted plants to garden furniture and sculptures will be showing off their wares. There will also be talks on the bandstand.
FOOD FESTIVAL – FRI TO SUN, MAY 13 TO 15
This May will see the return of the hugely popular food festival on The Pantiles. As in previous years, there will be more than 30 stalls as well as cooking demos on the bandstand. This is the perfect opportunity for visitors to sample some of the best produce that Tunbridge Wells has to offer.
DECORATIVE LIVING – SAT TO MON, MAY 28 TO 30
Here’s the perfect place to find interior design inspiration for your home or to track down that piece of furniture you have been hunting for. This event will celebrate the style of the town and show a range of different options to add a bit of ﬂ air to your home.
JAZZ ON THE PANTILES FROM MAY 5
The ever popular jazz evenings will be returning every Thursday from May 5 until September 29.