Figures released yesterday (Tuesday) by Royal Victoria Place show that the town centre will benefit from a £70m investment if plans for new stores, restaurants and a multiplex cinema are approved by the borough council.
The scheme is set to create up to 275 jobs worth an annual addition of £6.9m a year to the local economy.
The revamp has been announced as Tunbridge Wells was named one of the UK’s top 50 retail locations with the most potential to grow by respected industry analysts CACI. Its annual hot 100 towns and cities with the most potential to support more popular brand name shops placed Tunbridge Wells at 47 above Oxford, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
The announcement comes as the boss of one of the country’s leading retail consultancies has underlined the benefit that a new cinema could bring to the town centre.
John Fell of FSP, one of the UK’s leading retail consultancies, has conducted a wide range of research projects looking at the impact of the addition of cinemas together with high street restaurant operators.
He said: “In our experience the addition of a cinema, with complementary food and beverage operators, has the potential to increase not only the number of people visiting the centre but also how much time they spend in the area and how much money they spend while they are there.”
The plans, which have been lodged with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, are for a multi-screen cinema on the roof of the shopping centre as well as several new restaurants and bigger stores to attract well-known high street retailers.