Creating a more welcoming entrance for Tonbridge Railway Station will prove a major element in the town’s ambitious regeneration plans.
That is the belief of Adam Norris, the manager of the FCB Artisan Espresso Bar, which stands alongside the station.
His business serves hundreds of commuters each day and so he welcomes the recent announcement that the station is to undergo £500,000 worth of improvement works later this year.
These are being delivered by Kent County Council through a government community fund.
Adam said: “I think improving the station will definitely help things here, as the nicer it looks the more people will want to linger here and spend money with us.
“I love Tonbridge. There’s a real sense of community, and I’ve never worked anywhere that’s been quite like it.
“It’s hard work arriving at 7am, and it can be stressful trying to serve people really quickly – with some of them coming in saying they’ve just a minute to catch a train. But it’s great.”
The 30 year-old, who lives in Rusthall with his partner Clare and their young daughter, added that the town looked in a pretty tired state when he moved here from Brighton three years ago. But with new stores and restaurants setting up in the area and the high street regeneration underway, he feels there is a renewed sense of optimism within the town, reflected by an upturn in his own trade.
“It seems everyone knows me now – I see a lot of the same people every day and I actually spend more time with them than my own family,” laughed Adam who is keen to engage with the community by providing a free notice board.
The Espresso Bar chain will be marking National Coffee Week (April 11th-17th) with a prize draw.