A unique partnership of businesses and the borough council plans to make Tunbridge Wells an ‘exciting, vibrant place’, better for residents, visitors and enterprise.
The Times’ parent company Markerstudy is one of a number of businesses which has signed up to Royal Tunbridge Wells Together, a non-profit organisation which will promote the town and all it has to offer. The group will employ a town centre manager, whose role will be to increase membership, and also make Tunbridge Wells ‘a great town for business, a superb destination and a strong and unique brand’.
Spokesman Nicky Blanchard, centre manager of RVP, said: “What is unique is that we’ve formed this organisation so all the businesses are joining together. It’s everyone trying to work together, whether they’re in sectors such as retail, transport, publishing or house-building.
“RTWT is bringing together the council and businesses, large and small. It’s not about individual logos, it’s about the town.
“What it needs to be is for the benefit of all.”
Large businesses in the partnership, which contribute £5,000 per year, also include Cripps, Fenwick, Arriva, Targetfollow and Dandara. Smaller firms, which pay £250 per year, include Woods restaurant and Britten Music. Tunbridge Wells Bor-ough Council will also contribute an initial £40,000, and funding for the second and third years of the group. A TWBC spokesman said: “The council will take an active role within Royal Tunbridge Wells Together for the first three years of the partnership and will retain two places on the board.”
Cllr Jane March, TWBC portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and economic development, said: ‘The town centre is at the heart of the local community, it is important not just for shopping and eating but also for its arts and events venues and job creation opportunities. Bringing together the town centre management activities through this project will encourage a focus and promote communication between the people and organisations that contribute to making Royal Tunbridge Wells an exciting, vibrant place and an even better place for businesses and visitors.
“I am delighted my cabinet colleagues agreed to support this project. It is line with the ambitions of our five-year plan and we will be enabling businesses to have a stronger voice in shaping the future of the town.”
The group’s aims include supporting local events, improving communication between public and private sector and other organisations, increasing Tunbridge Wells’ ‘vitality’, improving transport within the town and working on public realm improvements.