This month we have begun works on four abandoned retail units located close to Tonbridge Railway Station. Units 1, 3, 5-6 & 7 on Railway Approach, Tonbridge, have been vacant since 2017 and are currently in poor condition. These spaces will be given a new lease of life, thanks to over £220,000 of investment, with improvement works including include stripping out and relining the spaces, roof repairs and restoring utilities. These spaces can then become new homes for businesses, creating up to 20 new local jobs in process. Works will begin in March, with completion expected at the end of summer.
The investment is part of our commitment to bring a thousand empty or derelict spaces into use across England and Wales by 2030. Called Project 1000, this is a £200m development plan to breathe new life into previously unloved spaces.
Prior to the refurbishment works, The Arch Company team worked closely with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to facilitate interim works. These were funded by the council in order to remove old signage, repaint, and use vacant shop windows to advertise community events.
Cllr Vivian Branson, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said: ‘First impressions count and these retail units are one of the first things people see when arriving in Tonbridge by train. While our interim improvements helped smarten up the units’ exteriors, it’s great news that they are going to be fully refurbished and provide an attractive welcome to our wonderful town. We look forward to working with The Arch Company on this exciting project and bringing new businesses to the area.’
Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Railway Approach is a key entrance to town from the station and the units have been in need of modernising for many years. I am delighted that The Arch Company is bringing forward a refurbishment scheme that will mean they can be occupied over the next year. I look forward to working with them and all future occupiers.”
Mark Hood, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Councillor for Judd Ward, said: “I am delighted that refurbishment work is commencing on Railway Approach to bring these units back into productive use and regenerate this area which is the gateway to our town for visitors arriving by rail. There is huge potential here for existing and start-up businesses and the footfall could not be greater. As local councillors April Clark and I cannot wait to see which businesses fill the vacant units and bring the whole area back to life. Tonbridge is a vibrant town and empty properties are few and far between and residents have been asking us when the units will be available for lease so this is great news for everyone.”
For any businesses eager to register interest in leasing one of Tonbridge retail units spaces, applications will be considered from the summer onwards. Details on how to apply are available on here.