I was invited for a sneak preview of the new Tunbridge Wells Gateway yesterday. The Gateway concept was originally pioneered by Kent County Council four years ago in Ashford, with a retail unit in Park Mall. Over forty different agencies at both local and government levels join together to deliver public services in a single, easily accessible location.
Some months ago, the McDonalds restaurant in Tunbridge Wells town centre was taken over and refurbished. Having undertaken a huge transformation, the Tunbridge Wells Gateway opens on Monday of next week.
Having now looked around every nook and cranny, every service counter and meeting room, I’m left with the impression of a Tardis – it’s light, airy and comfortable, and the space goes on forever. And although it may sound strange, one of the most impressive features was the disabled toilet – it’s a full wet room, and with a full adult-sized pull-down changing table, will offer the only fully disabled changing facilities in Kent outside Bluewater.
I’m looking forward to seeing the footfall numbers to this new enterprise, which is a really good example of true partnership working between Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.