Leisure complex plan for the BHS site

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A state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure complex is set to open in Tunbridge Wells next year in the former BHS unit of the town’s flagship shopping centre.

The new attraction will feature a range of family-friendly activities including go-karts, a bowling alley, cinema and virtual reality arcade, all located over three floors at Royal Victoria Place.

It comes more than six years after BHS collapsed in 2016, leaving the mall site derelict.

The company behind the project is Elite Leisure Collection, owner of One Media, publisher of The Times, which says that even half full, the new attraction is expected to draw more than 1.5 million visitors to the city center each year.

Inside the attraction, which will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to midnight, will be the latest in modern leisure attractions.

A 230-meter go-kart track, originally planned for North Farm, will be one of the main attractions at the as-yet-unnamed downtown complex.

The newest eco-friendly electric karts will race over two floors in the former retail unit, with more than eight racers competing at any one time.

Bowling alleys, a boutique cinema and an arcade featuring the latest virtual reality games will also be in the new recreation facility, as will laser tag, mini-golf and a host of food and drink options.

The £9million project, which is set to breathe new life into Royal Victoria Place, has been welcomed by the town’s MP and leader of the Council.

Hearing about the plans, Greg Clark said, “This is fantastic news for the city. Very often young people in particular tell me that there is not enough to do in Tunbridge Wells and if it gets the green light it will provide entertainment for all ages.

“It should also be a magnet attracting visitors from further afield and providing much-needed customers for all the other shops and facilities at the top of the city.”

Cllr Tom Dawlings added: ‘The plans for leisure activities in the former BHS store in the area are particularly exciting, with go-karts, a cinema, bowling, mini-golf, laser tag and an arcade at the cutting edge of technology.

“It will be something for the younger age groups well into the evening. It will provide an additional boost to the top of the city, alongside the opening of the Amelia Scott, coworking projects at City Hall, the acquisition of the former abandoned cinema site and the growing interest in many former vacant retail businesses. local.”

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