Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre has announced that they will welcome the 1,200 seat theatre set to be opened in Tunbridge Wells.
There has been much controversy surrounding the opening of the civic centre.
A spokesman from the Marlowe Theatre said, “Any investment in the arts in Kent is to be welcomed and we send all involved in the project our good wishes.”
Procedures are due to to take place in Calverley Gardens, with a car park being formed as well.
A heated meeting earlier this month saw members voting 30 to 13 in favour of the new build and three councillors abstained.
Kent live reported that council leader David Jukes said, “Can you imagine in 10 years’ time that Tunbridge Wells is a town of culture for the UK?
It will be a monument for our children and our grandchildren and great grandchildren to actually use and enjoy.”
Despite the borough council backing plans, critics claim that the project would be ‘too expensive, unnecessary and a detrimental loss of the park’.
It would also create competition among fellow Kent theatres such as the Marlowe and Central Theatre in Chatham.
The debate had many different attitudes towards the development and although people agreed it would bring tourism and interest into the area, it also risks the loss of parkland.
Residents have spoken out across social media and there are many mixed reviews.
I love theatre and the contribution it can make to a community. So yes to a new theatre in Tunbridge Wells (if figures add up). But no to a theatre and civic centre at Calverley Grounds. Good free green spaces are for the whole community and not just the more affluent 30 – 40%
— Delphine Houlton (@Dodlink) December 5, 2017
Last night, Tunbridge Wells councillors voted to move to the planning
approval stage of the Civic Development project. Looking forward to a beautiful new theatre in our home town.
— TW Puppetry Festival (@TWPuppetryFest) December 7, 2017
Tunbridge Wells, the town with no toilets. is going to spend £72million on a new theatre. Councillors taking the p
— Victor Bethell (@VictorBethell) December 7, 2017
Kent live asked readers in a poll for their opinions with 53 percent agreeing the new theatre is a good idea and 41 percent claiming it’s a waste of money.