January 2021 Newsletter

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Amelia Logo and Tagline







Welcome to the regular newsletter for The Amelia, keeping you up to date on all our upcoming events and bringing you all the latest news and updates from the project.


Set to open in spring 2022, The Amelia will bring together books, objects, documents, photographs, and visual art, housed in a vibrant and revitalised building. The building will be named after the suffragist and Tunbridge Wells resident Amelia Scott. Read on to find out the latest on our news and events, or browse our website for more information about current services, and the services of our partners.







Good progress has been maintained on The Amelia Scott site over the Christmas and New Year period. Key progress items include the full install of the arched Glulam beams and the start of the roof as well as progress with the insulation and brickwork elements to the external elevations of the archive building. The team also continue to work on the installation of the plant on the roof and structural openings to bring the different buildings together as one.


Coronavirus is now an even greater challenge in terms of the management of the work, however every possible precaution continues to be taken to minimise the risk of those working on site and to keep the project on track.

Sarking and roof installation to the Glulam beams.  Scaffold to the South elevation of the Adult Education building.  Structural openings to the Museum and Library building.  Plant installation on the roof.







We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded two additional grants to support The Amelia Scott. The project would not be possible without the initial partnership grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, but in addition to this support, we have a funding target of £1.4M with an active fundraising campaign underway supported by The Amelia Scott Cultural Trust.


Arts Council England has awarded an additional £291,638 to The Amelia Scott from its Cultural Capital Kickstart scheme. The grant will help protect our project from the impacts of Covid, and support the capital works being undertaken.


Councillor Jane March, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said, “this much welcomed capital grant from ACE will help us complete the construction of the Amelia Scott cultural and learning hub at a time when the impact of the pandemic has made it even more important to provide this new facility for business, individuals and communities in the borough of Tunbridge Wells.”


Michael Hill, OBE, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Kent County Council said, “We are delighted that Arts Council England have recognised the value of the Amelia project with this generous capital grant.  We look forward to the completion of this important partnership project which will add much to the cultural offer in Tunbridge Wells.”


The Amelia Scott Cultural Trust (TASCT) is also delighted to announce the securing of a grant of £250,000 from The Garfield Weston Foundation.


Matthew Hockley Smith, Chair of TASCT said: “This significant award signals both the importance and the scale of TASCT’s work in supporting the development of the new Amelia Scott in Tunbridge Wells. The support of such a rigorous and respected foundation will help TASCT secure additional funding and to deliver a cultural platform and programme that engages fully with the whole community. We are grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation and trustees for their belief in the project.”


For more information of The Amelia Scott Cultural Trust, please visit their website.






As part of Willmott Dixon’s appointment as contractor for The Amelia Scott construction, WDI are delivering a Social Values project plan to Tunbridge Wells. The Social Value project plan includes 5 projects WDI are determined to deliver with the support of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
Before the Christmas break, WDI launched the Building Lives Academy, a construction-based training academy focused on providing entry level qualifications, work experience and a gateway into the construction industry. The project engaged 4 long-term unemployed people in the academy, and all four achieved a Health and Safety qualification, Construction Level 1 and Level 1 Employability. Two people from the cohort have achieved job outcomes.


Overview of Social Impact


For further information, please visit our previous newsletter.









Centres are closed but online courses are available, starting now.



In accordance with national lockdown measures, Kent Adult Education centres are currently closed. Learn online instead, in real time from specialist tutors. Find a hobby, learn a skill, or try something new in 2021. To find out more, please visit the KAE website.








Due to the national lockdown, library buildings have had to close. Pre-ordered Select and Collect book collections and reservation collections are still being offered. To find out more about these services, please visit the website or call 03000 41 31 31 for more information.
The below services are also available now:


  • Digital Services – these include free e-books, e-audio books, the latest e-magazines and daily e-newspapers. 
  • Mobile Libraries – vehicles are visiting many locations across the county and books can be pre-ordered on a Select and Collect basis. 
Find out more about these services and stay up-to-date or call 03000 41 31 31.


Please note: Loan periods are extended for all customers.


The Winter Mini Challenge has been extended until Friday 19th February. Visit the website to join the challenge.



Winter Mini Challenge


Become A Young Consultant
The Amelia is currently looking for new members to join the Young Consultants Programme.


The programme is a great way for young people to:


  • Develop new skills
  • Meet new people
  • Gain valuable experience to add to CVs and UCAS personal statements
  • Have fun as part of exclusive projects
  • Gain exclusive behind the scenes previews at The Amelia Scott
  • Help to shape the future of arts and culture in the local area
Please email if you are interested or know someone who might be.









Whilst the Tourist Information Centre in the Corn Exchange has remained closed since the November Lockdowns, a phone (01892 554070) and email service Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, is continuing to be offered to customer.


Keep an eye on the website which is updated with the future events, opening information and inspirational ways to enjoy the borough of Tunbridge Wells, or check out the new Instagram page, which has attracted 1,150 followers since September 2020. Follow @tunbridgewellsvisitor for more information and updates!







Anna Spender
The Friends Members and guests Tunbridge U3A are invited to An Evening with Anna.


Anna Spender, Collections and Assets Manager at The Amelia has kindly agreed to present a talk to The Friends “A Georgian Gown” on Zoom on Thursday 28th January 2021 at 6pm. The Friends hope to have these talks on a monthly basis.
You can find more information on The Friends from their Facebook page.

Georgian Gown





Volunteering: There are still opportunities to get involved with volunteering during these unusual times. Find out more on our website by visiting the volunteering page at www.theamelia.co.uk/get-involved/volunteering/
Kent Adult Educationhttps://www.kentadulteducation.co.uk/ 
Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives: www.kent.gov.uk/libs
TW Social: Online resources and entertainment from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, to help establish online sense of community across our borough and to help combat the social isolation and loneliness we can all feel sometimes. Visit https://twsocial.co.uk/


Sponsors for The Amelia
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