October 2020 Newsletter


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.






Really good progress has been maintained on the Amelia Scott building over the last few weeks and we remain on programme.   


The final floor slab to the infill building and the roof slab on the new build are now both complete.


WDI continues to progress with the cleaning of the façades, installation of high-level mechanical and electrical containment, repairs to the windows as well as the plasterwork in the adult education building. Insulation is being fitted soon which will improve the thermal performance of the building.


The next period will also see installation of the column steels to the Infill building, the rainwater harvesting tank and we will start to see the temporary propping removed as the new concrete structure cures.
The Amelia Construction Site
The Amelia Construction Site
The Amelia Construction Site
The Amelia Construction Site




Artist Commissions


Work is about to commence on the hunt for artists to make a lasting contribution to The Amelia Scott as we are soon to go live with 7 major artist commissions for the building.


These commissions are a key part of the Arts Council England funding contribution to the project and will vary in theme and location around the building. Each commission is designed to beautify but be practical, and in most cases to engage with local communities and celebrate the unique heritage of Tunbridge Wells and the High Weald. The commissions, which together total more than £160,000, will all be announced simultaneously in November 2020, and artists from all walks of life will be invited to tender to become involved.


The commissioning process will be open and transparent, with all decisions on artist selection taken by a specially selected panel of stakeholders drawn from the local community, the arts world, academia and relevant community groups.


Social Value Projects Report


Wilmott-Dixon Interiors (WDi), as part of their contract to complete the works on The Amelia Scott, are required to advocate social value alongside the construction itself. WDi have embraced this challenge and we are supporting them to deliver the following projects:


Refugee Refuge


Working with local refugee families settled within the borough, this project entices them to come and improve their English skills by learning about the heritage of their new home.


Democratise Democracy


Working with TWBC Democratic Services team, a programme of study will be created for children and young people to better understand the democracy that we live in, and the buildings that support it.


Fashion Function


Celebrating The Amelia’s fashion collection, while also addressing the needs of the community and environmental sustainability, Fashion Function creates a mini-exhibition promoting our costume collections as well as being a focal-point for a winter coat collection drive.


Building Lives Academy


Building Lives is a construction-based training academy which aims to tackle social exclusion by providing entry level qualifications, work experience and a gateway into the construction industry.


Empowering Young Lives


Empowering Young Lives is a 6-week mentoring programme for 18-25 year old NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) – up to 5 young people will be able to engage in this programme digitally.





Kent County Council has had to take some difficult decisions in order to balance its budget as it tackles the impact of Covid-19 on its finances.
Many services are now being delivered from more than 100 Covid-secure re-opened buildings across the county. However, to ensure the council continues to ensure financial resilience for the rest of the financial year, the remaining unopened buildings will stay closed for the coming months.
Among those services affected are Libraries, Registrations and Archives, Children’s Centres and Community Learning Services.
Although ideally the council would like to reopen all its buildings, it has made the difficult decision that those Libraries, Children’s Centres and Community Learning buildings not yet reopened will remain closed this year, to avoid the considerable costs in making them Covid secure.
The Libraries currently open in the Tunbridge Wells borough are Cranbrook, Showfields and Southborough Library. The Libraries that will remain closed in the Tunbridge Wells borough are Hawkhurst, Paddock Wood, Pembury, Rusthall, and Sherwood Library. Tunbridge Wells Library will be open for birth registrations only.


For more information on the Libraries that are open and the services on offer, please visit the KCC Libraries website.








Discovery Days - The Amelia


Looking for things to help keep the family entertained during October Half Term? A new fun Discovery Days video will be online from Tuesday 27th October. Discover the secrets behind an intriguing artwork. Are you up to the challenge that we will set you?


And don’t forget, all previous Discovery Days videos are available for all to enjoy for free.


Start the fun now!


Local History - Research Surgeries, Webinar Series







Wanting to discover your local area, explore your heritage, and search the records but not sure where to start?  Visit our What’s On page to book your free place at our Research Surgeries webinars.


Our Research Surgeries will be taking place on:


Wednesday 18 November 6pm – 7pm
Wednesday 16 December 6pm – 7pm


The webinars are free although booking is essential. Book your place now!










The Amelia and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Tourism Team launched the free new audio walking trail app “Tales of Tunbridge Wells”.


“The Town” is the first in a series of audio trails offering self-led tours of Tunbridge Wells, during which visitors will discover the history and heritage of the celebrated town.  The narrative spans from the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606 to the thriving Spa town that exists today.  The walk itself is a pleasant hour and a half journey through 30 key locations within the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Contributors range from local historians, business owners, residents, landlords and even a reverend, who share their anecdotes and fascinating facts.  The project has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Arts Council and Kent County Council. The app is now available to download from the App Stores for both Apple and Android devices.


The  app has been promoted on the Visit Tunbridge Wells and The Amelia website, in local print media, as well as across our social media platforms and with our partners at Visit Kent and Visit England.


The Tourist Information Centre (TIC)


Since reopening in mid-August, The Tourist Information Centre has recorded high numbers of visitors. During September up to 30 individual parties visited the TIC with more than 15 phone calls. We also welcomed the first few coach parties of the year and hosted pre-booked Blue Badge Guided Walks for small parties. The vast majority of drop-in enquires have been related to local walking and cycling routes. However, since new restrictions were announced on 22nd September, alongside the weather bec
oming more autumnal, we have noted a drop in figures.


Our new Instagram account (@TunbridgeWellsVisitor) has gained 860 followers since its creation in early August. Visit our Instagram for more updates, events and attractions in the borough.









Kent Adult Education have opened selected Covid-19 secure centres for reduced hours. The following centres will run at a reduced capacity with limited courses, so please ensure you ask what is planned for your course when you enrol.


Open centres:
The centres have been remodelled and operate a new way of working to ensure the safety of staff and learners. Changes made to make centres Covid-19 secure, include:
– The installation of hand sanitiser stations.
– New instructional signage, changed entry and exit to buildings.
– The closure of social areas and the management of routes around buildings.
– Classrooms have reduced capacity to maintain social distancing for learners and staff.
– The installation of screens where appropriate.
– The implementation of a track and trace system.
For further details and information on safe learning, please read Guide for Learners – Learning Safely with Kent Adult Education.


Keep up to date with Kent Adult Education news as they respond the safety guidelines and government advice on their website and social media pages.


If you would prefer to participate from the comfort of your own home, please read the extensive list of online courses taught by experienced tutors.





The Friends have updated and reproduced a series of U3A local walks booklets. See below for more information.


The launch of the local walks booklets was delayed by the pandemic, but they are now available. Having a series of short self-guided walks is ideal in this current climate. when it is hard to meet up with friends. 


The profits will go towards the conservation of the Georgian Court Dress, which The Friends of The Museum are raising funds for.
Book 1 covers Mount Sion, the High Street and Grove Hill Road.
Book 2 covers ‘Calverley New Town’, Camden Road and the Town Centre.

Book 3 covers Mount Ephraim, The Boyne Park Area and London and Inner London Road.
For more information on the price list and how to pay, please contact sue.brimlow@btinernet.com


You can find more information on The Friends from their Facebook page.





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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