Paddock Wood Community Centre Opens to a Warm Local Welcome

12 September 2023

When plans came about in 2016 for a new community centre to be built in Paddock Wood in Tunbridge Wells, the aim was to create a welcoming hub and useful resource that would serve the additional proposed housing for the area, and form a local landmark.

Seven years on, and having overcome a series of challenges, not least those presented by the pandemic, as well as an unexpected revelation by the geotechnical survey that higher than anticipated groundwater would force changes and cost rises upon the project, we are happy to say that Paddock Wood Community Centre is now officially open and very much up and running.

The £3.68 million project, overseen by Equity Partner Lee Maskell and led by Senior Quantity Surveyor Jon Grose, saw FFT take on the role of Quantity Surveyor from conception to completion.

The team provided cost advice as the scheme developed through concept design to tender stage. There was much solution-finding required, including a need to revisit designs following the results of the geotechnical survey. Thankfully, we were able to value engineer costs down to an acceptable level, whilst maintaining the key elements of the development that the client was keen to retain.

And it was all worthwhile when, on 3rd September 2023, Paddock Wood Community Centre was formally opened to the public.

The opening ceremony, attended on behalf of FFT by Jon Grose, saw Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, deliver a brief speech before cutting the ribbon on the new centre.

The main hall area was laid out with a range of stalls promoting the facilities and classes that will be regularly held at the centre, whilst a few activities took place outside.

Jon said, “It was inspiring to be given a tour of the new community centre, which had been a major work in progress for the team for some years. It was also motivating to talk to local people and learn that, despite some initial concerns and reservations, the centre has been well received and has been providing a useful resource for the community.”

Pictured above from left to right are Razvan Istrate (Baxall Site Manager), Graham Tuthill (Baxall Contracts Manager), Paul Dalton (Project Manager), Jonathan White (Kent County Council), and Jon Grose (FFT).