Plans for a new regional hub and motor village for local motor dealership Hendy Group that will help support around 180 jobs in Tunbridge Wells have been submitted to the Borough Council. The proposals for land next to the Tesco superstore in Pembury include multi-dealership showrooms, workshops and servicing areas, an accident repair centre and parts facilities. Minor alterations will also be made to the Tesco superstore car park.
If approved, the new development will free the company's current Mount Ephraim site for redevelopment in keeping with the recent regeneration in that part of the town centre. Paul Hendy, Chief Executive of Hendy Group, said: "This is an important development for Tunbridge Wells which offers longstanding benefits to the borough through a combination of the creation and retention of jobs and the release of a key town centre site for regeneration.
"The proposals for the Pembury site include a training academy and we are looking to form partnerships with local colleges to provide apprenticeship schemes for local young people." Paul added that Hendy's existing sites and facilities are fragmented across smaller, dated operations around West Kent and rationalisation and investment in the business is necessary for its future success and growth.
"Our Mount Ephraim site, which has been identified by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council as a location for future residential redevelopment, presents us with a number of challenges due to the age and usability of the buildings," he said. "It is no longer fit for purpose, nor does it meet the high standards expected by our customers."Tunbridge Wells represents the logical and preferred focal point for future growth and expansion of our business within West Kent. The Pembury site is ideal, being next to the A21 and so easily accessible from a wide area."
The Tunbridge Wells planning application is part of the group's overall expansion plans and investment for the future. It recently opened three new showrooms in Hampshire and has just completed the acquisition of Dorset and Wiltshire-based Westover Group, making it one of the UK's largest dealership networks with a turnover of £1bn and 26 franchises operating from 83 outlets.
For further information on the proposals, visit www.hendygroup-tunbridgewells.co.uk.
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