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Focus celebrates as The Amelia opens its doors to the public

Museum, heritage and exhibition project management specialist Focus is celebrating the opening of a new cultural and learning hub in Tunbridge Wells – The Amelia Scott.

The development is a new space to seamlessly bring together the town’s library, museum, art gallery, council front line services, adult education, local studies and archive, inspiring visitors to learn new things.

Focus, with offices in London, Nottingham and Leicester, was appointed as programme manager bringing the various project workstreams together, as well as fit-out project manager/quantity surveyor working alongside Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Kent County Council, Purcell Architects, Wilmott Dixon, Metaphor and Factory Settings to deliver this ambitious project. Focus managed the fit-out design process, fit-out contractor procurement and delivery of the works.

Focus’ role included management of separate contracts for the exciting audio visual interactives, a series of models and the object mounts.  The fit out includes a series of artist and illustration commissions which draw on the rich heritage of craftmanship in Tunbridge Wells and the High Weald.  The collections on display demonstrate the rich variety of the council collections including natural history, costume, toys and the tools and products of local crafts people.

There will be a new temporary exhibition space with up-to-date facilities, enabling Tunbridge Wells to host exhibitions and events building on the town’s reputation as a centre for arts and culture. With new catering and retail facilities, visitors will be encouraged to linger longer and learn more about the area’s history, learn a new skill, borrow a book and lots more. The majority of the existing building has been retained but adapted, with additional links created to the new buildings, so that they can function as one. The buildings are grouped around a central courtyard, which will be used in the summer months for performances and displays.

Eleanor Clarke, Partner at Focus said: “It was wonderful to work with the team on this project helping to really show off and bring together a number of services and collections in a way that is welcoming, fun and engaging for both local people and tourists alike.”

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is delighted to open the doors of the Amelia Scott and Paul Taylor, Director for Change and Communities from the council said: “From the very beginning the Amelia Scott has been a partnership endeavour between Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council. Many different organisations have played their part either through funding and fundraising or as specialist contractors on the project. We are very proud of the end result and would like to thank Focus for their support and expertise in overseeing the delivery of a very special place for a very special borough.”

Focus is one of the country’s leading consultants in the museum exhibition sector having worked with many of the UK’s major museums on exhibitions, refurbishments, and other projects. Focus has undertaken a range of roles including project management, quantity surveyor and contract administrator, working collaboratively with the client team, designers and contractors to deliver projects to both budget and schedule. The company has previously worked with many national, regional and local museums across the UK, including St Fagan’s National Museum of History, The V&A, V&A Dundee, National Army Museum, and Brooklands Museum. Current projects include providing project management services to the Harris Museum, Art Gallery, and Library in Preston and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in South London.

Focus is a multi-disciplinary company offering a range of services across different sectors, with offices in London, Nottingham and Leicester. Focus divides its services into three sections – Create, Deliver and Assess – and offers funding, business planning and economic development through the Create division, and quantity surveying, project management and building surveying through the Deliver department. The firm’s Assess team advises on sustainable buildings, building physics, compliance and planning, and on-site testing.

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