The next major milestone in Bracknell town centre’s regeneration has been secured with the signing of a legal agreement between Bracknell Forest Council and its development partner, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) – a 50/50 joint venture between Schroders UK Real Estate Fund and Legal & General Capital.
The development agreement will bring about the next wave of the town’s overall regeneration – which will see additional food, drink, retail and leisure facilities added to the town’s already popular lineup.
The €35.12m (£30m) investment by BRP and the council will see the old Bentalls unit completely transformed into a covered public space with new food and retail units linking into Princess Square – to be known as The Deck.
It will also enable the current 1980’s shopping centre, Princess Square, to be remodelled into a modern, light, bright and airy centre to house new retailers, as well as giving current retailers a new facade.
This next step will complement the first two Bracknell regeneration phases, which first saw a hugely successful Waitrose store built and opened in 2011, followed by the launch of The Lexicon in September 2017.
With The Lexicon already surpassing anticipated footfall figures and picking up a number of industry awards, some retailers have also reported that The Lexicon is home to their brands’ most successful nationwide stores. These positive developments have seen the town rise to number 29 from 255 in the Trevor Woods Associates rankings for best shopping destination in the UK.
Jessica Berney, Fund Manager at Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, commented: “The Lexicon continues to be a catalyst for regeneration in the town and wider borough. This further investment builds upon our initial success as we continue to invest in winning towns and cities that deliver consistent returns in line with our fund strategy.”
Rachel Dickie, Director of Regeneration at Legal & General Capital, said: “Creating a cohesive, future-looking retail and leisure environment at the heart of the town and thousands of jobs, the transformation of Bracknell is one of the most significant town centre regeneration projects to be delivered in the last 25 years. This latest investment is a testament to the success of the town and another example of the Lexicon driving further growth and investment into the town centre.”
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, commented: “The signing of the development agreement between the council and BRP is an important step in enabling the next exciting phase of Bracknell town centre’s regeneration. Currently, the retail market is tough and while The Lexicon is bucking the national trend with strong footfall and sales figures, the council was keen to ensure that these two key redevelopment opportunities were not missed due to retail and finance pressures. By working with our development partners we have secured that exciting next step. The redevelopment of this part of town will benefit the borough’s residents, visitors, and businesses - encouraging additional economic prosperity for Bracknell Forest and further the diversity of shops and leisure facilities in the town centre.”
Bracknell is the first post-war new town to be comprehensively master planned, demolished, re-configured and rebuilt. It’s overall regeneration is being carried out in phases – with aspirations for the area’s short, medium and long term redevelopment being showcased as part of the 2032 vision.