What Does Bracknell’s Regeneration Mean for Investors?
What is the Bracknell Regeneration Vision?
Bracknell Town Centre 2032 is a vision of regeneration by Bracknell Forest Council based on the demands of its evolving population, which aims to rejuvenate the town and maximise its potential. The vision comprises a framework of regeneration, including both completed developments and prospective plans for this emerging urban area.
With a population of over 124,000 and projections as high as 132,000 for the coming years, Bracknell Town Centre 2032 will aim to deliver a prosperous and dynamic area, drawing on its authentic heritage to offer the benefits of both contemporary and historic living. As well as offering new cultural activities, leisure spaces and hotels, the vision recognises Bracknell’s growing desirability as an employment hotspot amongst the millennial generation.
Not only does Bracknell complete the UK Silicon Valley, but the town is renowned for housing the largest cluster of tech companies outside of London. With this industry offering more than 40,000 jobs and Bracknell accommodating approximately 5,400 businesses overall, the employment opportunities alone are driving more young professionals to the town.
Bracknell’s role as a leading UK tech hub and its potential surrounding these responsibilities are central to the town’s vision, with plans to maximise connectivity for a more cohesive structure throughout the centre. This focus will respond to the growing desire amongst residents to be close to both local amenities and working environments.
What has already been completed?
Bracknell’s regeneration is one of the most exciting projects the town will ever undergo, totalling over £770 million and spanning a 20 year period. The vision consists of three phases, two of which have already been completed and one that is under construction with a forecasted completion of 2032.
Phase One kickstarted Bracknell’s ambitious regeneration scheme, with a new Waitrose store between Millennium Way and Bond Way. The 36,000 sq. ft store didn’t just signify the beginning of Bracknell’s transformation, but it’s position as a strong employment hotspot.
Delivering 180 jobs, Waitrose was the first new store built in Bracknell’s town centre in over 25 years and paved the way for what was yet to come. As well as being home to Waitrose HQ, the company’s decision to invest in the new £6million store emphasises the community’s confidence in Bracknell’s potential.
Phase Two of Bracknell’s vision continued to expand upon the town’s retail core, as well as delivering new amenities. The Lexicon formed a huge segment of Phase Two, and remains an integral part of Bracknell’s overall regeneration.
Upon completion in 2017, the £240 million investment delivered 70 new retail, food and beverage outlets, including a cinema, Fenwick and Marks and Spencer. To maximise the amenities for local residents and tourists, Phase Two also delivered thousands of new parking spaces across the centre, along with designated spaces for events and activities.
With eight new core buildings and six place-making squares, Phase Two of Bracknell’s vision focused heavily on the appeal of the town’s centre to offer more opportunities for cultural activities. To increase this appeal amongst neighbouring towns, an extra £6.5 million was invested in the surrounding highway infrastructure.
What is yet to come?
The final phase of Bracknell’s vision is a gradual transformation that focuses predominantly on three key areas of the town: Civic Quarter, Market Square and the Southern Gateway.
The short-term plans for the town include the ongoing regeneration of The Deck and Princess Square, with these developments projecting a completion date 2024. The conclusion of The Deck will not only complete Bracknell’s trio of exclusive amenities, but will be an integral link on the town’s high street, connecting Princess Square and The Lexicon.
Concentrating on maximising accessibility surrounding Bracknell’s new attractions, the vision aims to improve potential connections between Market Street and to identify opportunities for redeveloping the Westside area. Similarly, the Civic Quarter will introduce a new mixed-use development for various cultural activities, along with improved pedestrian and cycle crossings.
Station Quarter is dominated by highways, which for a town that aims to be dynamic and accessible, is not ideal. The short-term actions of Bracknell’s vision include a series of urban blocks to promote a normal network of streets and spaces. As well as establishing an ‘integrated urban area’, these plans aim to identify further areas of development within the town.
The medium-term intentions of Bracknell’s vision focuses heavily on transport, with specific plans to improve highways and unlock further sites for redevelopment. In addition to reinstating unused areas across the centre, these plans will complete the street pattern over the next seven years.
This phase also includes the redevelopment of office spaces along Market Street, to establish stronger frontage and to promote a more cohesive network of spaces. When combined with the completed retail areas and amenities, these developments will work towards achieving a balance of work and play within Bracknell.
As an undeniable motivator behind Bracknell’s regeneration, a flexible design approach will be taken to ensure these buildings will be able to adapt to evolving trends and demands over the years.
With an estimated timeframe of 2027-2032, the specific long-term developments of Bracknell’s vision remain dependent on the opportunities that arise within Phase Three. However, there are plans to extend the street network throughout the town, to make the Peel Centre more accessible.
The long-term prospects of Bracknell’s vision will continue to focus on the business and retail sectors, in order to future proof the town. As the population will continue to grow, and the demands of local residents will evolve, the town’s projects will adapt accordingly.
Overall, Bracknell’s extensive regeneration schemes will work to not only revitalise the town for existing residents, but will focus on driving its potential as a hotspot for younger generations. In providing more amenities and employment opportunities, along with increased connectivity inside and outside the town, this will inevitably attract further investment.
What Does this Mean for Property Investors?
Bracknell is in the midst of it’s biggest transformation to date, and with the majority of regeneration still yet to come, the town is an emerging UK hotspot. With evolving tenant demands encouraging a shift towards locations along the London commuter belt, this focus on employment and amenities only increases the appeal of Bracknell to prospective tenants.
The town’s future growth is not restricted to its population, with JLL forecasting a 19% increase in property prices between 2022 and 2025, while rental prices are set to grow 9% in the same period. However, the continuation of several redevelopment schemes until 2032 will likely help drive these statistics further.
With Bracknell still being in its early days of regeneration, this provides a prime opportunity for property investment. The town’s ambitious regeneration schemes will onset significant capital growth within Bracknell, which will continue pushing property prices as the completion date grows closer. However, with extensive redevelopments yet to come, property investors can still take advantage of more affordable prices before the forecasted growth.
The Grand Exchange is ideal for property investors seeking an ambitious development in the heart of the South-East. The first of its kind, The Grand Exchange is an off-plan development that is set to redefine premium living in Bracknell, with resident-only facilities and contemporary apartments. Forecasting a completion date of 2023, The Grand Exchange is not one to miss.