Queensmere Regeneration Set to Transform Slough
The global pandemic has transformed the priorities of the modern tenant, and more specifically, resulted in people re-evaluating their surroundings. When the housing market reopened in 2020, tenants were more likely to relocate to commuter towns on the outskirts of the capital, swapping concrete jungles for greener environments.
Slough remains an established commuter hotspot amongst London leavers, with an estimated population of 158,000 and an expanding commercial district made up of more than 6,500 businesses. As more companies and employees relocate to Slough, extensive regeneration projects are being undertaken to meet the growing demands of this thriving town.
Slough Urban Renewal
An investment of over £3 billion, the Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) scheme plays an integral part in the town’s regeneration. The plan includes a combination of redevelopments and new additions to Slough’s town centre, with this ambitious project expected to span a 15 year period.
The SUR is a multi-faceted scheme, but the demands of the community remain at the forefront of each development. The multi million pound leisure strategy makes up a considerable part of the town’s regeneration, from premium sporting facilities, to gyms and exercise studios, aiming to address health issues in the local area and encourage active lifestyles. As completed components of the SUR, the town’s community is already reaping the benefits of these extensive regeneration projects.
Significant investment has also been poured into improving educational facilities across Slough, with many primary schools having undergone major construction to expand classrooms and maximise learning opportunities for young students. As the future generation, upgrading the town’s academic resources was a particular focus for Slough’s council, to offer a well-rounded community of business, leisure and academia.
Due to the rapid growth in Slough’s population, additional housing was – and continues to be – an important requirement within the town’s regeneration schemes. As part of the SUR, a four phase project transformed disused areas across the borough into affordable housing. Future additions include vibrant apartments, multiple hotels and family homes, along with green spaces for the community.
Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre
The Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre has been a pillar of the Slough community since its inception in the 1970s. But with shopping habits and demands changing, this local landmark is set to be resurrected. Slough Central is a regeneration project for the town, which will transform 14 acres – the equivalent of seven football pitches – of Queensmere Observatory into the town’s new hotspot.
Now owned by a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the site is set to be replaced by an ambitious mixed-use development. Comprising 210,000 metres of workspace, 1,100 new homes and an array of restaurants and shops, this project aims to adapt to the priorities of local residents.
Resulting from Slough’s advancement is a very specific vision for its future, which focuses heavily on independent growth and inward investment. Slough Central aims to cater meet the demands of modern residents by establishing gaps in the market and providing creative solutions, achieved through three distinct segments:
The Commercial District
The proposed commercial district arguably, forms the largest proportion of the Slough Central project, with the introduction of smart workspaces supporting the many global companies that call Slough home. As well as boasting the biggest commercial hub in Europe, accommodating the likes of Ferrari, O2 and Honda, over 6,500 businesses are located in this thriving town, which is set to expand further with Slough’s ongoing regeneration. The Commercial District is essential to achieving the overall vision for Slough, one of which concentrates on sustaining local businesses and creating long-lasting economic growth for the town.
Making up half of the Slough Central redevelopment, the proposed residential and neighbourhood areas will complete this ambitious regeneration scheme. With Slough’s population expected to surpass 158,000 this year, the demand for contemporary housing is rising. Both the High Street Neighbourhood and Residential Garden Quarter will offer residents a balanced living solution, with access to transport, the latest retail and leisure amenities, as well as contemporary housing.
Cultural and Civic Quarter
The redevelopment of The Centre and The Curve has paved the way for the expansion of Slough’s existing Civic Quarter. Slough Central will not only provide a home for the arts, but will also support the demands of modern tenants, with new food, drink and leisure amenities being an integral part of the Cultural and Civic Quarter. This will provide local residents and educational facilities with more opportunities to engage with the community, in a safe and welcoming environment.
To support the increased number of local residents throughout the town centre in the coming years, attention is being focused on the safety of pedestrians. Initially, Slough’s town centre prioritised the needs of motorists, but to align with the sustainable, economic approach of the regeneration schemes, pedestrian needs have come out on top. This can be attributed to the intentions of the council, which hope to provide more family friendly amenities.
As well as appealing to the local market, the increase in amenities is also aiming to encourage tourism. With the Crossrail directly connecting Slough with Heathrow airport and the capital, this thriving town is more likely to be considered an option for tourists and weekend visitors. The combination of the SUR and Slough Central will peak the interests of this demographic, offering premium accommodation, retail and leisure facilities.
What does this mean for investors?
As a prospective property investor, you may be wondering, ‘what does this mean for me?’. The mass amount of investment that is being poured into Slough signifies the town’s potential, as well as the local council’s determination to make it a UK hotspot.
The ongoing developments in transport between Slough and the capital will continue to augment the town’s profile as a commuter hub, attracting a whole new demographic. By enticing young professionals to the city, the demand for contemporary apartments will surge.
New Eton House meets the demands of both tenants and investors. The fully-furnished, pre-tenanted apartments allow for a simple, hands-off property investment, while the modernity of this landmark residential development offers residents luxurious living in a central location.
The regeneration schemes, combined with the increased transport links, is set to boost the Slough’s property market considerably. JLL expects a 14.5% rise in property prices by 2024, with rental yields forecasted to grow 11.5% in the same period.