The Bracknell Vision at a Glance
A key hub in the UK’s Silicon Valley, we round up the Bracknell Investment Vision at a glance.
Home to around 120,000 people, Bracknell is forecasting a further rise by 2039 to 141,000. This boost is being driven by a growing domestic workforce and an increase of commuters to and from London. With only 2.5% of the Bracknell population unemployed (2% lower than the national average), 86% are in full-time employment, half of which include senior managerial or directorial positions. The executive tenant demand in Bracknell is unprecedented with the workforce looking for quality residential apartments.
Bracknell is in the midst of a £770 million regeneration project due to run till 2032. The ‘Bracknell Forest Vision’ was proposed in 2002 and is expanding and rejuvenating public spaces over four phases. This dynamic plan will blend quality residential, commercial, retail and leisure developments while expanding on exceptional employment opportunities driven by incredible connectivity with London and surrounding tech hotspots.
The Lexicon, a £240 million development at the heart of this regeneration, has resulted in a revolutionary retail and leisure destination with over one million sq.ft of high-end retail space. Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Bracknell has a number of exciting future commitments which are set to improve residential, commercial and leisure spaces alongside infrastructure.
The Bracknell Investment Vision at a glance
Bracknell’s Short Term Regeneration
Bracknell is showing a number of opportunities for growth in the short-term, particularly within the town centre.
The redevelopment of Princess Square and The Deck is the next major step in the overall masterplan. Princess Square will be transformed into a modern, airy retail and commercial space, eventually linking to The Deck, a new project based on the site of the former Bentall’s department store. This £30 million regeneration project is expected to complete by 2022 and will create between 3,000 and 19,000 new sq.ft of retail, restaurant and leisure space.
Jubilee Gardens to the south of the town centre is also primed for significant development, creating an impressive gateway into Bracknell. Other infrastructure improvements include the immediate development of pedestrian routes, establishing better street connections with future developments.
The main goal of Bracknell’s short-term regeneration is the flexibility of use. While there is always a need for residential and office accommodation, it’s vital that service and retail uses are supported. Analysis by Bracknell Forest Council has also highlighted a need for more cultural spaces, providing key opportunities for museums, theatres and other venues.
Bracknell’s Medium Term Regeneration
Over the ‘medium-term’, here recognised as between five and seven years, there is significant potential for new office and residential spaces. Given the high costs of surrounding regional competitors, Bracknell could make use of mixed-use accommodation to create more vibrant living spaces. There is also a demand for hotel accommodation which the town centre is currently lacking.
Bracknell Forest Council has highlighted the necessity for a phased approach with any future development, designing flexible spaces that can easily be adapted. A phased approach would also ensure a steady pipeline of accommodation while facilitating effective traffic and pedestrian management throughout.
Some examples of infrastructure development over the medium-term include remodelling much of the road network to complete the original street pattern while redeveloping offices fronting Market Street and building upon the original cinema and bus station sites.
Bracknell’s Long-Term Regeneration
Once the short-term and medium-term goals have been reached, the long-term goals would identify opportunities in areas further out of the town centre such as the Peel Centre. By 2027, Bracknell will be unrecognisable and in the run-up to the final phase of the Bracknell Vision (2032), the sites to the west of the town will be ideal for further expansion.
Future-proofing will be a subject of importance and flexibility in design remains crucial. The buildings and their uses will need to evolve to suit future generations while continually identifying new opportunities.
In terms of actual development, the current plan is to extend the street network west, bringing the industrial area close to the town centre while integrating the Peel Centre. This will occur alongside the redevelopment of the High Street, allowing the introduction of a connecting route from Market Street through to the town centre. Bracknell truly is a town on the rise which isn’t set to slow down.