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How Foreign Investment is Transforming Slough

One of the best signposts for demand – and thus thriving prices for the property market – is foreign investment. Whether it’s creating new amenities or directly impacting infrastructure, inward investment into a location shows a confidence that investors can use to inform their future decisions. 

For Slough, a town that we regularly highlight as an emerging investment location, foreign investment is at an all-time high and it shows.

An already established commuter town – with around 60,000 people commuting in and out everyday – Slough’s population is on the rise. Original forecasts estimated the population to hit 158,000 by the end of this year, with the town benefitting from the incredible businesses it’s home to, on top of the London leavers that are moving for the affordability it can provide.

With young professionals making up one of the most desirable demographics in the Buy-to-Let market, Slough is already a hotspot for an ambitious workforce and clearly, foreign investors have started to take note.

Foreign Investment into Business

As of 2016, Slough had one of the highest density of foreign property investors. With nearly 100,000 freehold and leasehold titles across England and Wales being owned by foreign-registered businesses, 675 alone were located in Slough’s ‘SL’ postcode. 

One of the highest concentrations outside of London, it’s expected that this is influenced by Slough Trading Estate’s status as the largest estate under single ownership in Europe. 

Ranked 4th for productivity by TechNation, Slough is home to over 92,000 jobs across 5,400 businesses – a major contributor to its position as the ‘most productive urban area’ in the UK. 

This is a trend that has continued over the years, accelerating between 2010 – 2015 and continuing today. A number of global headquarters now call Slough home including 02 Telefonica, SAP, Three and Jeep, which has heavily contributed to the rising demand that we’re seeing in Slough today. 

Queensmere Regeneration

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

One of the largest standout projects in terms of foreign investment has been the purchase of the Queensmere Shopping Centre. Bought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 2016, a large-scale, long-term plan is in place to transform this retail hotspot to meet demand. 

Currently in the consultation period with Slough Borough Council, a decision is expected to be announced sometime this year.

British Land, who are working alongside the Abu Dhabi Authority, envision the 14-acre site becoming a major mixed-use scheme, comprising 2.2 million square feet of commercial space and a number of residential units.

Similarly, the developer is also planning new workspaces, flexible retail space and cultural/leisure spaces, making the site a new destination for the town in a similar vein to The Lexicon in Bracknell.

As one of the largest examples of foreign investment into Slough, Queensmere Shopping Centre is a clear signpost for investors of steps being taken to meet tenant demand, which could easily translate into rising property values over the long-term.

Residential Investment on the Rise

Outside of the commercial side of investment, Slough is also attracting a number of investors in several major new residential developments.

With a relative undersupply of properties across the Slough landscape, our developments such as New Eton House and The Metalworks represent unique additions that offer something completely new for residents. 

The Metalworks is a brand new development within walking distance of Slough train station, meaning it’s perfectly positioned to take advantage of Crossrail when it completes. As one of the only premium developments in the local market, The Metalworks is proving popular with both domestic and overseas investors for what it can provide Slough’s prominent tenant base. 

New Eton House, on the other hand, is located just minutes from Slough Trading Estate and all of the business opportunities it can provide. Following a new release, New Eton House is designed for the young professionals that are flooding into Slough to take advantage of the 92,000 jobs across 5,400 businesses. 

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