The Rapid Transformation of Slough and the South East
Slough is changing rapidly. The commuter town at the heart of Berkshire, just 15 minutes from London, is on the verge of a radical transformation – some of which has already started.
With a £3 billion regeneration plan in place, the town is revitalising a broad range of sectors – from the commuter infrastructure that powers Slough’s success to the cultural hotspots the town has to offer.
Look further afield and you’ll see how this transformation is just one example of a wider change across the South-East, driven by inwards investment that is taking the region to new heights.
Slough Urban Renewal
Initially devised as a £450 million project, Slough Urban Renewal and the ‘Heart of Slough’ project has grown exponentially since its creation.
With total regeneration in the area expected to equal around £3 billion, we’re seeing the redevelopment of landmark buildings across the Slough skyline as well as the introduction of some new icons.
At the heart of the wider plan are flagship projects such as Crossrail, The Curve, the development of Queensmere Shopping Centre alongside multiple housing projects including Iron House and New Eton House.
The Curve and the Ice Arena – two cultural and leisure hotspots developed for Slough – are projects devised in the original plan and have already been built. The Curve, a contemporary theatre venue and library, is an ideal addition to the town with a distinctive design that helps it instantly stand out.
The Queensmere Shopping Centre site is the latest development to be announced, with a consultation expected to be carried out early this year. Though plans are still unconfirmed, the proposal includes between one and two million square feet of progressive new office space alongside 500,000 square feet of retail space – making it a truly epic development.
Finally, Crossrail represents one of the biggest developments, not just for Slough, but for the South-East. A new addition to the Tube line running from London, the Elizabeth Line will reduce travel times, increase passenger capacity and create more direct access points between key commuter destinations and the capital.
Transforming the South-East
Crossrail represents just one of the major investment projects ensuring the region is an investment hotspot in 2020.
While early indications suggest Slough property is already benefiting from the rail line, the impact it could have on the wider South-East can not be ignored.
London’s unaffordability and slow growth means both working professionals and investors have been looking outside of the capital, to the South-East, for some time. It’s this demand that has driven towns such as Slough, Bracknell and Reading to adapt, building new amenities, housing and improving their infrastructure.
This has reflected well on property prices in the area, with JLL predicting house price growth to hit nearly 15% by 2024. Rental prices will also grow during that time, increasing by around 12%.
For investors, this represents a tangible and measured improvement on assets in the South-East. However, the improvement of the quality of life in these areas, while less easy to measure, is likely to be just as impactful.
With the amenities in place to meet demand, towns such as Slough have become new hotspots to live, work and play, attract premium tenants and moving out from under London’s shadow to become quality investment markets in their own right.