What Does Slough’s Future Regeneration Mean for Investment?
London’s decline during the last five years has no doubt paved the way for many nearby commuter towns. With affordability reaching a breaking point in the capital, locations that can offer more affordable living but still provide access to the capital are growing in popularity. Amongst these is Slough, an established commuter town that has moved to the forefront in the wake of London’s decline. As more and more investment pours into the town, we’re looking at what Slough future regeneration means in terms of further potential.
Slough is leading the way for the South-East as a whole, driven by new business, new urban regeneration and new levels of demand. At the core of its success is the aptly named ‘Heart of Slough’ masterplan, a long-term project devoted to revitalising the commuter town’s public spaces and wider infrastructure.
Running alongside the Slough Urban Renewal project, the ‘Heart of Slough’ masterplan is creating new public spaces, new leisure facilities, housing and mixed-use office space. Representing nearly £3 billion worth of investment into the town, this urban regeneration is set to transform the skyline.
Headlining the next step for Slough property investment is the redevelopment of the Queensmere Shopping Centre. Set to enter the planning stages in early 2021, Slough Council expects it to include between one and two million square feet of office space, as well as 500,000 sq.ft of retail and food and drink units. It will also contain between 1,000 and 1,200 new apartments.
Slough’s planned redevelopment doesn’t end there. Looking further ahead, Slough Council are also eager to create a ‘social enterprise quarter’. Expanding on Slough’s reputation as a hub of enterprise and entrepreneurship, the social enterprise quarter would allocate empty units around town to individual businesses based on their needs. The main aim would be to ensure there’s more non-retail services available within the town.
The Future of Slough Transport: Crossrail and WRAtH
One of the biggest ongoing projects for Slough has been Crossrail – the introduction of the Elizabeth Line that will open up access to the capital. With this new rail line due to open next year, Slough is building on these strong foundations to provide better access across the commuter belt.
Their main transport focus is to reduce the ‘dominance of the car’, improving air quality and putting more emphasis on the public transport network. This will allow them to maximise the benefits of Crossrail and Western Rail Access to Heathrow.
Similarly, they’re looking to create a ‘healthy and vibrant’ urban space that encourages more people to live and work in the town. By reducing congestion on the roads and encouraging more people to walk or cycle, Slough Local Council hopes to ensure a healthier, safer town centre.
Thames Valley University Site
Aside from the redevelopment of the Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough Council now also owns the former Thames Valley University (TVU) site – a major development location set to be transformed into new homes, offices and leisure spaces.
A huge space that is expected to hold 1,400 homes, 45,000 sq.ft of retail space and 250,000 sq.ft of office space, the TVU site is an example of the large scale regeneration that will trigger further investment into the region.
What does this mean for investors?
Going forward, these should be key signposts for investors of the potential Slough holds. Regeneration projects such as these demonstrate the confidence that both the government and external businesses have in the area.
With Crossrail also on the horizon, revolutionising transport across the South East as we know it, there’s never been a better time to consider how Slough can serve the young working professional demographic that makes up such a large proportion of the rental market.
This is why a development such as The Metalworks – a private residential development just 100m from Slough’s Crossrail station – is such an appealing investment. With London accessible in under 20 minutes and Slough’s established business hub five minutes away, The Metalworks is ideally situated for working professionals in the area.
Completing soon, The Metalworks is in a unique position to benefit from both the leisure projects delivered by Slough Urban Renewal and the transport plans in place, which Nationwide estimate could boost property prices by 9.4%.