One of the largest urban regeneration schemes currently being built in the UK has its opening on Thursday (7 September 2017).
4 Sep 2017
The Lexicon Bracknell, a £240 million retail and leisure town centre transformation in Berkshire will create a new retail and social and heart for the town and East Berkshire. It is being developed by The Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council.
Simon Russian, Head of Development, Bracknell for Legal & General Investment Management, Real Assets (LGIM RA), said: “The transformation of Bracknell has been a massive challenge. Much hard work, imagination and investment was required to turn the previously run-down town centre into a vibrant, enticing destination in line with its affluent catchment. Significantly, this is the first post-war New Town to be completely masterplanned, demolished, reconfigured and rebuilt.”
The 580,000 sq ft development has attracted an impressive list of top brands such as Joules, Fat Face, Superdry, Office, Next, H&M, River Island, Timberland, Seasalt, Paperchase, KIKO Milano, The Body Shop, Beauty Base, Topshop, Pandora, Marks & Spencer and Primark. Other high-street favourites to join the line-up include Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, Moss Bros, Vision Express, Footlocker, Smiggle, Flying Tiger Copenhagen, Boots, Ernest Jones, Beaverbrooks and L’Occitane. The Lexicon features the first, new build, full line Fenwick to be opened in 14 years as one of its anchor stores in an 80,000 sq ft unit over three levels.
The new town centre was developed by the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, working with Bracknell Forest Council. The scheme was masterplanned and concept designed by architects BDP together with Chapman Taylor. The main contractor was Mace.
Jessica Berney, Head of UK Retail at Schroder Real Estate, commented: “The Lexicon has delivered thousands of jobs and attracted new brands, ensuring the town is now a leading retail and leisure destination in the southeast, which customers can enjoy and return to again and again. The 30,000 sq ft Waitrose store, which opened in 2011, and the Marks & Spencer, which launched its 80,000 sq ft anchor store in July, have both traded exceptionally well, attracting customers from across the catchment, showing the tremendous potential for the whole town centre. We view the Lexicon as the catalyst for future opportunities in a town centre where people want to live, work and spend their leisure time.”
Some £768 million is being invested in the regeneration of Bracknell Forest borough, encompassing the town centre and the neighbouring area. The regenerated town centre now consists of one million sq ft of retail, casual dining and leisure, including the existing Princess Square shopping centre.
The town centre’s evening offer will be transformed with the opening of a 12-screen Cineworld, featuring the only 4DX screen in the Thames Valley, and 10 casual dining restaurants, such as Nando’s, wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Carluccio’s. The Bull public house, a celebrated Grade II listed part of the borough’s heritage, has been restored and extended and will be used by Young’s for its first site in Berkshire.
The remainder of the town centre regeneration includes one of the largest green walls in Europe, plus the refurbishment of existing shop facades, major public realm improvements, some 3,800 spaces in new or renovated car parks and significant highway upgrades to the local network, together with improvements to the key gateways into the town.
The town centre will employ over 3,500 people giving opportunities for local residents, many of whom had to travel elsewhere previously to work in retail.
Joint agents for The Lexicon Bracknell are CBRE and Lunson Mitchenall.
The Lexicon Bracknell is being developed by The Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (“BRP”), a 50:50 joint venture between Legal & General Capital (“LGC”) and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (“SREF”), working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council (“BFC”). The joint agents for The Lexicon Bracknell are CBRE and Lunson Mitchenall.
Household income and expenditure in Bracknell currently exceeds the UK average by 28% and 21% respectively. This is similar to other affluent locations including Guildford, Oxford, Windsor and Maidenhead. Bracknell Forest was rated 16/20 in last year’s Halifax Quality of Life survey.
Bracknell is only 30 miles west of central London and is a key part of the thriving Thames Valley economy, known as the UK’s Silicon Valley. Bracknell is a hub for large, multi-national brands and businesses, including Waitrose head office, Fujitsu, Honda, 3M, Dell, HP and Vodafone. Bracknell has strong transport links to the UK motorway network, located between the M3 and M4.
The Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (“SREF”), previously known as Schroder UK Property Fund (SPF), is Schroders’ flagship real estate fund launched in 1971, which is currently valued at £2.2 billion (at 31 December 2015). A property authorised investment fund, it offers diversified exposure to UK commercial property. Managed by a team of market-leading professionals, SREF is growing year-on-year both through value enhancement and new strategic acquisitions.
Bracknell Forest Council is a Conservative-controlled unitary authority in the Royal County of Berkshire, providing a wide range of services from waste collection to social care to education to 118,000 residents. The borough is home to several buildings of note including The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Wellington College; it is also home to various well-known companies including Waitrose, Dell and Honda UK. The borough is regularly cited as one of the best places in the UK to live and is often praised for its low crime rate, good education standards, low unemployment, good leisure facilities and green credentials – 20 per cent of the borough is forest.
Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. LGC has built its capabilities in a range of alternative sectors, including in residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, which are all supported by long-term structural growth drivers, meet a financing gap and respond to a scarcity of supply that is underpinned by enduring societal needs.
Its purpose is to invest society’s capital for society’s benefit. Investing in the real economy and supporting the Group’s focus on climate and inclusive capitalism, LGC’s investments create jobs, change lives and contribute towards a net zero carbon future.
Legal & General has invested over £29bn in levelling-up regional economies, including through major UK-wide regeneration schemes and has recently made a commitment to enable all its new homes to operate at net zero carbon emissions from 2030.
*at 31 Jun 2021