Bracknell’s regenerated town centre has opened for business.
7 Sep 2017
Following months of anticipation on social media and elsewhere, customers can visit the new shops, dine at the restaurants and enjoy the different attractions following the grand unveiling today. By lunchtime, an estimated 10,000 people had attended the day of events which started with the big opening of the brand new retail and leisure destination by local schoolchildren.
Part of a £768 million investment in the regeneration of Bracknell Forest Borough, the renovated town centre includes The Lexicon Bracknell, a brand new, £240 million retail and leisure heart for the town and for East Berkshire. The Lexicon Bracknell 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.
Attractions include the first, new build, full line Fenwick to open in 14 years as one of the anchor stores. The town centre will have the Thames Valley’s only 4DX screen at the 12-screen Cineworld. The importance of sustainability in Bracknell Forest is demonstrated with one of the largest green walls in Europe shows. And heritage is respected with the renovation and extension of The Bull public house, part of which dates to the 1400s.
Laura Mason, Director of Direct Investments, Legal & General Capital, said: “The transformation of Bracknell is one of the most significant town centre regeneration projects to be delivered in the last 25 years. The UK needs urban centres that are fit for purpose – supporting long term demographic shifts and economic growth by bringing jobs and homes back into the centre of our cities and better utilising our existing infrastructure. This is a great match for L&G’s patient capital. We made a £15 billion commitment to investing in UK infrastructure and have already invested £12bn to date, including urban regeneration, tens of thousands of homes, energy, care homes and hospitals.”
Simon Russian, Head of Development, Bracknell for Legal & General, said: “Bracknell has a focus now that matches its affluence and aspirations. For too long, the town centre underserved the local community but that has now changed with an exciting new scheme.”
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 scheme was masterplanned and concept designed by architects BDP together with Chapman Taylor. Main contractor was Mace. Joint agents 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