Bracknell’s regenerated town centre has opened for business. 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 yesterday. 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 1300s.
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.”
James Lass, Fund Manager for the Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, said: “We are delighted that The Lexicon has now been opened by the community in Bracknell. This scheme has transformed the town and will be a catalyst for creating value and further opportunities elsewhere in the town centre. The impressive line-up of retail and restaurant brands will create a vibrancy for the local economy, whilst the scheme as a whole complements the area’s exceptional business and employment offer, reinforcing Bracknell Forest as great place to live and work.”
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.”