Home  >  News  >  Slough stakeholders say town is thriving
Slough stakeholders say town is thriving
26 May 2022

Slough stakeholders say town is thriving

By Ashby Capital Ashby Capital

Berkeley Homes, which is currently building 1,300 new homes at the former Horlicks Factory site in the centre of Slough, has gathered the views of a host of expert stakeholders on why they support the town.

Slough Borough Council’s financial problems have made national news but wide-ranging investors, developers and other stakeholders say that has done little to hinder the attractions it offers including its location and its previous and potential future economic success.

Nancy Lalor, Slough Chamber president, said: “Slough is home to a growing ecosystem of world-class technology companies and data centres, contributing to a vibrant and productive local economy.

“Its excellent transport links, close proximity and excellent connectivity to London have made it an attractive destination for UK and foreign-owned businesses to invest.

“Through my work as Slough Chamber president, I continue to encourage world-class design, architecture and planning in the redevelopment of Slough’s town centre in addition to targeting efforts on key sectors where the town has evidential strengths, including technology, logistics and creative industries.

“The challenge to maintain sustainable growth of the talent pool available to companies and to keep home-grown talent in the town is paramount to its ongoing success and we aim to preserve our active partnerships with significant local and regional networks to ensure the future economic success of Slough,”

James Swindlehurst, leader of Slough Borough Council, said: “In addition to the key regeneration projects being delivered, developer interest in the town remains strong and the opening of Crossrail as a through service this year will keep Slough well-connected and provide new opportunities for our residents and businesses alike.

“The council and its partners continue to co-ordinate infrastructure improvements – like the local gigabit broadband network and public digital access points through our Smart City activity, as well as increasing electric vehicle hubs and continuing our work to reduce carbon emissions and make key buildings across Slough more energy efficient.”

James Craddock, managing director Thames Valley for SEGRO, said: “The Slough Trading Estate is a thriving and vibrant business community for our customers. With historically low levels of vacancy, it continues to be a hugely popular choice for businesses to be based and a long-term home for a diverse range of sectors. We are pleased to see strong demand for modern, sustainable warehousing and industrial space that is well-located in the Thames Valley.

“In February, plans were approved for SEGRO to develop the first multi-storey industrial development on the Slough Trading Estate. Known as SEGRO V-Park Leigh Road, the iconic, seven-storey building will provide industrial workspace for a range of businesses, including small enterprises and start-ups, whilst ensuring that the trading estate remains the long-term home for a diverse range of businesses and sectors.

“The development will become a hub for small and start-up businesses to thrive, encompassing small units in a range of configurations. SEGRO is also planning to help customers by establishing a series of business support events that will provide advice on matters such as finance, recruitment, innovation and legislation, to support the needs of their customers and to help grow their businesses.”

The Future Works represents a £200 million investment in Slough by AshbyCapital and U+I. It will create a total of 360,000 sq ft of new office accommodation when complete. A new café and restaurant, Lucy’s Kitchen, recently opened on the ground floor of the first completed building, No. 2 The Future Works.

Peter Ferrari, chief executive of AshbyCapital, said: “Slough already has the highest concentration of global headquarters outside London and multiple titles for being a great place to live and work.

“With Crossrail officially opening this month and a number of other major regeneration projects underway, the future is bright for Slough.

“And with more businesses and employees appreciating the benefits of a first-rate office environment for business performance, employee well-being and attracting talent, we are continuing to progress the future phases of our The Future Works campus, which now have planning consent and which will breathe new life into the heart of this increasingly vibrant town.

“To keep The Future Works at the forefront of the evolving demands of occupiers, we recently opened Lucy’s Kitchen on the ground floor of No.2 The Future Works. The café’s biophilic-led design flows into the reception area, providing a calming and inviting arrival experience for our occupiers and visitors.

“With interest growing in high-quality, well-connected workspaces outside of major city centres, we are experiencing strong interest in the remaining space in No 2 The Future Works, while No 1 and No 3 The Future Works, as best-in-class examples of innovative, future-proofed office buildings that facilitate collaboration and prioritise the health and wellbeing of their occupants, will be ideally placed to capitalise on this demand.”

In October 2021, British Land submitted its major planning application for the regeneration of the High Street including the replacement of the Queensmere shopping centre with a new residential, commercial, shopping and hospitality proposition.

Speaking at the time, British Land development director Russell O’Hare, said: “Having spent several months consulting with the local community and Slough Borough Council, we are confident that our exciting proposals will bring much-needed investment and activity to Slough town centre.”

Major household retailers continue to open new stores in the town, including Lidl, Furniture Village and a Greggs Bakery drive thru.

Ben Ivey, sales and marketing director for Horlicks Quarter developer Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chilterns), said: “We are thrilled to be playing a key role in the regeneration of such a vibrant town. Our new scheme, Horlicks Quarter is being created on the iconic Horlicks factory site and will include around 1,300 new and refurbished apartments and townhouses, with a range of amenities for both residents and the local community.

“In spite of Covid, our build programme for the development remains on track to create 576 homes in Phase 1.

“We were delighted to welcome our first residents into Aquifer House last month such that 35 apartments are now occupied. Our landscaping team have also been busy finishing the central ‘Aquifer Gardens’ which we will formally open next month. Anyone coming down to the site will be impressed by the progress we’ve made. Our vision for the scheme is really beginning to take shape.”

Novus Apartments is the latest collection of homes to be delivered by Slough Urban Renewal (a joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Muse Developments).

Andy Howell, general manager of Slough Urban Renewal, said: “Home to some major employers, with strong transport connections, a huge regeneration underway and some impressive new leisure facilities already in place, Slough is an attractive proposition for first time buyers.

“We are now over 50 per cent sold at Novus – with first time buyers making up a significant proportion of our purchasers here. Last month, we were the first development in the town (second in the whole Thames Valley) to launch the Government’s First Homes scheme, offering homes at 30 per cent of market value. The response has been phenomenal with nearly 80 per cent of our allocation already reserved.”

Chris Scott, development director for Muse Developments, said: “Our partnership with the council has been in place for many years and has control over a number of key commercial sites within the borough, including North-West Quadrant – the former Thames Valley University site.

“We are continuing to develop our proposals for this major transformational scheme in the heart of Slough. It’s a fantastic town rich in history with even more potential and we are committed to enabling place-changing regeneration for the benefit of the community to drive generational job creation and economic development.

Alexa Peters, director and head of Reading & Thames Valley residential development sales for Savills,which is marketing Horlicks Quarter, said: “The appeal of Slough’s Crossrail location and easy access to Heathrow, alongside the opportunity for quality space and lifestyle, is already drawing buyers out of London.

“Over the last 10 years, house prices have grown by 66 per cent – outperforming the of the county average by nearly 10 per cent. Based on current market performance we forecast that property in the South East has the potential to achieve 10.4 per cent price growth in the next five years.”