News: 28 April 2017New £500m Urban Quarter for Reading Approved

Our planning and design teams have secured approval at Planning Committee for Royal Elm Park, the £500 million landmark development adjacent to Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium.

The new community, shaped by Barton Willmore’s design team, will provide over 600 new homes and an 8,000 sqm public square, in addition to a world class Convention Centre, new 247-room hotel, 102 serviced apartments, and 2,000 sqm of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities, including an ice rink.

Based in the Thames Valley for over 80 years, Barton Willmore’s Town Planning, Architecture, Landscape Design, Environmental Planning and Research teams have worked on the scheme, on behalf of Reading Football Club.

The centre piece of the scheme will be a world-class, 28,000sqm Convention Centre. Known as ‘The International’, the venue will have a capacity for 6,000 people and will enable the region to compete on a world stage, playing host to a variety of uses including music, leisure and community events.

Providing much needed housing for the region, the mix of one, two and three bedroom homes puts the community at the heart of the development. In addition, the scheme is set to deliver significant benefits to fast-growing Reading, with the creation of 1,000 new jobs.

Kim Cohen, Planning Partner at Barton Willmore said “This is a flagship scheme that will not only bring considerable opportunities to South Reading but also to the Thames Valley. 

“Reading is now ranked as one of Europe’s fastest growing investment destinations with the Thames Valley becoming home to a significant number of global industries over the past two decades. South Reading is a focus for growth and regeneration within the Council’s planning policy framework and this major new mixed-use development has undeniable potential to contribute significantly to the enhancement of this area, offering enhanced facilities for large businesses seeking a home in the south east.”

Nick Collins, Architectural Partner added: “First established as an Architectural Practice in Reading, we are extremely proud as Architects to be involved in such a significant scheme for the region.

“It has been essential in our designs that the creation of this new distinctive, mixed-use urban quarter blends and complements the existing Madejski Stadium, Green Park business park and surrounding development to create a truly integrated scheme with a mix of uses, used 24 hours a day.”

Commenting, Nigel Howe, Chief Executive of Reading FC, said: “This is a huge boost for Reading, and will deliver a step change in the city’s ability to host international, large-scale conferences and events, which the business community here has long sought.  But the scheme delivers more than that.  It delivers a new and reinvigorated destination for businesses and the Reading community, and will significantly enhance the match-day experience for our supporters, the driving force behind the Club’s success. 

“Royal Elm Park is emblematic of the city’s vision for the future, and will play a significant role in driving new and enhanced inward investment, which will underpin the regional economy going forward.”

Subject to completing the final planning requirements, construction is planned to commence in early 2018, with The International operational in 2020. Final completion is expected in 2023.

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Reading Football Club, Thames Valley, New Community