The Heart of Slough project, named in the Top 100 National Regeneration projects is delivering upwards of £450 of regeneration across 12 ha of key sites within Slough’s town centre while helping to change the perceptions of the town and attract people back into the core.
We were originally commissioned to undertake a peer review of the Development Securities scheme on behalf of English Partnerships (EP now HCA), who had been asked to ‘gap fund’ the scheme. Our review identified significant design concerns and potential cost savings of around £30 million, which would arise from a radical review of the scheme. We were subsequently asked by HCA to prepare an alternative masterplan for detailed costing and viability appraisal. On the basis of this appraisal, HCA agreed to provide £120 million of funding for the scheme, acquired land within Slough and subsequently took the lead role in submitting the planning application.
NEW Masterplanning prepared a comprehensive masterplan and a development brief for the area, working closely with the development partners, planning and highway officers at Slough Borough Council and the architects for the library, bus station, shopping centre redevelopment. The most complex element was the restructuring of the main A4 town centre roundabout to create an urban junction, releasing additional land for development. This required close cooperation with the highway/engineering consultants, the bus operating company and with the transport officers at the Council.
The application has now been approved and the highway works and major public realm improvements implemented. The innovative replacement bus station is operational the new cultural centre / library, locally known as the Curve, is scheduled to open in 2016.