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6 July 2011, 06:00
Wokingham is set to undergo a multi-million pound revamp to boost it's economy.
The scheme will create approximately 700 jobs, 500 within the shops, 50 in the leisure uses and 150 at the hotel. This will result in approximately £21million invested into new salaries within the local economy, creating a knock-on value of around £35m.
Wokingham Borough Council say without regeneration, the town centre will gradually decline, eroding the commercial and community.
In a statement they told Heart:
"By improving retail, leisure and public realm we can create a relaxed, safe and secure environment which will attract people into Wokingham and will complement the developing café, bar and restaurant market in the town centre. The vision is to maintain and capitalise on the historic market town character in a manner that supports innovation, sustainability and quality of design."
The development is part of a 25 year plan to regenerate the town.
The proposals include:
o A range of modern retail units to help create a diverse mix and provide an improved balance of retail provision across the town centre.
o An anchor foodstore to attract more people into the town centre.
o Approximately 190 homes, including affordable homes.
o A new urban park including play spaces, outdoor entertainment area, relaxation and informal meeting areas.
o New high quality public realm that links with the existing town fabric and provides opportunities for a range of social and commercial activity including specialist markets on different days.
o Car parking provision and traffic and transport improvements.
A planning application will be submitted later this year and if it's successful work would begin in 2013.
If you want to see how Wokingham will look in the future, there are exhibitions on the following dates in Unit 4, Peach Street (next to Helen & Douglas House) on:
* 7th July - 12pm-7pm
* 8th July - 10am-4pm
* 9th July - 10am-4pm