A £500 million (€591.17 million) scheme to create a landmark development in Reading, west of London, UK, has been given the green light by Reading Borough Council.
The centrepiece of the 155,000m2 development will be a 28,000m2 convention centre called The International. Set to be the largest dedicated conference venue in the south of England, with a capacity of 6,000, it is intended to attract future inward investment.
Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director of Reading UK CIC, said, “The Royal Elm Park scheme will make Reading an international centre for conferences and major events, attracting new business to the town and providing a major new resource for the many businesses and organisations already based here.”
The scheme is also set to deliver over 600 new homes with dedicated resident parking and extensive landscaping, as well as 18,000m2 of new public open space that will include an 8,000m2 public square with retail, leisure and restaurant facilities, and a 10,000m2 public park.
During the project, 1,000 construction jobs are expected to be created, and once completed it is believed the development will provide 1,000 people with full-time employment.
Public transport will also receive investment, including the creation of a new high capacity bus hub, and the way is also being paved for a new mainline station that will offer residents and visitors direct rail access to local destinations and beyond.