Crossrail, investment + regeneration in Slough
Slough property investment highlights
- Crossrail coming 2019
- New line to Heathrow in 7 minutes
- Huge high street regeneration after Crossrail
- Massive regeneration and £550m investment
- 750,000 new office space and employment growth
- 2.3m employees in the Thames Valley
Slough's regeneration and credentials
Slough is the UK’s third most productive town and big things are happening to this booming area. A long-term project is underway to transform 29 acres in the town centre. "The Heart of Slough" is a £450m initiative using investment from both the public and private sectors to make Slough a great place to live, work and play.
The "Heart of Slough" will feature the creation of a commercial quarter, covering approximately three acres. It will consist of a mixed-use development creating 1,600 new homes, over 750,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 120-bed hotel, a bus terminus, and new retail and leisure spaces being built over the next six years to 2022.
Heathrow Airport supports around 76,600 jobs directly, and indirectly the gure is as much as 116,000 in the immediate area. The Slough Trading Estate covers an area of 486 acres, and with over 600 buildings, has a working population of around 20,000 people employed by around 500 business. Companies such as Yell, Electrolux, GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Centrica, Mars and Virgin Media are based on the site.
Housing figures show that Slough is a hotspot for property sales. Property is expected to go from £275 to £400 per sq ft by 2020. That’s an increase of £125 per sq ft in 6 years.
This is in due to the Crossrail project which will connect Reading to Paddington via Slough by 2019 as well as the new direct line to Heathrow slashing journey times to just 7 minutes.
Faster, frequent and direct trains to the capital will really drive the economy in all the regions fortunate enough to receive the service and will similarly drive house prices upward.
Employment & the Slough economy
Slough has been named as ‘Britain’s Boomtown’ by the Observer newspaper
The Slough Chamber of Commerce has ambitious plans for the future, with companies choosing to locate in Slough because of the location, accessibility and excellent transport connectivity. Plus a plentiful supply of skilled workers and a competitive and dynamic business environment.
With a thriving £2.5bn economy, Slough’s contribution to the national economy is in the region of £8bn, double the UK average. It is said that Slough has the highest concentration of European headquarters in the UK, being home to some 4,600 organisations, including Amazon, Research in Motion, Honda and O2.
The Slough Trading Estate provides over 17,000 jobs in 400 businesses. Slough is the second most productive place in the UK, according to recent research (2017) by the Centre for Cities, an organisation who assess economic growth across the country.
Education in Slough
Slough has 27 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, 4 grammar schools, 1 further education college and 1 independent school. The schools in Slough have retained last year’s ranking of 7th best in the country for GCSE results. Four of the schools among the top 100 schools in England, according to the Department of Education’s league tables.
Notable schools include:
- Langley Grammar School was ranked an impressive, 29th in the Top 100 best performing schools in England.
- The Herschel Grammar School which has around 900 pupils, and is regularly oversubscribed. Described by parents as a ‘very supportive’ school, it ranks at number 77 in the Top 100.
- Nearby Eton College which has produced 19 British Prime Ministers to date.
Further Education: The East Berkshire College with its campuses in neighbouring Langley and Windsor, has been graded as ‘Good’ with many areas that were ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Shopping and Leisure in Slough
Shopping & dining: The shoppers of Slough are well catered for by the high street’s Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre. It has easy access, free parking, wi- and 120 shops on offer. Also located nearby is The Village Shopping Centre, with a huge range of market stalls selling all manner of goods and produce, from the everyday to the exotic.
Once Crossrail arrives, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will be totally transforming The Queensmere and Observatory Shopping centres in Slough with 660,000 sq ft of retail space plus 1,300 car park spaces attracting more than 10 million visitors a year. The new owners are committed to improving the centres as part of the town's regeneration.
There is a fantastic choice of dining experiences to suit all tastes and pockets. From local chip shops to traditional restaurants and Brasseries. For Michelin starred cuisine, Heston Blumenthal’s renowned Fat Duck is in nearby Bray.
Sports & culture: The West Wing Arts Centre has a 250 seat auditorium, dance studio and exhibition space. There are many venues in the area for such as ice skating, tennis, bowling & swimming. The Langley Centre, for example, has three indoor pools, a spa bath and a water slide.
Green space: Over 250 hectares of parks, open areas and green spaces are managed by Slough Borough Council. The Green Flag has been awarded to Salt Hill Park as well as both Herschel Park and Pippins Park in recognition of their high standards. Windsor is not far away at all and the rolling hills of the Thames Valley.
Rail: Slough is serviced via First Great Western Railway’s stations at Burnham, Langley and Slough. The latter is a junction between the Slough to Windsor & Eton Line and the Great Western Main Line. Services operate half-hourly to Reading - just 12 minutes, and also to London Paddington in just 18 minutes. The new Crossrail will serve Slough upon its completion from 2019, slashing journey times to Bond St to just 34 minutes and Canary Wharf to 49 minutes. There is also a new train line direct to heathrow, slashing times from 34 to just seven minutes.
Road: The M4 Motorway winds along the lower boundary of the district, providing easy access to Wales and the West Country, and to Heathrow Airport and London in the east. It connects directly with the M25, providing connections to the rest of the country.
Bus: In addition to the Heathrow Airport service and those London and beyond, the hub of Slough is served by buses to and from all directions: Birmingham in the Midlands, Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, Maidenhead and Windsor in Berkshire, Egham in Surrey and Hounslow in Middlesex.
"Let’s talk Crossrail and regeneration. That’s the big game changer that’s coming to Slough in 2019. Research by JLL Residential predicts house prices in Slough will rise by around 45% when Crossrail completes. That’s phenomenal in any market.
You might be thinking it’s just another blown up statistic, all hot air and hype. But Slough already has the fundamentals to back up the massive growth forecast by better connections to the capital.
The investment in the town is already underway and set to accelerate after Crossrail arrives. There’s loads of construction and big transformation projects on the horizon and heaps of new office space coming. Slough has it all going on, and will be a far cry from the dismal place David Brent based his BBC hit series “The Office” in.
Right on the doorstep of Heathrow Airport there’s already demand for rentals from the 76,000 employees based at Heathrow. Then there’s around 20,0000 more business people working on the massive Slough Trading Estate with 750,000 sq ft more Grade A office space still to come.
Windsor & Eton are Slough’s other high-flying neighbours & the stunning Berkshire countryside surrounding Slough is the icing on the cake for London commuters and residents.
Crossrail will transform Slough from a good town into a great commuter town. Just look at the impact of the HS1 rail project on places like Ashford if you need convincing. The fact property sales climbed by 45% in 2014 means this little secret is not so secret anymore. It’s time you made your move before it’s too late.