The UK’s third most productive town is booming
Big things are happening in Slough. A long-term project is underway to transform 29 acres in the town centre. The Heart of Slough is a £450m initiative using the investment from both the public and private sectors to make Slough a great place to live, work and play.
The heart of Slough will be a brand new commercial district for the area, creating 1,600 new homes, over 750,000 sq. ft. office space, a 120 bed-hotel, a bus terminus, and a new retail and leisure space.
The project will feature the creation of a commercial quarter, which will cover approximately three acres. It will consist of a mixed-use development that will add tens of thousands of sq. metres of residential and commercial space.
All in all, around 1,600 new homes will be built in the area, and 70,000 sq. metres of Class A office space will be made available over the six years to 2022.
Heathrow Airport supports around 76,600 jobs directly, and indirectly the figure 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 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 part due to the Crossrail project which will connect Reading to Paddington via Slough by 2019.
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.
That means Slough property investment is right for you if you’re looking for major city property.
Economy & Employment
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 £2.5 billion economy, Slough’s contribution to the national economy is in the region of £8 billion, double the UK average. It is said that Slough has the highest concentration of European headquarters in the UK. The locality is home to 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.
Slough is set to reap the rewards of several well funded new building projects.
The ‘Heart of Slough’ project is a long-term town centre regeneration scheme set to continue well into 2018. It will replace old & underused buildings with efficient state-of-the-art multi-functional structures,
Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) is responsible for a large number of regeneration projects across town, for example:
- The Centre, a new wet and dry leisure centre which will feature a 25-metre swimming pool. It’s expected to complete in late 2017.
- A new hotel and office space covering 45,00 sq. ft. located on the high street, expected to commence in 2017/18.
- Thousands of new homes across the town, including 1,400 which will be erected on the old Thames Valley University site. The regeneration plans, which the council says will attract £550m worth investment, will also include 45,000 square feet of retail and leisure space and 250,000 square feet of office space.
Air: The furthest parts of Slough are only half an hour west from Heathrow Airport, with direct access via the M4. Gatwick Airport is around 45 miles southwards using the M25 and M23, whilst Luton Airport is a mere 34 miles north, via the M25 and M1.
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 – a journey which takes 2 minutes, and also to Paddington, which takes 17 minutes. The new Crossrail will also serve Slough upon its completion.
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.
That means Slough property investment is ideal for property investors looking for a London commuter belt property for your portfolio.
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.
Shops & Leisure
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-fi 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.
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.
Sport & 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 Spaces: 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.