Reading Borough Council has appointed McLaren Living as its development partner for the £250m ($315.81m) Minster Quarter Central regeneration project in Reading, England, UK.

McLaren Living was selected during the council’s January Policy Committee meeting following a rigorous evaluation of detailed bids.  

The development plan was approved last year.  

The initiative aims to transform the 5.2-acre site in Reading’s town centre, introducing more than 600 new homes, with 30% of these units classified as affordable.  

The site previously housed the Civic Centre and is envisioned to become a gateway connecting Russell Street, the Castle Hill Conservation Area, and the residential zones of West Reading. 

The development will feature 40,000m² of new commercial space, comprising workspace, retail, food and beverage outlets, and a 102-bed hotel. 

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By GlobalData

The Minster Quarter Central scheme aims to enhance public spaces by introducing ‘Hexagon Square’, a new civic area intended to serve as a gateway to Reading’s Hexagon Theatre and new Studio Theatre.  

It is a part of the broader Minster Quarter Regeneration Area, which is anticipated to yield more than 1,200 homes. 

In alignment with Reading’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, McLaren Living plans to implement all-electric, energy-efficient systems that maximise renewable energy generation at the site.

The project also aims to deliver a net gain in biodiversity and introduce new pedestrian and cycle routes. 

Reading Borough Council leader and councillor Jason Brock said: “The preferred bidder has come forward with hugely exciting proposals which tick all of these important boxes and more, including more family-sized homes which we know are in short supply in Reading, a brand-new civic space as a gateway to a revitalised Hexagon Theatre, which will contribute to its growth as a destination for arts and culture, a new community hub and, through our commitment to social value, around 100 new local jobs post-construction.”