Reading Borough Council has approved plans for Royal Elm Park, a £500M landmark project adjacent to Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium.
The 15.5ha project will include a 28,000 sq m convention centre, more than 600 new homes, 18,000 sq m of public space, a hotel, and over 2,000 sq m of retail, leisure and restaurant facilities.
The convention centre, named The International, will have capacity for 6,000 people and will host events, concerts, and conferences. It will feature a new ice rink for leisure use and competitive sport.
The new homes will be available in a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations.
Nigel Howe, Reading FC chief executive, said: “This is a huge boost for Reading, and will deliver a step change in the town’s ability to host international, large-scale conferences and events, which the business community here has long sought.
“But the scheme delivers more than that. It delivers a new and reinvigorated destination for businesses and the Reading community, and will significantly enhance the match-day experience for our supporters, the driving force behind the Club’s success.
“Royal Elm Park is emblematic of the town’s vision for the future, and will play a significant role in driving new and enhanced inward investment, which will underpin the regional economy going forward.”
The Royal Elm Park is expected to lead to the creation of over 1,000 new jobs. Construction work is expected to start in early 2018, subject to completing the final planning requirements.
The International is expected to be operational in 2020, while the entire project is scheduled for conclusion in 2023.
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