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Bracknell - the future of retail

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Bracknell Forest Council will be speaking at our next Future Cities Forum to be held at RIBA on 25th January 2018.

Chief Executive, Tim Wheadon, will be describing the journey that Bracknell Town Centre is taking from 1940s new town to the shopping and eating destination that local people expect and can enjoy.

In September this year, The Lexicon - a new high quality shopping centre - was opened with retailers such as Waitrose and Fenwick taking space. Some art has been woven in subtly to make the centre attractive.

Now the plan is to encourage developers to come forward with fresh ideas on the next stages of development for the rest of the town centre in a series of stages which will involve more retail, homes and offices.

Bracknell is best known as a post-war new town, although its origins go back to the Bronze Age AD 942. Sir Patrick Abercrombie's Greater London Plan of 1944 recommended that satellite towns should be sited beyond the Green Belt and Bracknell was chosen as one of them because of its railway station. Originally it was designed for 60,000 people but then scaled back to 25,000. Four neighbourhoods, two industrial centres, town centre and land where people could build their own homes was planned and the first residents moved to the town in 1951.

Today Bracknell remains true to its new town concept and is considered the most successful of the post war new towns. The new shopping centre, The Lexicon, with Mace as the main contractor for the £240 million redevelopment, is intended as a new social and cultural heart for the area, offering green landscaped spaces for entertainment and events.

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