What Does Bracknell Think? Will people start to believe in town centre regeneration?
October 30, 2012
The week we asked our panel whether they thought two positive regeneration stories would change the minds of the cynics who say Bracknell’s revamp will never happen.
Last week we broke the news that M&S had signed a 25-year pre-let to open in approximately three years and plans to build the centre in stages were given the go ahead at the council’s planning meeting. (See pages 10-11).
We also asked what other
big name announcements they would like to see.
Kayne Steinborn-Busse, head of sales & marketing at APC Overnight, Bracknell: “Yes it will change some, however I believe there will still be a small group out there who will only believe it when the diggers finally roll in!
“The local economy needs a shot in the arm and this will do just that. It will create construction jobs in the short term and retail/leisure jobs in the long term.
“It would make sense to have a Nando’s, and I think the value fashion retailers will be looking to have a presence – the likes of Primark, H&M & TK Maxx.”
Janet Curley Cannon, manager and artist at Gallery@49 in Broadway: “It will be good to see the latest revised plans and what exactly is the ‘phased approach’ they mention.
“I and many others on Broadway and Crossway are concerned about our premises. If they demolish only what they need to for the construction of new occupied buildings then it will be good for all concerned. I asked visitors to the gallery on Saturday if they had heard the news and if they now believed the regeneration was really starting, but there was still great scepticism.”
Binfield parish councillor Nigel Rennie: “As one of the cynics, it has come as a major and pleasant surprise that Cllr Brunel-Walker looks as if he may have actually achieved something after so many years of inertia and total inactivity. However I will retain my absolute cynicism until we can see material results as this council has a very long history of making announcements for regenerating the town that never happen.
“Unfortunately, and as always, Bracknell council try to disguise what is really happening and talks of a ‘phased’ regeneration will inevitably mean a piecemeal patchwork of who will build what where and when and the plans changing faster than the announcements of the great regeneration. Is it true for example that the M&S deal means alterations/closure of the inner ring road and will residents be expected to pay for this? Where did this appear in the great regeneration plan?”
Jo Ilott from Crowthorne: “I think the regen project has gone way past the ‘needed’ stage – in my opinion, it’s now essential for the growth and survival of our town. Having grown up in Bracknell, and worked in and around the area my entire life, to see the town in such dire need is absolutely heartbreaking.
“I don’t think the regen can come quick enough. I’m not sure why we are having two cinemas – the one we have, doesn’t get full most days, does it?