On Thursday 25th February, the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership a 50:50 Joint Venture between Legal & General Capital (“LGC”) and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (“SREF”), together with Bracknell Forest Council (“BFC”) and contractors Mace, held the topping out ceremony for its Marks & Spencer store at The Lexicon Bracknell, the brand new shopping and leisure destination coming to Bracknell in spring 2017.
The celebration marks the scheme’s significant progress on site to date, reaching its tallest point of construction, bringing the project one step closer to its completion. One of the biggest Town Centre regeneration projects currently taking place in the UK; The Lexicon will fundamentally change the landscape of Bracknell Town Centre. The £240 million regeneration will deliver a 1 million sq ft quality retail, leisure and entertainment destination within landscaped public spaces, and a new social and cultural heart for the borough.
Simon Russian, Development Manager for Legal & General on behalf of the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, commented: “It is very encouraging to see the rapid progress on site and the transformational project reaching another construction milestone. The Lexicon’s M&S store is a testament to the strength and quality of the retail offer we are creating in Bracknell. It is also very rewarding to see the excitement and anticipation by locals”.
James Lass, Fund Manager at Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, commented: “This important visual milestone demonstrates the significant progress we are making at the Lexicon. We are committed to delivering an attractive, high quality scheme, not only for the brands which will operate here, but for the wider community to enjoy and benefit from, and we now look ahead towards completion and continuing the great momentum already made on site.”
Mace and the BRP are dedicated to involving the local community and have organised tours of the construction site for school children and university students to give them a good insight into the rapid progress of building works and the transformation of the town centre.
Andrew James, Project Director for Mace, said: “Marks and Spencer is the first building to be completed within The Lexicon project. We started forming the earthworks and foundations last spring, which allowed us to begin erection of the structure in June. As you can see, today we are entering the final stages with the building envelope in full swing. Constructing Marks and Spencer has been a fantastic team effort and I am sure this will remain a fantastic building in years to come.”
Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, who joined BRP for the ceremony to mark the occasion, commented: “I’m delighted to see The Lexicon reach this important milestone. Marks & Spencer forms an integral part of our Town Centre’s transformation, becoming a destination of choice when it opens next year. Today we are celebrating this construction milestone that brings the project one step closer to making Bracknell one of the best places to live and work in the Thames Valley.”
The scheme is 65% pre-let (by floor area), and in addition to the new Marks & Spencer building, is anchored by an 80,000 sq ft Fenwick department store and a 36,000 sq ft Waitrose. The two-storey Marks & Spencer store covering 80,000-ft2, will be located immediately adjacent to Waitrose, at the north of Bracknell’s town centre. The shop will feature the full spectrum of the M&S range, including men’s and women’s wear, homeware and a food hall. Other brands committed to The Lexicon are Topshop and Topman, H&M, Primark, Next and River Island. The Lexicon Bracknell will also feature a 12 screen Cineworld and 10 restaurants, including Carluccio’s, Zizzi, Wagamama and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, amongst others.
Bracknell is the first post-war New Town to be comprehensively redeveloped. Its regeneration includes 580,000 sq ft of new development, which will form part of an integrated and modernised 1 million sq ft shopping and leisure destination in the heart of Bracknell Town Centre.