Basingstoke’s ambitious multi-billion-pound programme of new commercial, residential, leisure and infrastructure projects is making huge progress towards future growth.
As the current winner of the Thames Valley Town of the Year award, Basingstoke is building on its agenda to create a future-proof environment to meet the changing needs of residents and businesses.
A £4 billion investment programme is bringing massive private and public investment to the town that will see major new office, housing, retail and leisure developments built in Basingstoke over the next 30 years, creating a sustainable future, with attractive homes and jobs.
With a clear and ambitious vision for the future, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working innovatively with the property industry on major development projects across residential, commercial and leisure sectors using its own land and resources.
Basing View: In-town amenities with out-of-town ease of access
One of these large capital projects is the regeneration of Basing View, the town’s central business district, located within a few minutes’ walk of the railway station and Basingstoke’s main shopping centre.
Already the location for a wide variety of organisations, from start-ups to global corporates, this 65-acre business district is undergoing major redevelopment and transformation, creating a modern, sustainable, commercial community.
Playing to its town-centre location, such as close proximity to the motorway network and access to a skilled labour pool, the project masterplan envisages a mix of new office space, a business-class hotel and other complementary uses such as retail and leisure.
Tangible, modern change
Since the council appointed award-winning Muse Developments as its lead development partner to kick-start the regeneration of Basing View, tangible change has been achieved and new investment in the area has been stimulated.
The past five years have seen the start of transformation with £2.3 million of council investment in improved landscaping by BALI award-winning Blakedown Landscapes, creating an appealing and modern environment. There has also been the delivery of a £50m Network Rail regional operating and training campus and the largest combined John Lewis at Home and Waitrose store in the country.
Speculative office development
An exciting step forward in Basing View’s redevelopment is the delivery of a new speculative town-centre office development.
Completing this July, the ‘Grade A’ Florence Building is a 60,000 sq ft office development being built by experienced developer Abstract Securities targeting a BREEAM Excellent standard and EPC rating of A. It will include 206 parking spaces and office space for around 700 desks.
A tight design and procurement process will offer occupiers the lowest cost per workstation of any new build office in the South East. For example, the cost per workstation based on an occupancy of 1:8 sq m per person in The Florence Building is £3,400 per annum, when compared with £3,700 in Farnborough or £5,000 in Reading. Total occupancy cost in The Florence Building is over 75% lower than the West End core and nearly 30% lower than in Reading.*
* Source: (Savills and Rare 2017).
Recently the transformation of the business district stepped up a gear following a £7.5m investment boost from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). This secured funding will be used to prepare the remaining sites for future development.
The LEP funding will provide an immediate boost, facilitating major ground-levelling works for a new business-class hotel to ensure it is development-ready.
The council has signed a long leasehold deal with fast-growing hotel group Village Hotels. The company has submitted plans for a 153-bedroom business-class hotel, complete with leisure club, conferencing facilities and a restaurant, bar and coffee shop. Construction of the hotel is proposed to start in the late summer with an anticipated opening date of autumn 2019.
Subject to planning permission being granted, this £19m investment by Village Hotels will bring more than 130 construction jobs onsite, a further 200 jobs in the construction supply chain and over 100 permanent jobs when it opens. The hotel will offer meeting and events facilities, an all-day restaurant and leisure facilities for businesses and residents.
Negotiations are also underway for long-term Basingstoke occupier Eli Lilly and Company to lease a new headquarters building on Basing View. The pre-let deal with the council is set to secure the company’s future in the town.
The commitment from Lilly to stay in Basingstoke will see the company move to a new purpose-designed 45,000 sq ft Grade A office building which will be constructed as part of the borough council’s partnership with Muse Developments.
Enterprise Zone status
Last April marked an exciting new era for the business district with the official launch of a newly-created enterprise zone, EZ³, linking Basing View with two other major regeneration sites, Longcross Park near Chertsey, and Whitehill and Borden’s Louisburg Barracks, to enjoy a host of advantages for the qualifying existing and new occupiers.
Enterprise Zone status gives all new compliant businesses that expand within or locate to Basing View business rates relief up to £275,000 over a five-year period. This is expected to attract more inward investment and accelerate high value business activities to generate local jobs and stimulate a vibrant economy.
Tech Town of the Year
The digital tech economy is an integral part of Basing View’s occupier community and the rapid growth of tech has confirmed Basingstoke’s standing as a ‘Top Ten Tech Town of Tomorrow’ due to the high proportion of tech jobs in the town.
The business park provides unique access to ground-breaking 5G technology through the 5G testbed based in Belvedere House, offering start-up and smaller businesses the opportunity to test the commercial viability of 5G technology.
The 5G testbed is set to put Basingstoke at the forefront of the 5G revolution, enabling businesses and entrepreneurs to get a head-start on the latest advance in mobile communications.
SetSquared, the global number one university business incubator, has chosen Basing View as the only location outside a university campus to establish one of its tech hubs, bringing rich tech capabilities and expertise to help support the launch of new hi-tech companies.
DeskLodge, named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the coolest offices in the world, has launched its new offices in Basing View. Following Bristol’s sell-out success, Desklodge has brought its collaborative co-working space to Basingstoke.
Offering a beach-inspired atrium and invigorating ‘New York’ themed upstairs space, Desklodge offers a workspace with a homely feel which far outstrips the ‘working from home’ experience.
The 20,000 sq ft collaborative and inspiring co-workspace aims to encourage hi-tech start-ups and entrepreneurs to get off the ground with its creative design and flexible terms.