It may be the constituency of our previous prime minister Theresa May, but there’s little else about Maidenhead that you would consider past-it. Indeed, with the prospect of Maidenhead becoming a Western station on the London tube map, once Crossrail has arrived, the attractiveness of the town will grow.
Trains from London to Maidenhead used to, in Victorian times, bring weekenders to the riverside town for some diversion from the city smog. But now the commuter belt is only part of Maidenhead’s allure; it is a business centre in its own right – home to innovative companies and quality professionals.
It’s all about regeneration now – with construction currently underway at the town’s first regeneration site, and much more in the pipeline.
Work has started on a major redevelopment site in Maidenhead which will deliver 229 new homes alongside a community space and food outlets on the banks of Maidenhead waterways.
The £94 million regeneration scheme is the first development to be started as part of the Royal Borough Development Partnership, a joint initiative between the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Countryside.
The development, called Watermark, based in York Road, Maidenhead, will see 88 of the 229 new homes built as affordable homes of varied sizes and tenures in partnership with Housing Solutions. The range of property types and ownership options are being targeted at people that live, work or were born in the Royal Borough.
The beginning of construction was marked with a ceremony that was attended by the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and key representatives from Countryside, the council and Housing Solutions.
The site will see new public space adjacent to the Town Hall, York Stream and Maidenhead Library as well as approximately 20,000 sq ft of new restaurant, café, community and heritage space. There will be a public square which will provide an enhanced setting for the Grade II listed Maidenhead library.
The redevelopment will create a fully accessible river walkway close to the York Stream and Watermark. Improved pedestrian and cycle routes are also a key feature of the scheme.
Construction will directly support 350 jobs, and is expected to complete in 2024. Countryside will target the local labour market and provide apprenticeships for those looking to become a qualified trade person.
Mike Woolliscroft, managing director, Partnerships South (West) Countryside, said: “The ground-breaking event is a major milestone for the Royal Borough Development Partnership and the town of Maidenhead.
“York Road is an extremely important location in the town centre and our meticulously considered designs benefit from extensive consultation with Maidenhead’s public, stakeholders, the council and the local planning authority. We now look forward to progressing works on site and realising the potential that Watermark offers Maidenhead.
“Countryside and the Royal Borough have worked to maximise the level of affordable housing at Watermark and were delighted to select Housing Solutions as a partner for this aspect of the scheme.”
Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council and lead member for Maidenhead regeneration and Maidenhead, said: “This is a major milestone in Maidenhead’s regeneration and it is great to see construction get underway.
“Watermark will provide much needed housing in the heart of the town centre which we will be offered to our residents on a ‘first dibs’, meaning residents who live, work or were born in the borough will get priority.
“This is an exciting time for our residents as we regenerate Maidenhead and this is one of four sites in the partnership with Countryside but there is much more regeneration across Maidenhead. It certainly is exciting times.”