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Mace celebrates the opening of the Lexicon Bracknell

Mace has celebrated the completion of one of the largest urban regeneration schemes currently being built in the UK, with the opening of the Lexicon Bracknell. 

The project, which opened formally on Thursday 7 September, is a £240 million retail and leisure town centre transformation in Berkshire. It will create a new retail and social heart for Bracknell and East Berkshire.

The new town centre was developed by the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, working with Bracknell Forest Council. The scheme was master planned and concept designed by architects BDP together with Chapman Taylor. Mace was the main contractor.

Some £768 million is being invested in the regeneration of Bracknell Forest borough, encompassing the town centre and the neighbouring area. The regenerated town centre now consists of one million sq ft of retail, casual dining and leisure, including the existing Princess Square shopping centre.

The town centre’s evening offer will be transformed with the opening of a 12-screen Cineworld, featuring the only 4DX screen in the Thames Valley, and 10 casual dining restaurants, such as Nando’s, Wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Carluccio’s. The Bull public house, a celebrated Grade II listed part of the borough’s heritage, has been restored and extended and will be used by Young’s for its first site in Berkshire. 

The remainder of the town centre regeneration includes one of the largest green walls in Europe, plus the refurbishment of existing shop facades, major public realm improvements, some 3,800 spaces in new or renovated car parks and significant highway upgrades to the local network, together with improvements to the key gateways into the town.

The town centre will employ over 3,500 people giving opportunities for local residents, many of whom had to travel elsewhere previously to work in retail.

Gareth Lewis, Mace’s Chief Operating Officer for Construction, said: 

“The completion of the Lexicon is a proud moment for Mace. It’s rare that we get the chance to help deliver a project that will so radically transform a town centre, and has the potential to drive so much sustainable economic growth. It’s been a big, complex job – particularly in terms of ensuring existing public realm has been able to remain open – and we’re delighted with the end result.”

Laura Mason, Director of Direct Investments, Legal & General Capital, said: 

“The transformation of Bracknell is one of the most significant town centre regeneration projects to be delivered in the last 25 years.  The UK needs urban centres that are fit for purpose – supporting long term demographic shifts and economic growth by bringing jobs and homes back into the centre of our cities and better utilising our existing infrastructure.  This is a great match for L&G’s patient capital.  We made a £15 billion commitment to investing in UK infrastructure and have already invested £12bn to date, including urban regeneration, tens of thousands of homes, energy, care homes and hospitals.”

James Lass, Fund Manager for the Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, said: 

“We are delighted that The Lexicon has now been opened by the community in Bracknell. This scheme has transformed the town and will be a catalyst for creating value and further opportunities elsewhere in the town centre. The impressive line-up of retail and restaurant brands will create a vibrancy for the local economy, whilst the scheme as a whole complements the area’s exceptional business and employment offer, reinforcing Bracknell Forest as great place to live and work.”

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