One of the most peculiar contrasts between neighbouring town centres has long been that of Slough and Windsor.
But those two hugely different neighbours are both about to move to a new level.
In Slough, there have been attempts over many years to change its image. But instead of a PR makeover which could never address most people’s perceptions, whether formed by Sir John Betjeman or Ricky Gervais, the local authority decided to change the town.
Now the visual image of Slough is more commonly represented by striking pictures of The Curve, a radical modern cultural centre next door to 111-year-old St Ethelbert’s Catholic Church.
And at our May 6 webinar, we learned of some of the major new schemes on the way nearby, including the replacement of both the Queensmere Observatory shopping centre and the old Thames Valley University buildings with mixed-use regenerations.
In Windsor, which as Savills’ Alexa Peters pointed out in the webinar, is walking distance from Slough, the central shopping area has never fully exploited its position so close to the Queen’s home.
If AEW was to revert to the previous name, King Edward Court, it would go a long way to bringing the locals on board.
And if the new scheme offers something more befitting of its location than a standard mix of shops, then Windsor, which can claim more than most to own the ‘jewel in the crown’ label, there could be a very exciting future.
If both schemes achieve their different objectives, it may be that one day, people won’t just walk from Slough to Windsor, but a few might go in the opposite direction too.
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