Demolition Row in Bracknell Town Centre. 550,000 square foot of low quality shopping centre to be replaced by something better including a Cineworld, an M&S, and new shops. Demolition will start in July and carry on until October.
Some shop keepers told customers, before closing, that rents are going up a lot. So some of them won’t be back.
I could not believe there was such a desolate area when I started working nearby last year – not knowing that shops were being cleared as leases came up for renewal, and so more and more were empty or short term let. Now they are all empty. Upstairs walkways are cordoned off and workmen have started the process . I guess there is lot of asbestos that needs removing first.
My six months working at Bracknell has come to an end. About halfway through my time there I saw the plans to redevelop some of the town centre. This included a cinema and M & S in a prominent position. But what I did not see talked about was the fate of all the small trees that lined the precincts.
They all had ther branches chopped off last autumn.
Then yesterday two of them were getting carved into street art.
One had an owl on top. The other was a swirly stick.
I’ve been working in Bracknell since the start of November, travelling down by car. The M4 round Reading is dire at that time in the morning, and if one morning the M4 turns out good the A329M will be even more dire. The exit from Bracknell can also be dire later in the day. On one occasion it took me 2 hours to do 2 miles.
But now thanks to the internet I can get train tickets that work out cheaper then going by car with the £6 parking at Bracknell. And they allow me to read books – a pleasure I don’t usually allow myself.
I also have started to cycle the few miles to Didcot, cutting out any need to go the gym (another saving).
Then on the way back I get absorbed, wherever I am, reading my book. It is so much better than making my way round those horrible roundabouts through backed up traffic telling myself I should have gone the other way. I have 3 routes out of Bracknell.
More of Bracknell anon. The shopping centre needs a bomb dropping on it. But they have a regeneration project which I am starting to follow with interest.