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Reading Borough Council has approved plans for Reading Football Club’s £500M Royal Elm Park development to be located on land surrounding the Medejski Stadium.

A new 28,000 sq m convention centre dubbed ‘The International’ will be the focal point of the development and will provide a venue for wide range of events including concerts, conferences and an ice rink. The International will have a capacity of 6,000 and be the largest dedicated conference venue in the south of England. The development will also see construction of over 600 homes providing a mix of two and three-bedroom homes complete with parking for residents

The community at Royal Elm Park will also be able to take advantage of a new 18,000 sq m public open space that will include retail, leisure and restaurant facilities.

The development hopes to harness Reading’s growing economic presence in the region having seen a number of global businesses such as Microsoft, Symantec and 3M set up home in the town.

Improved transport links will provide greeter connectivity with Crossrail services giving new direct links to central and east London from 2019.

A new mainline station is also planned at the closely situated Green Park, which the club say will provide direct rail access to local destinations, the south west, the Midlands and the North.

Nigel Howe, Chief Executive of Reading FC, described the development as a “step change” for the town. He said: “This is a huge boost for Reading, and will deliver a step change in the town’s ability to host international, large-scale conferences and events, which the business community here has long sought. But the scheme delivers more than that. It delivers a new and reinvigorated destination for businesses and the Reading community, and will significantly enhance the match-day experience for our supporters, the driving force behind the Club’s success.

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK CIC, said the scheme would boost the local area by creating 2,000 jobs during its construction and operation phases.

The project is due to begin construction early next year and be completed in 2023.

Source – UK Construction Online

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