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Commuter housing hotspot set to boom in Slough

On the rise Although only a three mile walk from the pomp and pageantry of Windsor Castle, Slough has been somewhat overlooked down the years, a fact that is probably due to a misplaced prejudice about its industrial past. However, the beginning of the 21st Century has seen the Thames Valley grow into a modern Tech powerhouse and as one of its main hubs, Slough has quickly come into its own. One of the UK’s fastest-growing small towns, Slough’s young and energetic population (average age: 37) are as optimistic as they are diverse. The new Elizabeth line, together with the M4 motorway provides strong links with London, just 20 miles away and also establishes the area as a major office location for various blue-chip companies. The area’s potential as a rental investment property hotspot is therefore huge. Room to grow Improved transport links invariably lead to a healthier economic outlook as more and more young professionals bolster the workforce with flexible attitudes towards hours and agile office environments. In this respect, Slough is well-placed, having space to grow and plenty of commercial units ready to be revamped and repurposed. The wide-open green spaces are ideal for families and as more people choose to work from home, the proximity of Slough to the riverside villages that populate the banks of the Thames has become an undeniable plus point. The local economy has smoothly shifted from post-industrial light manufacturing to a more service and tech-centred focus, creating 9,000 new homes and 10,000 jobs in the process. Each one of those jobs signals a fresh demand for good-quality accommodation and the rapid expansion of Slough’s buy-to-let market. A healthy profit A perfect example of this modern trajectory is the story of Horlicks Quarter, an exciting new property development near the heart of the town centre. The site dates back to when malt beverage-maker James Horlick bought the site from Eton College, the elite Windsor school that has produced almost half of England’s prime ministers. Horlick constructed a series of impressive brick buildings to house the production of his world-famous health drink of the same name. Fast-forward to the present and in place of the factory there is now a collection of beautifully designed apartments, complete with landscaped grounds and state-of-the-art facilities. Some outstanding original features have been retained, like the clocktower and chimney as they provide some historical context to the rise of Slough’s profile. The chimney in particular is an impressive landmark, standing near 50 metres above street level and developers Berkeley have built around it with their trademark combination of vision and design flair. Apart from a selection of modern one, two and three bedroom apartments, there is a gym, office space, lounge, games room and concierge service all on site. Ahead of the curve You don’t get ranked as best place to work in the UK for three years in a row without getting something right and the transformation of Slough’s commercial environment is a great example of inspired planning and foresight. Futuristic office space and the creation of a new cultural hub: The Curve are some of the main reasons why Slough has the highest concentration of Head Quarter offices in the UK outside of London. Fiat, Lego, Telefonica/ O2 and Stanley Black & Decker are just some of the big names that are based here. The Curve houses a community arts and performance venue, a library and a new main focus for the town centre. Another initiative is the 6.8-acre North West Quadrant. Known as NWQ, it is a mixed-use district of work spaces, shops and apartments that place that seeks to prioritize placemaking and community. Fast access Journey times into Central London and Heathrow are set to be dramatically reduced as the Elizabeth Line and the Western Rail Link start to take effect. The direct mainline service to London Paddington takes 15 minutes, but the Elizabeth Line goes further than West London and links Slough directly to Bond Street (32 mins) and Canary Wharf (46 mins). The Western Rail Link to Heathrow will run four trains per hour, with each taking just seven minutes. The acclaimed comedy “The Office” once depicted Slough as a backwater of mediocrity and boredom, but the town’s inhabitants always knew better. Now a property hotspot, its hyper-connected position on one of Britain’s boldest infrastructural networks makes it an affordable place to live, an easy place to get to and a great place to invest and do business. Journey Times 32 mins – Bond Street (Elizabeth line) 15 mins – Paddington (Mainline) 16 mins – Central London (M4) 17 mins – Heathrow (car) For more information about Horlicks Quarter, a brand new Berkeley property development in Slough, contact our International offices.

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