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Public consultation on the future of The Kennet Centre

The owners of the Kennet Centre, Lochailort Newbury, have announced a public consultation on its comprehensive regeneration plans that will transform the old, outdated shopping centre into a new, vibrant, mixed-use high quality development.

To be known as Eagle Quarter, as originally it was the Eagle Iron Works - the project is one of the first ‘shopping centre to town centre’ regeneration initiatives in the county, designed specifically to address the changing landscape of our high streets and breath new life back into this important part of the town centre.

Taking inspiration from the town’s heritage, this people-focused, mixed-use project will bring together:

• Around 30 new flexible shops, restaurants and co-working spaces that will be carefully curated with a focus on independent, local and artisan businesses

• Lively new pedestrianised streets providing new links between town’s railway and bus stations and the shops in Northbrook Street.

• Encompassing new public spaces which will open up the Town Centre

• A cutting-edge response to the declared climate emergency, minimising fossil fuels and using a range of renewable energy solutions which will save at least 240 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, compared to the existing Building Regulations

• Enhancements to the existing cinema/food & beverage area, plus improvements to the existing multi-storey car park including additional parking spaces and Electric Vehicle charging points

• Around 400 multi family new homes, including a significant proportion purposely-designed for rent which include class-leading residents’ amenities

• A new highly sustainable headquarters office building or, in the alternative, a retirement living community.

Rivington Hark continue to asset manage the existing centre on behalf of the investors and from the work done it is clear that demand exists from independent and local occupiers who want space in an attractive environment. They will continue to engage with them as part of the project, and Eagle Quarter seeks to retain the best elements such as the Cinema.

Lochailort Managing Director, Hugo Haig, said: “Newbury has been my local town for 26 years. My children grew up here and I have seen first-hand what has happened to the Kennet Centre. We have worked hard with the retailers and others through this tricky period and we are very grateful for their efforts to try and make the Centre work. However the redevelopment of the site, retaining the Vue cinema and multi-storey car park, offers the Town a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something very special that will enhance and rejuvenate this Town Centre site.”

The public consultation launches on Thursday 29 October 2020 at www.eaglequarter.com and with an exhibition opening the same day in The Kennet Centre. Once Lochailort has received and considered the public’s feedback it intends to make a formal planning application to West Berkshire Council before the end of the year.

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