The scheme, next to the club’s Madejski Stadium, includes a convention centre and more than 600 new homes.
The centrepiece of the 15.5ha scheme will be the 28,000m2 convention centre, intended to play host to a range of events, concerts, conferences, leisure pursuits and community uses. The developers say that that its capacity of 6,000 will make it the largest dedicated conference venue in the south of England.
The scheme also includes more than 18,000m2 of new public open space, including an 8,000m2 public square that will form a focal point for residents, football supporters and visitors, and will include over 2,000m2 of new retail, leisure and restaurant facilities.
Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director, Reading UK CIC, said: “The scheme will also provide 2,000 jobs through the construction and operation phase and Reading UK CIC will be working with Reading Football Club to maximise the opportunities and benefit to local people and in particular those living in South Reading near the development.”
Reading FC chief executive Nigel Howe said: “This is a huge boost for Reading, and will deliver a step change in the city’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.”
The scheme will now progress to the final stages of the planning process. Subject to completing the final planning requirements, construction is planned to begin in early 2018 with final completion expected in 2023.