7 August, 2019
About the Berkshire market town of Wokingham
The popular market town of Wokingham, within easy commuting distance to London and other business parks dotted around the Thames Valley, regularly makes the top 10 lists of best places to live in the UK. With its attractive town centre architecture, ever improving facilities, excellent transport links and local schools, it’s not hard to see why families flock here. Read our full guide that covers all you need to know about living in Wokingham (link to area guide)
We take a look at what’s going in Wokingham this Summer and get up to speed with progress on the £117 million town centre regeneration project.
Wokingham regeneration latest
The ambitious regeneration is aiming to improve the residents’ town centre experience by providing a better variety of shops and eateries, plus revamped parks and leisure centres. Having started in 2017, work is taking place in several phases, with final completion due in 2022.
Being a smaller, more quintessentially English market town than neighbouring Bracknell or Reading, the Council has tried to ensure that development is in keeping with its charming character. While these larger towns are host to many large department stores and entertainment complexes, visitors to Wokingham will enjoy a different, more boutique-style shopping sojourn.
2019 has really seen development pick up pace, with the opening of Peach Place back in April and the new Elm’s Field play area mid-July. With the Summer months now upon us, we can really start to appreciate all the new spaces and recently opened shops, bars and restaurants.
The beautifully designed Peach Place is now home to The Leafy Elephant, a trendy gin bar, Sit and Sit, a boutique bar and bottle shop and the Blue Orchid, an independent bakery. Specialist shops such as Cook and Mountain Warehouse are just a stones throw away.
And for younger generations, Elms Field play area, in the heart of the town centre has now opened in time for the start of the school holidays. A carefully landscaped park, with a range of play equipment made from sustainably sourced wood, adds a touch of class to the town and should keep younger kids out of mischief over the long Summer break.
However, there is still a little way to go before the park is fully finished. Shrubs and wild flowers have been planted to attract wildlife, but the wooden carvings made from trunks removed during development, will be installed over the coming months. The much-loved Market Place memorial bench, donated by Rotary, is now in the park, but mosaics like those in the Market Place will be added as other areas of the site are completed.
And still to come..
By the end of 2019, the Elms’s Field area will boast even more new facilities. Currently under construction is the art-house cinema, retail units, Premier Inn Hotel and array of new housing. The eagerly awaited Aldi supermarket opened in tandem with the new play area, providing a better-than ever-range of food shopping options in the town.
The Council is well underway with developing an expanded leisure area at the Carnival pool site, with the second phase of work due to start in 2020 once the new Bulmershe leisure centre has opened. Phase two will see a sizeable new leisure centre, a new home for Wokingham Library and leisure-led commercial units. Final completion of this hub is due in 2022.
What else is going on in Wokingham Summer 2019?
There has always been plenty to attract locals of any age group to come into town, but the opening of many of the planned new bars, restaurants and facilities has really started to encourage more people to come in and linger for longer. The scheduled Summer activities and events will only provide a further boost to Wokingham’s popularity.
Wokingham’s market has enjoyed a resurgence since the town centre roadworks were completed in 2018 and it was able to move back to its rightful place in the square. Wokingham Markets present a full range of offerings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with a selection of interesting and fresh street food available on Tuesdays. A series of live music acts will provide a treat for weekend visitors over the Summer and throughout the year. For those of you with a penchant for quality local produce, The Farmers’ Market is in situ on the first Thursday of the month and is the best place to get high quality local produce at a terrific price.
Wokingham Library will be running many activities including the usual Summer Reading Challenge and will be hosting various space-themed events and MAD science sessions. Wokingham Council website can provide more information about specific dates and ticket prices where applicable.
Just some of the events on in Wokingham this Summer:
- ‘Sunny Saturdays’ that willtake place at the Market Place every week and involve live music and children’s shows.
- Outdoor cinema at Dinton Pastures on Saturday evenings throughout August. Shows include family favourites such as Bohemian Rhapsody, The Greatest Showman and Grease.
- The Ollie Young Foundation Family Fun Day taking place on 18th August at Cantley Field. Free to enter, you can enjoy live entertainment, stalls, face painting, bouncy castles and refreshments, while raising money for a good cause.
- Wokingham Festival taking place on 24th – 26th August, rounds off the Summer and features a food & drink exhibitor marquee, street food, beer bar, cocktail bar, live music, craft stalls and children’s entertainment.
A bright future for Wokingham
Since the start of 2019, the upgrades and carefully planned community events have been luring people into the town centre in greater numbers than ever before. Always proving a popular place to live, the regeneration works are helping Wokingham go from strength to strength and moving it up the ranks of the top 10 most desirable locations in the UK.
Boasting a wide range of housing options, there is something suitable for everyone. View our range of properties on the market in Wokingham and the leafy nearby town of Crowthorne (link to current listings).
Call us today to find out how we can help you with your next move on Wokingham 0118 977 6776 or Crowthorne 01344 779 999.