In 1998 I was writing press releases for the then Wokingham District Council on the imminent regeneration of the town centre.
Thirteen years on, it is still imminent. Bracknell town centre regeneration is also imminent and now there is a new demand for regeneration, this time at Woodley.
Wokingham Borough Council has said it will consider Woodley after Wokingham. Since Woodley has a Waitrose, Iceland, major banks and several big retail names along with some nice smaller shops plus a regular market and car boot sale, it’s tempting to ask what on earth the residents of Woodley want instead.
Regeneration will bring traffic, upmarket retailers, specialist retailers and quite possibly a gentrified theme. New investors won’t want Mrs Bloggs popping down for her bread and milk and visiting the charity shops for a natter. They will want younger, richer, more carefree spenders. They will probably have a customer profile planned early on.
It’s just as well it’s unlikely to happen in the lifetimes of many of us around today because regeneration for Woodley would be just about the worst move you could make for Crockhamwell Road.