This is when The Deck in Bracknell could be completed.

More money is needed to complete work on a major project at Bracknell, it has been revealed.

And the additional £ 1million needed appears to be taxpayer funded.

The developer has asked for more money to complete the ambitious regeneration project, which will see the former Bentall’s department store demolished and transformed into a new public space with bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) – a joint venture made up of financial services firm Legal & General and property investors Schroders UK – is the group paying for the bulk of the development.

Artist impressions of The Deck, a new area of ​​Lexicon in Bracknell

But now the partnership has asked the local Berkshire transport agency for help after “uncertainties” over funding for the program.

A report from the Berkshire local transport agency said: “While the program was initially developed by the private sector, changing market conditions caused the developer to state that he was no longer able to finance the demolition and construction of The Deck due to uncertainties surrounding return on investment.

“This demonstration of market failure affects the overall viability of the program for the private sector and highlights the need for public sector investment.”

The area where the deck will be in The Lexicon

In essence, BRP is not comfortable investing in the program without the additional public funding, according to a report by WSP infrastructure consultants produced on behalf of the Bracknell Forest Council.

Indeed, the estimated rental values ​​of the new units defined for The Deck could be reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bracknell Regeneration Partnership therefore says the project is not viable without the additional money, which is specifically needed to demolish the old Bentall unit.

This money “will give BRP the confidence to unlock the rest of the program despite the current unfavorable market conditions across the UK,” the WSP report said.

So who pays what for the project?

The Berkshire Local Transport Body – an organization made up of six Berkshire local authorities that distribute taxpayer money for infrastructure projects – is being asked to part with £ 955,882 to help fund the project.

This will complement the roughly £ 12million BRP is putting in place and the £ 6million of public money Bracknell Forest Council has agreed to contribute from its capital funds to build The Deck.

The partnership has already disbursed £ 1million in program evaluation costs, according to the WSP report.

An independent evaluator suggested that the local Berkshire transport agency should support the program.

The agency’s report reads: “It is the independent evaluator’s conclusion that ‘The Deck’ program in downtown Bracknell offers a strong case for investing in the project, with clear strategic and economic benefits, and a detailed process for the financing and delivery of the scheme. “

The Body will vote on whether or not to approve the request at a meeting on Thursday, 12 November.

When will The Deck be ready?

In September, Schroders (part of BRP) was asked when residents could expect to see work on The Deck begin.

A spokesperson for Schroders said it was under “constant review” and BRP “remained committed to The Deck.”

However, a start date of January 2021 is given in the agency’s report, with completion slated for August 2022.

A report attached to the Berkshire local transport agency’s proposal said 60% of the units planned for The Deck are expected to be filled by 2022, 80% in 2023 and 100% in 2024.

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