Subject to completing the final planning requirements, construction is planned to commence in early 2018
Royal Elm Park, the £500m development adjacent to Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium, has been approved by Reading Borough Council, subject to conditions.
The development, being steered by RFC Propo Co, a partly-owned subsidiary of the football club, will deliver a convention centre, hundreds of new homes, new public space, and a mix of leisure and hotel space, as well as investment in public transport for both match and non-match day visitors.
Subject to completing the final planning requirements, construction is planned to commence in early 2018, with The International operational in 2020. Final completion is expected in 2023.
The centrepiece of the 15.5 ha scheme will be a new landmark 28,000m², 6,000-capacity convention centre, known as The International. The venue will also deliver a new ice rink, which will be made available for both leisure use and competitive sport.
Royal Elm Park will also deliver more than 600 new homes, being a mix of one, two and three bedroom homes.
The scheme, which includes more than 18,000m² of new public open space, will pave the way for a new mainline station to be created at nearby Green Park, offering residents and visitors direct rail access to local destinations, the south west, the Midlands and the North.
Nigel Howe, chief executive of Reading FC, said the development would be a huge boost for Reading. “It 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 [football] club’s success.