New Maidenhead public plaza unveiled by MP Theresa May

A new public plaza at a town centre regeneration scheme was opened by Maidenhead MP Theresa May last week.

Watermark is a £94million project being constructed by developer Countryside, alongside the Royal Borough council.

Former Prime Minister Mrs May joined council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson and Malcolm Wood, project director for Countryside, at a ceremony on Friday.

The public plaza – called Library Square and located next to the waterways – is the latest addition to the development following the building of two apartment blocks in St Ives Road, which also form part of the overall scheme. 

Construction on the 229-home project began in March 2019, with the first residents moving into the development in spring 2021.

New retail units are now soon set to open around the square and comprise of craft brewery A Hoppy Place, which also has a location in Windsor, and wine and tapas restaurant, Masters.

Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour gym, was also officially opened by Mrs May on the day of the ceremony, as well as a new water fountain implemented by Countryside. 

While on Saturday, a launch event for the public was held at the square where people could try out samples from the retailers soon set to open, including wine, charcuterie and craft beer samples. 

Meanwhile, a 'bootcamp workout' gave a taster for those interested in the new gym, and also attending were the Friends of Maidenhead Waterways, who have played a key role in restoring the nearby York Stream.

Car rental firm Enterprise was at the event as well having helped to launch the town’s first car club at the regeneration scheme in December. 

Daniel King, Countryside managing director for the Thames Valley, said: “As the centrepiece of our regeneration, we are proud to officially open the new public square at Watermark which will become a new social hub for residents and Maidonians.

“Formerly a council car park, we are proud of the transformation that has seen Watermark bring new life to an underserved part of the town through a vibrant mix of new homes and retailers, and we’re looking forward to further realising this vision for Maidenhead in partnership with the Royal Borough.”

Council leader Cllr Johnson added: “The official opening of the new public square marks another major step along our regeneration journey, with its illuminated water features and high-quality finish enhancing the setting of the new and existing buildings in the area and providing a high quality focal point for the whole community to enjoy, including visitors to our library and the new businesses.

“The council, in partnership with Countryside, is driving forward the transformational regeneration of Maidenhead town centre, with Watermark and other redevelopment schemes bringing new homes, jobs and community facilities that enhance the vibrancy of the wider area and support further major investment.

“Watermark includes affordable homes across a range of tenures, as well as commercial space that complements existing retail and £1m of developer contributions to improve community facilities, infrastructure and public realm.”

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