Census reveals decline in Millennials living in Royal Borough

David Lee

A call has been made to make Maidenhead a fun place to live after the latest census figures revealed a fall in the number of young adults living in the borough.

Data from the 2021 census, released last week, showed the population of Windsor and Maidenhead has risen from 144,600 to 153,500 in the past 10 years.

But this population growth has not been matched by those aged 20 to 40, with the amount of people in this age range falling.

This included a 10 per cent decrease in the number of people aged 25 to 29 living in the borough in 2021 compared to 2011.

Cllr Josh Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) told the Advertiser that the council needs to encourage young adults to stay in the borough by making Maidenhead a fun place to spend time in and providing a better range of housing options.

The 23-year-old said: “We don’t want to become the town where you come to Maidenhead as your dormitory and then go off to London to spend all of your work and leisure time.

“We’ve got to make sure Maidenhead is a fun place to live and need to give them what they need, a thriving town centre, more than just a few shops and a few coffee shops.”

He called for more social housing, offering tenants affordable monthly rents, and said that simply building more houses will not solve the issues facing the town.

“You can’t just build houses and say that’s going to solve the problem,” Cllr Reynolds said.

“It will increase the supply but I can’t say that’s going to fix the big problem, which is the cost of the houses to start with.”

Tory councillor Ross McWilliams, cabinet member for housing opportunity at the borough, said the exodus of 20 to 40-year-olds was a ‘massive issue’ which could be partly explained by the lack of housing options in the area.

He told the Advertiser that the approval of the Borough Local Plan, which will see the construction of thousands of homes, could tackle the issue.

“You look at the golf course and there’s a huge opportunity to deliver lots of family homes in a managed way,” Cllr McWilliams said.

“The greater variety of homes will mean there are more options available to more people.”

He added that the ongoing development of the Landing project, the planned Nicholsons Centre redevelopment and the flurry of new bars and restaurants opening in the town will all contribute to making Maidenhead a great place to live.

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