Reading Council has given the green light to Reading Football Club’s plans for a £500m convention centre and housing development next to the club’s Madejski Stadium.
Devised by the club’s property arm RFC Prop Co, the Royal Elm Park development will include a “world-class” convention centre, 630 homes, 2,000 sq m of leisure space, a 246-bed hotel and an ice rink, as well as a public square and park covering approximately 18,000 sq m.
The centrepiece of the 15.5 ha scheme will be the 28,000 sq m convention centre, The International, which will have capacity for up to 6,000 delegates.
Once complete, The International aims to enable Reading to compete as a host of major national and international events.
The plans also include a new train station at nearby Green Park, which will allow connections to London, the South-west and the North.
The 630 homes will be built in and around the stadium and consist of a mix of one, two and three-bed properties.
Reading FC chief executive Nigel Howe said: “This is a huge boost for Reading and 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 club’s success.
“Royal Elm Park is emblematic of the city’s vision for the future and will play a significant role in driving new and enhanced inward investment, which will underpin the regional economy going forward.”