WORK to transform the iconic Horlicks factory site in Slough into 1,300 homes is well underway – and we were given a behind the scenes look at what’s going on.
Berkley Homes, who are carrying out the multi-million project, offered the Slough Observer an exciting behind the scenes look at the massive development.
Since the factory’s closure back in 2018, renovation and restoration works on the Grade II listed building have got underway in a bid to maintain its historic industrial look – while also providing 150 flats with a gym, nursery, and co-working space.
Once completed, the 12-acre brownfield site, known as the Horlicks Quarter, will have 11 buildings providing 1,300 homes – 325 of which will be affordable – 439 car parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points, cycle storage, cafes, restaurants, shops, and more.
The apartments will be a mix of one, two, and three-bedrooms and a small selection of three-bedroom houses.
The ballroom on top of the Horlicks Factory will be converted into apartments where plush penthouses, a rooftop garden, and a glass rooftop will also be included in the redevelopment work.
The community square at Clock Tower Place will include works on the factory’s 47 metre chimney and the clock tower, restoring them to their original grandeur, with lights fitted on the tower and water features at a later point.
The square will also see many community-based activities such as outdoor cinemas and food and drink festivals for residents to get together and meet one another.
The war memorial on the site, which is also Grade II listed, will be retained and carefully relocated in the square with reflection ponds built to create a “strong focal point” when entering the Horlicks Quarter.
Dave Taylor, design director at Berkley Homes, said: “It’s really about creating a hub, a space at the heart of the site.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to create something at the Horlicks Quarter and it gives it unqiue moments in time to really celebrate the factory with the residents here and beyond.”
“Green streets”, open spaces, and landscaping will be created all over the site to enhance the public realm and community facilities.
There is only a small amount of parking on offer as the site is located close to the town centre and Slough train station – and Berkley Homes hope to encourage more walking and cycling as well as public transport use instead.
The transformation and conversion work on the Horlicks Factory is set to be completed in 2022 with the other buildings to be erected and completed a few years later.
With the coronavirus pandemic still in the public eye and halting some other developments, Deana Everingham, regional sales and marketing director at Berkley Homes, told the Observer the development is still on course to be completed on its target date.
She said safety measures have been put on site while adhering to the guidance and no members of staff have been furloughed during the pandemic.
The leader of the council, councillor James Swindlehurst, the deputy leader, councillor Sabia Akram, the chief executive of Slough Borough Council, Josie Wragg, and the service lead for major infrastructure, Savio De Cruz, also toured the site yesterday (October 13).
Josie Wragg said: “Horlicks Quarter is a pivotal part of our regeneration vision of the whole town centre area and we are delighted with the progress achieved by Berkeley to date.
“This superb new development will not only deliver much needed private and affordable housing, but also public green spaces, biodiversity and community facilities, key elements of our vision to create a sustainable new neighbourhood.”