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Windsor: A destination for investment

During March, we’re taking a focus in the Resident Newsletter on our work with partners to drive inclusive and sustainable investment, growth and regeneration, for the benefit of our communities.

This week, town manager Paul Roach looks at investment in Windsor town centre. Next week - Maidenhead.

Why do businesses want to invest in Windsor?

Windsor is an internationally-recognised town, and has presented the “best of British” to billions of people around the world and the ability to deliver world class events, providing a warm welcome to those celebrating and commemorating with the Royal Family.

As the UK recovers from Covid, the gradual reopening of the high street and the cost of living, Windsor businesses have responded better than most towns of similar size.

With a vacancy rate of 10 per cent, the town centre performs well against the national average (14 per cent). In the last quarter of 2022, over 13 units opened their doors in Windsor with a mixture of retail and food including some notable brands such as Oliver Bonas, Mountain Warehouse and Brook Taverner. As we move into the first quarter of 2023, we will be looking forward to seeing a further number of units (currently under development) open their doors.

Windsor has several Grade A office accommodations and recently welcomed InterContinental Hotels Group (see more below) back to the Windsor fold within the newly-redeveloped “Windsor One”, providing office accommodation for more than 500 office workers. 

Windsor is blessed with great transport links and served by two stations. Added to this, Heathrow Airport less than 10 miles away provides incredible connectivity and incentive for businesses large and small to base themselves in Windsor.

What future investment is coming to Windsor?

Windsor’s greatest assets include Windsor Castle and its historic core, its close proximity to The Great Park and the majestic River Thames. Investing and creating new opportunities for businesses has to be balanced very carefully to ensure we protect iconic views and buildings in the town, whilst ensuring we have the best office and retail units available for businesses to develop and use.

This year will see the delivery and the start of a number of significant activities which will help shape that positive future we want to deliver, including:


  • Vision for Windsor – Shaped with the support of The Prince's Foundation and insights from the community, this 20-year document seeks to deliver “A Vibrant Future for Windsor - An attractive, thriving and welcoming town for the local and global community”, supported by five vision statements, alongside potential strategies and actions for their delivery
  • Windsor Public Realm Improvement ProgrammeWork designed to improve the overall experience and safety of residents and visitors in Windsor town centre is getting underway next week. The public realm improvements will see Castle Hill partially pedestrianised with a wider pavement on the southern (shops) side of the road. See more below
  • Windsor Yards Shopping Centre RejuvenationThe aim of the rejuvenation is to reposition the centre to create a thriving retail and social arena for Windsor for the benefit of future and existing residents. The redesigned shopping centre seeks to deliver a new residential development, an extension to the existing Travelodge, a new hotel, new cinema, high-quality public realm, and refurbishment of the multi-storey car park.

What activities can we look forward to in Windsor this year?

Windsor plays host to a phenomenal range of international events, including the Royal International Horse Show, Windsor Dog Show, Royal Windsor Racecourse (weekly racing), Windsor Festival, Garter Day and of course the upcoming Coronation celebrations.

Alongside our international events, we have a host of local events for visitors to enjoy including monthly farmers', vegan and street food markets. As well as our large community events and celebrations, we also have our weekly produce market with fresh fruit and veg, and hot lunch options plus regular crafts and pop-up events.

Check the Visit Windsor website and My Royal Borough website for more.

Windsor and Eton Town Partnership hosts network and planning meetings free to businesses and interested individuals. Those interested should email me.

Some of the businesses investing

To hear more from just some of the businesses choosing to invest in Windsor, and how it’s benefitting our local communities, we spoke with Helen Bull from LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and Keith Barr from IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Who are you?

Helen Bull, divisional director at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort


What is your investment?

The UK’s first LEGO® themed visitor accommodation: our Woodland Village. Construction is now underway, ahead of opening in May 2024. Phase one of this £100 million development will feature 130 lodges and 20 camping barrels in a woodland setting, giving more of our guests the opportunity to stay with us overnight and create magical memories surrounded by nature.


Why have you chosen the Royal Borough as a location to invest?

We are proud to be part of the Royal Borough. Since the resort first opened in 1996, we have been a significant part of the local visitor economy. Windsor has a rich cultural offering, and we are committed to refreshing and diversifying our part of this to help ensure that this part of Berkshire remains the destination of choice for many families.

What benefits will your investment bring to your business and the community?

Through this development, we will be able to convert more of our day visitors to overnight guests, meaning they spend more time both with us and in the wider local area. This not only enables us to create new jobs at the resort but will also result in our guests visiting Windsor and enjoying much of what the town has to offer.

Who are you?

Keith Barr, global CEO at IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) Hotels & Resorts

What is your investment?

We chose Windsor as the new home for IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Global Headquarters, which opened at Windsor Dials in January 2023. We made a significant investment in this building, which was a blank canvas when we started out – it has been a huge regeneration project. Walking around, it feels like being in one of our beautiful hotel lobbies, with touches of hospitality running throughout the place.

Why have you chosen the Royal Borough as a location to invest?

It was important for us as a company to move to a space that empowered us to work collaboratively, flexibly and in a way that is truly reflective of today’s evolving workforce. To this end, the building has 57,000 square feet of space over five floors, complete with state-of-the-art technology, modern meeting rooms and event space, parking, a recording studio and views over Windsor Castle and Eton College – what better way to inspire creativity!

Our office is set in the heart of a beautiful and historic town, and we know how important being able to socialise easily with friends and colleagues is to all of us. We are well connected to London and to international airports which makes it a convenient location.

What benefits will your investment bring to your business and the community?

As one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, our commitment to making a positive impact on our local communities and improving the lives of millions around the world is at the heart of IHG’s Journey to Tomorrow plan to shape the future of responsible travel.

We have already been able to bring to life our Journey to Tomorrow commitments. We have a building that is more energy efficient, that uses renewable energy and we’ve sourced our furniture, fixtures and equipment sustainably. We are targeting a gold LEED certification for our global HQ, reflective of IHG’s responsible decisions for the building.

How we positively impact the local community is key, too. We have contracted Good Eating to supply our food and beverage, a company that makes a positive impact on the local community through its commitment to supporting CoFarm, a sustainable development charity. The building’s General Contractor, Overbury, also donated its time, advice and materials to the Windsor Homeless Project to help with their new base in Windsor’s Alma Road.

First phase of works to improve visitor experience and pedestrian safety to start in Castle Hill, Windsor

The first phase of work designed to improve the overall experience and safety of residents and visitors in Windsor town centre will get underway next week (Monday 13 March).

The public realm improvements in Castle Hill and St Alban’s Street will see Castle Hill partially pedestrianised with a wider pavement on the southern (shops) side of the road, as well as a significant reduction in vehicle movements where this is limited to castle access only during its visiting hours.

This will improve the visitor experience to this area of town, helping to drive economic growth and spend, as well as provide additional safety benefits.

For full details of the upcoming works, read our Castle Hill press release.

Do you have suitable ID to vote in our upcoming Local Elections?

Make sure you’re ready to vote in the Local Elections by checking if you have an accepted form of photo ID. If you don't, apply now for a free voter ID document. 

On Thursday 4 May, all-out elections will take place for the Borough council and all 14 parish councils within the Royal Borough, along with a referendum in the Datchet parish about the proposed Datchet Neighbourhood Plan.

Due to a national legal change, for the first time you will need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station. You will be able to use expired ID if you are still recognisable from the photo.

Accepted forms of photo ID include:

  • A UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport
  • A UK or EEA driver’s licence
  • Certain concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass or an Oyster 60+ card.

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, you can apply by Tuesday 25 April for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. Visit the Electoral Commission website to learn more and apply, and discover a full list of accepted ID.

You will not need to show photo ID in order to vote by post or proxy, although your proxy will need to show their photo ID at the polling station. The deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. The deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.

If you want to vote, you must also be on the local electoral register. The last date for registering to vote for these elections is Monday 17 April at 11.59pm. Registering to vote is easiest online via the Government website.

Learn more in our voter ID press release.

Multiply your numeracy skills with our free maths programme

You could improve your numeracy skills and gain confidence to tackle everyday budgeting or get a new job, with a new free maths programme launched in the Royal Borough this week.

We've created the sessions with partner training providers for people aged 19 years and over who do not have GSCE maths at grade C or the equivalent.

To view and register for our community learning courses please visit the Webenrol website, and to view and register for courses from other providers, including online, please visit the Windsor Forest website.

Learn more in our numeracy programme press release.

Share your thoughts to help shape activities at Windsor & Royal Borough Museum

The Windsor & Royal Borough Museum invites you to share your views to help with planning future exhibitions, talks and other museum activities designed to connect residents and visitors with the borough’s rich heritage.

Our popular local history museum, based at Windsor Guildhall, is holding a community engagement day, alongside a public survey, to get a better understanding of people’s wants and needs to inform a tailored museum programme.

The community engagement day, on Sunday 19 March, will be a chance to explore the museum plus the upstairs rooms of Windsor Guildhall. Walk in the footsteps of royalty and learn about the history of this Grade I listed building from knowledgeable guides. Booking in advance is essential. 

Take part in the online survey before the Friday 7 April deadline. Read our museum press release to learn more.

The Mayor presents ceremonial scroll to King Charles III

The Mayor has addressed His Majesty King Charles III and presented a ceremonial scroll to celebrate his accession to the throne.

Cllr Christine Bateson led a small civic delegation to Buckingham Palace for the Loyal Address to the Sovereign ceremony yesterday.

We are a Privileged Body and just one of 27 organisations in the country to have the title and ability to give a Loyal Address.

The scroll is held in a presentation case, and expresses sympathy for the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who made Windsor her home, and looks forward to the work and leadership of The King and Queen Consort.

Learn more in our ceremonial scroll press release.

Photo © Ian Jones

Cold weather alert extended to next week

The Met Office has extended the Level 3 Cold Weather Alert to 9am next Monday (13 March).

This means there’s a 90% chance of severe cold, ice and snow across our region until that time. Please check on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours if you can.

We’ve triggered our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), meaning we are providing emergency shelter to anyone found sleeping rough in the borough, irrespective of local connection and current circumstances.

Our gritters are also out treating roads across the borough and will continue to do so when freezing road temperatures are forecast. Check out our Winter Services video to learn more.

For more advice on keeping healthy during cold weather visit the NHS website.

Upcoming National Education Union strikes

The National Education Union has announced industrial action with strike days planned in the south east region next week on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March.

Individual schools are responsible for assessing if and how they will be affected and managing their response, which includes taking decisions to stay open, restrict attendance, or close, and communicating this with parents.

To assist, we have shared with all local schools the Department for Education guidance, which says schools should try to remain open where possible.

We encourage parents to check arrangements with their children’s school if the school itself hasn’t already been in touch with parents directly to confirm arrangements or placed a notice on their website.

We will be asking all schools to confirm their plans for next week, and if a school notifies us of a planned closure, we will add this to our dedicated webpage.

Free school holiday activity and food programme returns for children eligible for free school meals

A successful free holiday activities and food programme helping children eligible for free school meals is returning to the Royal Borough this Easter. The programme is called Feed Ur Everyday Lives (FUEL) and aims to provide additional support to vulnerable children.

It is delivered by Achieving for Children (AFC), our children’s services partner, and is for children aged five to 16 years old who are eligible for free school meals.

The programme will offer a range of activities across the Easter holidays including sports sessions, a football camp, and the opportunity to learn outdoor skills. There will also be performing arts, arts and crafts and indoor games.

To view the Easter programme and book, visit the AFC website.

Last chance to respond to your child’s school place offer

Calling all parents! If your child is moving up to secondary, middle, or upper school in September 2023, you have until next week (Wednesday 15 March) to let us know if you wish to accept or decline the offer of the school place made to your child.

Learn more on our website.

Reminder: Complete our survey to guide priorities for four extra police officers dedicated to Royal Borough


You are invited to help shape the priorities for four extra police officers who will be dedicated to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the Royal Borough.


We are investing in four additional warranted police officers for the Royal Borough, over and above the existing police establishment for the area, to support community safety and enhanced local partnership working between us and the police.


To take part in the survey, which closes on Monday 20 March, please visit the RBWM Together website.


In addition, there are a limited number of spaces available for an event involving key partners on Friday 17 March, which will also help to shape the

police officers’ priorities and partnership work involving them. If you would

like to register your interest, please visit the Royal Borough Community Safety Summit webpage.


Learn more in our police priorities press release.

Windsor Leisure Centre's smaller car park temporarily closed

The small Windsor Leisure Centre car park, on the corner of Stovell Road, has been temporarily closed today until Friday 17 March inclusive.

Alternative public parking is available in the main leisure centre car park, immediately adjacent, and there is further space available in Alexandra Gardens car park nearby.

The temporary closure is required as part of work being undertaken to make walking and cycling improvements on Stovell Road and Barry Avenue.

Information has been updated on the project website, which includes details on all further upcoming works.

Calling all jobseekers! Attend our jobs fair

A jobs fair will take place at Maidenhead Library next week (Tuesday 14 March) from 10.30am to 1pm.

Jobseekers will have the opportunity to meet local employers and find out about their current vacancies. There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day.

Employers who wish to attend the event should contact

For more information, please visit our employment support webpage.

Last chance to book your tickets for the Mayor’s Charity Spring Dinner

You have until next week (Monday 13 March) to book your tickets to the Mayor’s charity spring dinner.

The Mayor, Councillor Christine Bateson, will host the dinner in aid of the British Heart Foundation on Saturday 25 March at 7pm.

The dress code is black tie and tickets are £65 each, which include a drinks reception, three-course meal, and entertainment.

Tickets are available on a first come first served basis, so please visit our website to learn more and book your place.

Royal Borough Community Spotlight

Here are just some of the upcoming community events in the Royal Borough:

  • Sunday afternoon recital (Sunday 12 March, 3pm) – St Michael’s Church, Bray. Young prize-winning Spanish pianist Victor Braojos will be playing Granados and Beethoven's Sonata No 32 in C minor Op 111. Admission is free with a retiring collection. Learn more on the St Michael’s website

  • Bazaar and coffee morning (Saturday 18 March, 10am to 11.30am) – St Mark’s Methodist Church, Maidenhead. All are welcome to attend. There are lots of items for sale including home-baked cakes, stationery and gifts. A raffle will also be held. All proceeds will go to the St Mark’s Methodist Church Fund. For further information, please email

  • Men’s Matters health and wellbeing fayre (Wednesday 22 March, 1.30pm to 4.30pm) – Maidenhead Library. A health and wellbeing fayre for older men and the women who support them. The event will include health and wellbeing support, safety advice, exercise workshops, learning opportunities and more

  • Royal Free Singers 50th Anniversary Gala Concert (Saturday 25 March, 7.30pm) – Windsor Parish Church. The Royal Free Singers are delighted to be performing Mendelssohn's dramatic 1846 oratorio, Elijah, depicting events in the life of the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, which was hailed as the Messiah of its day. The variety, beauty and energy of the many arias and choruses of this most popular choral piece make it a very fitting choice to celebrate their special Anniversary. Learn more and book your tickets on the Royal Free Singers website. Tickets are also available at the door and at the Royal Windsor Information Centre at the Windsor Guildhall

  • Cantorum Spring Concert (Saturday 1 April, 7.30pm) – Holy Trinity Church, Cookham. Alongside a cello soloist, the Cantorum Choir will perform two Bach Motets, several pieces by Howells and A Farewell to Arms by Richard Rodney Bennett. Tickets are available from the Cantorum choir website. Early birds who purchase tickets before Friday 10 March will receive a discount

  • Japan’s Imperial Waka Poetry Anthology (Until 16 April) Verey Gallery, Eton College. This exhibition centres on a Japanese object in the Eton College Collections: a lacquer box containing a copy of the Nijūichidaishū (‘Collections of Twenty-one Reigns or Eras’). It is an anthology of poetry, called waka, compiled by imperial command between the 10th and 15th centuries. The exhibition is free and open to the public on Sunday afternoons or by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. To learn more, visit the Eton College website

  • Family drop-in sessions – Want time to chill and meet friends, with a space to play and enjoy craft activities with other families? Re:Charge family drop-in sessions run from 10am to 2pm every Tuesday at Larchfield Community Centre, Maidenhead and every Thursday at Wesley Hall, High Street Methodist Church, Maidenhead. Admission is £1.50 per family, and hot drinks and snacks are available. Learn more on the Re:Charge Maidenhead Facebook page

  • Help children to readABC To Read, a local award-winning charity, is looking for new volunteers to help local children that are struggling with their reading. If you'd like to find out more about ABC To Read or would like to join as a volunteer, please get in touch

If you have an upcoming not-for-profit community event or activity you’d like to promote in this newsletter, simply send basic information about your event to and it could be shared with more than 21,000 local residents.

You just need to include a brief description, when and where it takes place, and a link to a website/social media page/contact where people can find out more.

Have your say

We regularly hold consultations and surveys to get your views on proposals within the Royal Borough.

Participating, sharing ideas, and giving your feedback is the best way to ensure your views are heard.

Our current consultations are:

Other local consultations

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) are running a consultation on their Corporate Plan and Community Risk Management Plan feedback which closes on Monday 27 March.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is also asking for views on options for a redeveloped or relocated Royal Berkshire Hospital. Take part in their online survey or visit the Building Berkshire Together website to learn more.

Local Travel Updates

The A404(M) between junction 9b and the Holyport Interchange will be closed for the full weekend southbound from 9pm today (Friday 10 March) until 6am on Monday 13 March.

A signed diversion will be in place via the A4 and A308. Visit the National Highways website to learn more.

Rail services from South Western Railway (SWR) will also be impacted by strike action from the RMT union from 7am to 6.30pm on Thursday 16 March and Saturday 18 March. Visit the SWR website to learn more.

For details of council works on highways, visit our website. For full local roadwork details, including work by utility firms, please visit the One Network website.

Keep in touch

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