Plans for an international convention centre for Reading

Reading Football Club have submitted ambitious plans for the redevelopment of land at the2318 2003 FINAL web
Madejski Stadium, including an international convention centre.

Proposed plans for Royal Elm Park include the creation of a state of the art international convention centre, more than 600 homes, a new public square and a hotel on the land next to the Madejski Stadium. 

An outline planning application was submitted to Reading Council in February 2016. Plans were designed by RFC Prop Co Ltd, which was formed to bring forward the development proposal, and consists of a team of consultants led by Reading Football Club chief executive Nigel Howe.

The scheme is expected to bring more than 1,000 full-time jobs to Reading.

Central to the proposal is ‘The International’, a convention centre designed to accommodate more than 6000 delegates and provide adaptable spaces and a publicly accessible ice rink. The 25,000sq m convention centre has been designed to act as a major catalyst for future inward investment and job creation in and around Reading.  It will also be capable of hosting business meetings, conferences, exhibitions and live entertainment including music, sport, family events and comedy. A bridged walkway will connect The International to the existing Millennium Madejski Hotel and Royal Berkshire Conference Centre.

If plans are approved, around 600 new homes will be built, including studios, one and two-bedroom apartments, three-bed family homes and four-bed townhouses. Many of the properties will overlook a new, 10,000sq m public park.  The developers have said that over 80% of Reading residents and businesses that responded to the pre-application public consultation were supportive of the project

Proposals also include the creation of an 8,000sq m public square with seating, cafes and restaurants, available for street-food markets, open-air exhibitions or outdoor cinema screenings. The developer said the square will be capable of hosting major events and crowds attending football matches in the nearby stadium. At night it will be illuminated by lighting patterns projected onto the square’s surface.

The scheme will also feature a 246-room hotel and 102 serviced apartments with a spa and winter garden.

Plans also involve improvements to transport, with a new Transport Hub providing bus stops for local and match day buses and conference centre shuttle buses, a new multi-storey car park with space for 616 vehicles and almost 300 cycle parking spaces.

Subject to planning consent, work should start late this year, with completion of the hotel and convention centre expected for 2018 and the residential element phased over five years, until 2021.

Find more about the plans at www.royalelmpark.co.uk