Theresa May opens new public square at Watermark in Maidenhead

Public square opening Watermark

A new public plaza surrounded by retailers at Watermark, Countryside and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s £94m regeneration scheme, was officially opened on 6 May by the MP for Maidenhead, Theresa May, in a ceremony alongside Leader of the Council Cllr Andrew Johnson and Malcolm Wood, Project Director for Countryside.

Located under the arches of the development, the new retail units around the square are now fully let and comprise award-winning brewer ‘A Hoppy Place’, wine and tapas restaurant ‘Masters’ and Anytime Fitness, generating a lively waterfront lifestyle that embellishes Maidenhead’s existing eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Centred around illuminated water features and surrounded by 20,000 sq ft of restaurant, café and leisure space, the new public square will bring fresh life to the area adjacent to Maidenhead Library and the Town Hall. Cascading down to the regenerated York Stream with terraced seating, the public plaza also provides a new setting for the Grade II listed Maidenhead Library.

At a launch event for the public on Saturday 7 May, the Maidenhead public joined Countryside and the new retailers to celebrate the new space. Attendees enjoyed a fun day of activities, including a bootcamp workout, smoothies and protein shakes from Anytime Fitness, cold craft beer from the 2021 Beer Retailer of the Year, A Hoppy Place, and wine and charcuterie tasting from Masters. Also attending were the Friends of Maidenhead Waterways, who have played such a key role in restoring York Stream, in addition to Enterprise who have brought the first car club to Maidenhead, located at Watermark.

Located in York Road, Countryside is delivering 229 new homes at Watermark, of which 88 are affordable. Construction began in March 2019, with the first residents moving into the development in spring 2021.

Daniel King, Managing Director, West London & Thames Valley, Countryside, said: “As the centrepiece of our regeneration, we are proud to officially open the new public square at Watermark which will become a new social hub for residents and Maidonians. Formerly a council car park, we are proud of the transformation that has seen Watermark bring new life to an underserved part of the town through a vibrant mix of new homes and retailers, and we’re looking forward to further realising this vision for Maidenhead in partnership with the Royal Borough.”

Councillor Andrew Johnson, the Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth and Opportunity, said: “The official opening of the new public square marks another major step along our regeneration journey, with its illuminated water features and high-quality finish enhancing the setting of the new and existing buildings in the area and providing a high quality focal point for the whole community to enjoy, including visitors to our library and the new businesses. The council, in partnership with Countryside, is driving forward the transformational regeneration of Maidenhead town centre, with Watermark and other redevelopment schemes bringing new homes, jobs and community facilities that enhance the vibrancy of the wider area and support further major investment. Watermark includes affordable homes across a range of tenures, as well as commercial space that complements existing retail and £1m of developer contributions to improve community facilities, infrastructure and public realm.”

Watermark is the first development of the Royal Borough Development Partnership, a joint initiative between the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Countryside. The Partnership is developing four sites in the town, including York Road and Saint-Cloud Way.