THE LEADER of Slough Borough Council has pledged that the town centre will improve – following criticism that the shopping experience on offer is ‘poor’.

Cllr Sohail Munawar talked about how Slough’s High Street was planned to be regenerated with a new £900 million shopping mall by investors from Abu Dhabi, who bought the Queensmere and Observatory centres last year. This came after members of the West Cippenham Tennants and Residents’ Association, for which he was a guest speaker, complained about the poor quality of shops and entertainment.

Cllr Munawar said the plans were “very exciting”, and would allow Slough to rival shopping centres in Reading and Windsor, although he was not able to elaborate at this stage as to what shops in particular were going to be present.

Cllr Munawar further said the investors were ‘serious players’ and that future developments in Heathrow and the Crossrail system had redoubled their interest in the project, realising how these would channel more people into Slough. He explained that the ongoing interest meant that plans for the new development were constantly evolving.

The development would also include ‘hundreds’ of new homes, built above and around the shopping centre itself, Cllr Munawar told the meeting on Wednesday.

But residents questioned if Slough had the infrastructure to support the development, especially when Cllr Munawar admitted that only one more school was planned to be built in Slough.

One said: “Only one more school to support all these new people? Schools in Slough are already being forced to build extensions as it is. And it doesn’t matter how good this development is if nobody can reach it due to bad buses.”