The new Wokingham town square at Peach Place is on track to open this month (April) and there is a chance for a sneak preview this weekend.
Peach Place will bring a continental-style pedestrian quarter to the heart of Wokingham, with stylish cafes and bars as well as more independent shops and high street favourites due to open in the months ahead.
These new arrivals will join those businesses already on site, including the town’s first vinyl record store for many years, Beyond the Download, now open in Rose Street. Others on their way include local beauty salon Eden Lounge, which will be relocating from its current home in Peach Street.
Bernie Pich, assistant director for commercial property, said: “It is going to be an exciting summer for Wokingham Town Centre with new places to eat, drink, shop and socialise due to spring up.
“Beyond the Download is just the sort of businesses we have been targeting. They offer something completely different for Wokingham and, with their great range of stock and live music events in their store, they are already proving a real hit with music lovers in the town. The 12th UK Record Store Day is taking place this Saturday (April 13) the shop has many exciting things planned for the day.
“It’s not just about the new businesses opening in the space but also about the wider things it brings to the town centre, like a lovely pedestrianised space with seating and planting which will be great for relaxing or events. There are also the added extras at Peach Place such as new accessible public toilets which will be free to use, a drinking water fountain where people can fill up bottles and, in conjunction with My Journey which helps promote sustainable travel across the borough, lots of new cycle stands and an integrated bicycle pump to help with bike repairs.”
Since starting on site in March, the council’s new contractor CTS has been making good progress and opened Beyond the Download on the original planned dates. CTS has been working closely with all the businesses fitting out in the new square with the aim to get the new square open as quickly as possible.
“We know local residents have been keen to hear what’s been happening on site and, like us have been disappointed by the recent delay, said Mr Pich. “CTS is confident it should be able to complete the necessary works to open the square by the end of April. We are just in the process of finalising dates so look out for more announcements soon.
“Unfortunately this work was hampered by the gas works taking place adjacent to the entrance to the new square on Rose Street. These utilities works were more extensive than SGN expected and have taken much longer to complete than expected. With SGN finished on site, CTS will be able to move ahead with finishing the final works needed to open Peach Place.
“Whilst the new square will be opening up later in April, in the interim, we thought it would be nice to open up the square for a day on Saturday April 13 so people can come along and have a look around to see how great it’s looking and what a fantastic space it will be for the town centre.”
People will be able to visit the new Peach Place square on Saturday April 13 from 8am to 5.30pm. Access will be from the entrance at the end of Bush Walk or from the arcade next to GAIL’s artisan bakers.