Business Rates Retention Pilot investment summary

The six unitary authorities in Thames Valley Berkshire have combined to act as a government pilot for the local retention of business rates growth in 2018/19 and MHCLG has since approved a second year of the pilot (2019/20). The Berkshire Leaders have agreed to invest £36m, c.70% of the retained business rates, into strategic infrastructure projects that will help drive our area’s productivity.

The Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB), on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, gave programme entry status to five projects for the Business Rates Retention Pilot (BRRP) programme with a capital investment of £33,436,000 and £690k revenue investment. The balance is yet to be allocated.

This document provides an easy-to-reference summary of all the projects that will benefit from BRRP investment, their status, the delivery partner, main contractor, total cost of scheme and the benefits of the investment.


South Reading Mass Rapid Transit Phases 3 & 4

This scheme has also received Local Growth Funds

Phases 3 and 4 will provide a series of bus priority measures on the A33 between Rose Kiln Lane and Bennett Road, and connecting routes in Reading town centre. The scheme will reduce congestion and journey times, improving public transport reliability on the main corridor into Reading.

Delivery Partner: Reading Borough Council

Main contractor: Wills Brothers

LEP investment of BRRP: £7,808,000 (2018/19)

LEP investment of LGF: £2,340,000 (2017/18: £2.25m, 2018/19: £90k)

Total cost of the scheme: £12,684,000

Status: On site

  • The BLTB awarded financial approval for LGF for the full scheme in November 2017. The programme entry status award for the BRRP is for the remaining funds (see breakdown above)
  • Construction of the town centre elements of the scheme are complete, including commissioning of the pedestrian crossing on London Street
  • Detailed design being progressed for phase 4 scheme with procurement due to take place in summer 2019
  • Construction works ongoing including utility diversions currently being undertaken which has delayed progress in completing the element of the scheme currently on-site
  • Works along the A33, including an outbound bridge extension, are ongoing


Winnersh Relief Road (Phase 2)

The Winnersh Relief Road scheme will provide a new relief road to the west of the current Winnersh crossroads junction and will be delivered in two phases. The first phase was developed by Bovis / Persimmon to support new housing, opened in June 2018. The second phase by Wokingham Borough Council, will provide a new junction on the A329 Reading Road and will dual a section of Lower Earley Way (B3270).

Delivery Partner: Wokingham Borough Council

Main contractor: Balfour Beatty

LEP investment of BRRP: £6,260,000 (2018/19: £3m; 2019/20: £3.26m)

Total cost of scheme: £20,402,223

Status: On-site

  • The project has received the Full Business Case approval in February 2019
  • Early enabling works commenced in January 2019, including detailed surveys and vegetation clearance. These will continue through the spring
  • Lower Earley Way Dualling - Main Construction began Feb '19

Scheme benefits:

A share of 500 new houses

South Wokingham Distributor Road – Eastern Gateway

Part of the South Wokingham Distributor Road, the Eastern Gateway scheme will comprise of a single carriageway distributor road connecting Montague Park with Waterloo Road, including a new road bridge over the Waterloo rail line.

Delivery Partner: Wokingham Borough Council

Main contractor: VolkerHighways

LEP investment of BRRP: £5,000,000 (2019/20)

Total cost of scheme: £20,159,263

Status: Financial approval

  • The project received financial approval at the BLTB meeting in November 2019


Slough Mass Rapid Transit Phase 2

The A4 forms the spine of a 12km strategic public transport corridor that links Maidenhead, Slough and Heathrow and plays an important role in providing surface access to the airport. Phase 2 will extend the Slough Mass Rapid Transit (SMaRT) project from its current end point at Langley and take it onto the Heathrow service road. Bus lanes and other priority measures will be provided in the new section between Langley and eastwards beyond Junction 5 of the M4 and onto Heathrow.

Delivery Partner: Slough Borough Council

Main contractor: SBC Direct Service Organisation

LEP investment of BRRP: £13,300,000 (2019/20)

Total cost of scheme: £13,300,000

Status: Financial approval

  • Full Business case has been approved in January 2019
  • Initial enabling works / trial holes in progress.

Scheme benefits:

  • 2,160 new houses
  • 400 jobs
  • 5,000 sqm commercial floorspace


Maidenhead: Housing Sites Enabling Works Phase 1

This scheme has also received Local Growth Funds

This scheme consists of a package of traffic management measures to deliver additional capacity at key junctions around Maidenhead where modelling has indicated that severe peak hour congestion is likely to occur as a result of planned development and regeneration activity. The scheme will facilitate economic growth by unlocking major housing and commercial development. It will also improve journey times for passengers accessing the Great Western Main Line/Elizabeth Line. The works will be progressed in phases in order to minimise the impact on the local road network.

Delivery Partner: Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Main contractor: Volker Highways

LEP investment of BRRP: £1,068,000 (2019/20)

LEP investment of LGF: £4,213,000 (2019/20: £2.315m, 2020/21: £1.898m)

Total cost of the scheme: £6,334,500

Status: Conditional approval

  • RBWM has appointed CALA Homes as its joint venture partner for the Maidenhead Golf Club development, and is submitting a Housing Infrastructure Fund bid for on and off-site transport infrastructure improvements, which is complementary to the LGF bid
  • Business case approved subject to conditions at the extraordinary meeting of the Local Transport Body held on Business case approved subject to conditions at the extraordinary meeting of the Local Transport Body held on 31 January 2019. Currently working to discharge conditions attached to funding
  • Traffic and topographical surveys have been completed to inform the preliminary design process. Modelling bases have been established and are undergoing calibration
  • Design of the A308 / Stafferton Way junction scheme is underway as the first element of the project

(C) Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Ltd December 2019