Woking looks to the skies as £500m Victoria Square transformation makes good time!

Woking’s landmark new town centre is firmly on track for a grand opening launch in autumn 2020, with construction work progressing well in all areas.

The site is being developed as part of a joint venture between Woking Borough Council and Moyallen, which owns the Peacocks shopping centre.

Leading UK construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine, which is delivering Woking’s £500 million transformation, said the core structure of the site’s tallest 34-storey residential tower had reached its maximum height of 118 metres this week and that the adjacent 30-storey residential tower would reach its 108-metre peak by mid-November.

Individual floor plates are already under construction on both residential towers.

Construction of a new high-rise Hilton Hotel, which will play an integral role in the Victoria Square development and town centre scheme, has also reached its maximum 24-storey core height to accommodate the 189 guest rooms and luxury suites planned.

Half the floors of the landmark hotel are already in place and work to install the external covering is on track to start before the end of the year.

Featuring a lobby bar, all-day dining restaurant, coffee shop and Sky Bar – located at the junction of Victoria Way and Church Street West – the global hotel brand is scheduled to open in September 2020.

Victoria Square will contain more than 125,000sq/ft of retail space, anchored by a flagship Marks & Spencer store featuring food, clothing and homeware and will incorporate 429 apartments, a multi-storey car park, a medical centre and two public plazas.

The main concrete structure and civil works in these areas are well under way and are scheduled to be completed early 2019, with more than 650,000 working hours invested to date.

“Employment opportunities have already been secured during all phases of the scheme, including design, enabling works and construction, with more to come during the fit-out stages.” Mark Ireland of Moyallen, said.

“These opportunities are only the start of things to come as the scheme nears completion in areas such as retail, facilities and estates management – all of which will provide a huge boost to the local economy and the wider community.”

There are currently 380 construction staff working on site and this is expected to rise to around 800 in 2019 when fit-out works and other necessary ancillary works get under way.

A final freestanding crane – one of the tallest in the UK at around 130 metres high – will be erected on site before Christmas to ensure construction continues to schedule.

“The countdown is on. With the size and scale of the development now clear to see, there are only 23 months left before the first phase of the Victoria Square scheme delivers a big step forward for Woking and the surrounding area, unlocking new opportunities and investment,” Mark Ireland said.

Leader of Woking Borough Council, Cllr David Bittleston, said:

“Heralding a new era of growth, investment and opportunity, Victoria Square is already transforming Woking Town Centre’s position and place with new and revitalising landmarks designed to propel economic prosperity and improve the quality of life and opportunities available for every resident, visitor and investor.  I’m delighted with the progress and that completion is now firmly in sight.”

Meanwhile, construction of a new £200 million Woking Gateway project, adjacent and complementary to the Victoria Square scheme, remains on course to start in 2021.

This development proposal comprises 470 apartments in three high-rise towers next to the railway station in the town centre and which will add an additional 47,500sq/ft of commercial space.