04:10PM, Tuesday 03 August 2021
A homelessness charity has been given rent-free use of office space in the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre as the complex awaits redevelopment.
The London and Slough Run will occupy Dukes House later this summer after reaching an agreement with British Land.
The company, tasked with delivering the shopping centre overhaul on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, wants to build 2,500 homes as well as leaving 15,000sqm for shops, restaurants and community space.
While work continues on the Slough Central scheme, the London and Slough Run team will use Dukes House as a re-packaging and distribution centre for food and goods in Slough.
The charity also plan to use the ground floor of the building for a furniture repair workshop with skilled volunteers, including the formerly homeless, providing valuable carpentry training to those in need.
Malcolm Johnstone, trustee of The London and Slough Run, said: ‘We are grateful to British Land, asset and development manager of the Queensmere & Observatory shopping centres, for supporting the work of The London and Slough Run.
“Our new base in Dukes House will enable us to package and distribute essential supplies and provide valuable skill-based training to the homeless across Slough.
“We look forward to working together with the team to make a positive impact in the local community.”
Semana Nota, community manager at British Land, added: “We are delighted to be able to support the vital work of The London and Slough Run by providing a temporary base at Dukes House.
“The assistance that they and other local groups provide in Slough is sorely needed during these challenging times, with unprecedented financial pressures on local services.”
British Land added it is open to exploring other ‘meanwhile uses’ for space at the Queensmere Observatory to ensure the community benefits while the redevelopment takes place.
Visit www.sloughcentral.com for the latest on the proposed redevelopment of the shopping centres.
This weekend’s smart motorway closures on the M4 will be shorter than usual due to separate bridge works taking place in West Berkshire (Junctions 13-14)