THE TOWN centre regeneration will not cost the taxpayer a single penny, a senior councillor has revealed. 

Wokingham town is currently undergoing a massive regeneration project, which is going on in the Market Square and Peach Place.

Councillors revealed at an executive meeting that despite the project costing the council millions, the taxpayer won't be left with the bill. 

Cllr Oliver Whittle said: "This is a win-win for the people of Wokingham. 

"The town will secure a commercial revenue of £4m per year once the project is completed. 

"That will allow £3m per year that will come back to the council.

"There will be no taxpayer cost at all.

"We expect to open in December 2018, so we can't expect tenants to be lining up at this early stage, but we've had talks with both national and local businesses."

Cllr Whittle then explained the finances of the town centre regeneration. 

"The total cost of delivering the regeneration proposals for Wokingham Borough Council sits at £115m. That includes the cost of delivering everything from the new shops and cinema, to the play area, park improvements, roads and brand new leisure centre.

"This total cost also includes the ‘cost’ of borrowing the money to fund the development as this money comes from commercial borrowing rather than tax payer reserves.

"That’s a debt of £47m for physical assets retained which are actually worth over £88m. Not a bad investment, especially when considering all the community benefits the scheme has delivered. Indeed the Council could simply sell off these assets and take the one off profit generated."

Some of the lettings for the new town centre have already been confirmed, with the highlight being an Everyman cinema, one of a chain of luxury multiplexes. 

As well as the cinema, the town will get a new Premier Inn and an Aldi.