Borough bosses announced the purchase yesterday afternoon, having ageed to back the deal at an executive meeting last month.

Cllr Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration, said: “Bush Walk will form one of the main routes through to the new public square, and as landlord, we will now be able to work more closely with our existing tenants as our plans for Peach Place are delivered.

“With its fantastic mix of high quality independent traders and boutiques, Bush Walk very much embodies the council’s vision for Wokingham, showcasing the type of high quality independent and boutique retail we wish to see here in the town.

“It will allow us to stand out from neighbouring larger towns and offer something much more in line with the local market town experience our residents want to see in Wokingham.” The purchase of the freehold interest by the council will have no impact on the current tenants for whom it will remain business as usual.

The first phase of the regeneration - known as the Peach Place refurbishment - is almost complete with the scaffolding around Rose Street and Market Place corner due to be taken down in the coming weeks.

Planning applications for the remaining phases - Peach Place and Elms Field - are expected to be re-submitted later this year.