THIS WEEK marked a year since contractors started work on the council’s Elms Field proposals in Wokingham.

The council hope by the summer residents will be able to shop in the Aldi supermarket and use the new play area and park. A new 95-room Premier Inn hotel is also due to open.

The latest milestone will be reached with the opening of the new Biscoe Way and Earle Crescent roads, which have been designed to create access to Elms Road from Shute End. The western section of Earle Crescent will remain shut while houses are built around the park.

Councillor Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration, said: “It’s amazing to see how much has been achieved in the last year with some areas already completed and others on target to open up in phases from this summer through to early next year as planned.

“At the beginning of March Aldi took ownership of their new foodstore which is expected to open in June this year. “

Work in the park includes the creation of a destination play area, which has been designed following feedback from Plan Inclusive Play. The status sets the benchmark for inclusive play areas across the country.

Cllr Philip Mirfin, added: “Recruitment is also underway and I’m very pleased to see new jobs coming to the town centre.

“This was always one of our core objectives for regeneration which is set to see over 550 additional new jobs created across the projects.

“It’s also great to see a cinema returning to the town centre after so many years’ absence and Everyman are a fantastic boutique chain with a real emphasis on the cinematic experience and a wider cultural offer which will fit into Wokingham very well.”

The designs have been amended to use suggestions made by residents during a consultation in 2016 including a new carousel swing unit, a bigger trampoline, sculptures, climbing logs and feature benches from trunks cut down during the work.