Bloomberg News

Slough, U.K. Home of ‘The Office,’ Plans 15-Year Makeover

December 12, 2011

(Adds redevelopment of business park in last paragraph.)

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Slough, the town near London’s Heathrow Airport that was the setting for the original version of “The Office” TV program, is looking for a company to help pay for a 1 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) regeneration plan.

Slough Borough Council will provide a joint-venture partner with land and other assets amounting to half of the project’s costs, according to documents posted on the government’s procurement website. The local government wants the partner to use the land to build houses, offices, shops, leisure facilities, hotels, a school, libraries and parks over 15 years.

“Other approaches to financing and sharing returns from the developments and services” will be discussed with bidders, the council said in the documents.

Some refurbishment of existing buildings may also be carried out by the joint venture, which could be extended by an additional 10 years. Slough is about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of Heathrow.

“The Office,” a British comedy with Ricky Gervais in the lead role, was remade for U.S. audiences with Steve Carell as the main character. That version was set in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Segro Plc, a commercial property developer based in the town, in September won approval from the council to redevelop part of the Slough Trading Estate business park. The 20-year project will create 150,000 square meters (1.6 million square feet) of offices, leisure space and amenities, according to Segro’s website. This will include two hotels, convenience stores, cafes, a conference center and a training facility called Slough Aspire.

--Editors: Andrew Blackman, Jeff St.Onge.

To contact the reporters on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net; Chris Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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