Calcot, or Calcot Row, is a suburb west of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. Calcot is situated along the A4 Bath Road between the old hamlet of Horncastle and Junction 12 of the M4 motorway. The suburb of Tilehurst lies to the north and in the hills above Calcot, while the village of Theale lies to the west across the motorway. The recent housing estates of Beansheaf Farm and Fords Farm lie to the south, and may be considered part of Calcot.
Although unquestionably a suburb of Reading, Calcot is not within the Borough of Reading. Rather it is split between the civil parishes of Holybrook and Tilehurst Without, with that part of Calcot north of the Bath Road in Tilehurst parish and that part south in Holybrook parish. The whole of Holybrook parish and the part of Calcot within Tilehurst parish, form the Calcot electoral ward of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Both parishes have elected parish councils and, together with the unitary authority, are responsible for different aspects of local government. Calcot is part of the Reading West parliamentary constituency.
The Calcot ward of West Berkshire has an area of 324 ha and a total population of 9,093 living in 3,554 dwellings.
Calcot has two primary schools serving pupils aged 4 to 11. Serving the Beansheaf and Fords Farm communities to the south of the A4 Bath Road is Kennet Valley Primary School while north of the A4, both sharing the same grounds, are Calcot Junior School and Calcot Infant School, which incorporates a nursery. When children leave primary school at 11 they attend secondary schools in neighbouring villages.
Places of interest
Calcot Park is a large country house and estate, to the north east of Calcot. Over the years the estate has been the home to Sir Peter Vanlore, Frances Kendrick, and to John Blagrave (a relative of the famous mathematician John Blagrave who built the present house in 1759). Today the house has been converted into apartments and grounds have become a golf course.
Calcot is home to two large shopping complexes - the SavaCentre and the Pincents Lane Retail Park - along with the Porsche Centre located in between the two shopping areas. These are all located just off Junction 12 of the M4 motorway.
In September 1981, an 81,000 sq ft hypermarket called SavaCentre (a BHS-Sainsbury Joint Enterprise) opened up. At the time, it was one of the largest hypermarkets in the UK. This store featured in the SavaCentre TV adverts in 1983. In 1989, Sainsbury's bought out BHS's 50% share in the partnership, and the following year the right side of the store was extended by 20,000 sq ft to over 101,000 sq ft. In August 1998, it was re-modelled to provide a greater emphasis on food, with the food to non-food ratio changing from 60:40 to 80:20. The refurbishment cost £26m. The SavaCentre was down-sized and re-branded as Sainsbury's in 2005, with the extension being sold off to Next, but following a further refurbishment in 2008, a number of the products removed in the 1998 revamp were re-introduced. At the same time, the SavaCentre site was turned into the Calcot Retail Park, with branches of Sports Direct, Boots and McDonald's opening up on the left side of the site. In 2015, an Argos in-store concession opened up inside the Sainsbury's. However, the SavaCentre name is still more commonly used than either Sainsbury's or the Calcot Retail Park by the locals.
On the other side of the Porsche Centre, was the Pincents Lane Retail Park. This was anchored by a branch of Homebase, but also featuring a branch of Dunelm Mill, Carpetright, Utopia Nightclub and Reading Megabowl bowling alley. In 2015, the retail park was demolished (apart from the Dunelm Mill store) and a new branch of IKEA was opened in its place in July 2016. The original plan was for a three-storey 38,000 sq m (409,029 sq ft) store, but in the end a 31,845 sq m (342, 776 sq ft) store over two floors was built because of the growth in online shopping.
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- Recap: IKEA Reading opens and shoppers take their first steps inside the new store getreading. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- First images of new Ikea store at Calcot getreading. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
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