The final investment in the regeneration of Maidenhead is likely to exceed a staggering £1billion it was revealed this week.

Royal Borough councillors received a report from lead member for economic development Cllr Jack Rankin which revealed that council itself would be putting about £138.5million into the regeneration over the next 10 years.

Of this, £70million is expected to go into school, £30million into sport and leisure, £30million into new car parking and improved roads, £3million into a cultural and community facility and £5.5million on the Waterways project designed to restore the town's old reputation as a riverside paradise.

Heavy private investment is also expected - making the overall figure up to the billion mark.

Council leader Simon Dudley said: "Maidenhead used to be called the jewel of the Thames and we want to return it to that."

Four sites have been designated 'opportunity areas'. They are York Road, where it is hoped to establish 210 homes, restaurants and cafes, public open spaces and a cultural centre adjoining the new waterway; West Street which will have 95 homes and a pedestrian link to Kidwells Park; St Clouds Way which will have 574 homes funding a leisure centre at Braywick Park, plus Reform Road with a mixed residential and work development.

A new public square outside the Crossrail railway centre and a landing project which would see 260,000 sq ft of offices and shops including 225 apartments is also planned.

The Royal Borough has been identified in the recent county wide housing market assessment as needing to build 712 new homes a year - 13,528 by 2031.

A new borough local plan is being prepared that will seek to highlight ways of doing this without losing the greenbelt.