£2m kickstart to improve Town Centre
Reading town centre is undergoing a huge transformation. The plan to regenerate the town centre has recently received a £2m grant from the Government to support this project. Minster Quarter, a brownfield site next to Hosier Street will see 450-470 new homes built – good news for those wishing to live in Reading’s town centre. Open public spaces such as Queen’s Walk will also be developed.
Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock spoke to the Reading Chronicle, explaining: “The Council’s successful bid for £2 million of external funding is welcome and will help to kickstart the exciting regeneration of what is a significant but unloved area of the town centre, bringing with it new homes, new job opportunities and a huge boost to the local economy, which will benefit local residents and businesses. The Minster Quarter is a far from straightforward development site, with a variety of land ownerships and interests in play. We will work with those various owners to help deliver this ambitious housing and employment hub, with a focus on great public realm, becoming an exemplar zero carbon scheme and providing desperately needed affordable housing.”
This generous grant is part of the £57.8m package the Government has announced will be spent by councils on brownfield land in the UK. Brownfield land is land which has been previously developed or was home to a permanent structure. The Minster Quarter used to house Broad Street Mall, Reading’s police station, and the Magistrate’s Court. The £2m grant will be spent on preparing the site: removing existing concrete structures and preparing access roads.
By June, the council plan to have built new facilities and private, affordable homes at the site. Since 2018, Reading Borough Council have been working with landowners to develop the area into a new urban quarter complete with new employment opportunities.
This development is a fantastic addition to Reading and give the local economy a boost as new homes and jobs will be available.