Talks start over new Civic Centre for Reading

Reading Borough Council has begun negotiations to relocate the Civic Centre to one of two locations in the town.

The Berkshire authority says its current home in Castle Street is becoming expensive to maintain.

A new civic centre could be located either in the Plaza West building in Bridge Street or RG2, the former Yell building, in Queen's Walk.

A final decision will be made at a special council meeting in May.

The council has invited the owners of RG2 and Plaza West to present their offers during February.

A spokesman said the council had needed a cost-effective replacement for the Civic Centre for some time.

He said: "The building is at the end of its design life, which means it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.

"The overall design is not conducive to easy access, particularly for people with disabilities, and the presence of asbestos, although carefully-managed by council staff and contractors and not currently a health risk, adds to the overall cost of maintenance and means the building cannot be occupied indefinitely."

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