Caversham precinct set for 'major investment'

St Martin's Precinct, Caversham
Image caption A redeveloped St Martin's Precinct could include a cinema and restaurants

Multi-million pound plans are being drawn up for a Berkshire shopping precinct, councillors have confirmed.

Plans to redevelop St Martin's Precinct in Caversham are expected to include a cinema, shops and restaurants.

Reading councillors said they had been in contact with the precinct's owner, investment company Hermes, which had previously hinted at the proposals.

Councillor Andrew Cumpsty, representing Caversham ward, said it was a "terrific opportunity" for the town.

The investment is expected to be in the region of £4m, BBC Radio Berkshire understands.

'Major investment'

Mr Cumpsty said: "I have been campaigning for years about getting the precinct improved.

"[Hermes] talked to me about very exciting plans about real investment. I understand it could be in the millions.

"What we are talking about here is a major investment in the centre.

"I can't go into specifics but I understand we are looking at new retail opportunities, potential new interesting ideas in leisure, perhaps a new cinema for the centre.

"All these things are really exciting because it brings together not only the daytime offering for the centre of Caversham but also potentially improves Caversham as a place to go in the evening as well."

Hermes would only confirm that it was "keen to support the village centre" and that it was "reviewing opportunities to improve the experience of shoppers at the St Martin's Centre".

A spokesman for Waitrose, which is based next to the planned site, said: "We've a long association with Hermes... and we both hope to improve the experience for shoppers within Caversham."

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