'Ricky Gervais Reading movie junction' up for sale again

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image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe landmark arch in East Reading has been put on sale with a guide price of £100,000

An arch at an iconic site that inspired the name of Ricky Gervais film Cemetery Junction is up for sale again.

Reading Borough Council suspended the sale of the arch in 2019, pending a local group's attempt to purchase it.

A bid from the Junction Arch Heritage and Arts (JAHA) to turn it into a heritage and arts hub has since been rejected by the authority.

The council has now listed it for sale, with a guide price of £100,000. Formal bidding will run until 19 March.

image copyrightNetflix
image captionThe Grade II site inspired the name of Ricky Gervais movie Cemetery Junction

Reading Borough Council said bids for the arch, which featured in Gervais' 2010 coming-of-age movie, would be welcome from "all parties, including local voluntary and community organisations, and any groups which were previously unsuccessful, together with the general property market".

"It is always the council's obligation to get the best possible value out of any asset but, as with every bidding process, the wider benefit to local community will be taken into account, alongside the financial offer, before any final recommendation is made."

JAHA described the decision as "disappointing" and said it would continue to make a case for a "community asset transfer" which would mean ownership of the building would be transferred, with no fee, to a community group that had a detailed proposal for its conservation and reuse.

The arch, which was built in the 1840s, has six rooms and originally served as a grand ornamental gatehouse to Reading Old Cemetery.

If planning consent is obtained, there is scope for its conversion into two or three residential dwellings, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Cemetery Junction starred Christian Cooke and Felicity Jones, and was directed by Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

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