THE TRANSFORMATION of Reading Town Hall and Museum has gathered momentum with the refurbishment of the community café.

Visitors to the attraction in the heart of the town will notice several changes over the coming weeks, including upgraded toilets, a new museum shop and the relocation of the coroner's court to the Victorian gallery.

The project is expected to complete in early 2019.

Councillor Sarah Hacker, lead member for culture, heritage, recreation, said: “These are exciting times for the town hall and museum, with some major improvements taking place which will enhance the facilities this venue has to offer.

“This links to the wider investment we have made in the Abbey Quarter, including the opening of the abbey ruins this month.

“Whilst there will inevitably be some level of disruption to its existing use, we have been working closely with our contractors Lakehouse Contracts Limited, to keep any disruption to a minimum whilst the work is completed.”

Activities during July will involve work to the main entrance and reception area, during which time a temporary reception area will be set up.

Councillor Jason Brock, lead member for consumer services, added: “I am delighted the work to create a new purpose-built ceremonial suite is progressing well.

“The move of ceremonies to the Town Hall will improve accessibility and also provide a great choice of backdrops for photographs, including the nearby Forbury Gardens, which is a short walk away.”