Theale train station will receive an £8.65m upgrade to make the station more accessible, sustainable, and to increase capacity.

A central government grant of £4m will go towards the upgrade, as well as £4m from Network Rail. West Berkshire Council (WBC) will spend £470,000, including £20,000 section 106 money.

“The conditions of the [central government grant] are that work will need to start prior to March 2021 so there will be activity on the site within the next two years,” a council spokeswoman said.

The plans include installing an accessible footbridge, replacement waiting shelters, and a new ticket office with a fully accessible ticket desk. The upgrade will also provide step-free access to platforms.

“The money has been reallocated to the next worthy schemes on the list because the MRT scheme Reading was promoting is not now able to be delivered in the planned timescales. Theale Station was one of the next schemes to benefit from funding,” the council spokeswoman said.

Ikea and Arlington Business Park support the plans which could lead to more jobs brought to the area. Amy Coles, manager of the business park, gave her support in a recent letter to Thames Valley Berkshire.

“An improved station will assist attracting more employment to Theale and supporting the local economy. There is vacant space within our buildings which if fully let would lead to the employment of up to 1,500 additional people,” Ms Coles wrote.

The upgrade is hoped to reduce congestion and have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The station will see a new cycle hub for 100 bicycles, a car park with 366 spaces, at least electric vehicle charging points, and solar panels. Thames Valley Berkshire estimate 114 panels would enable the station to become carbon neutral from an electricity perspective.

The area near to Theale station could see 260 new homes built according to the proposals, which state: “Good quality transport provision will be a significant factor in delivering the sustainable development of additional houses and the creation of new jobs vitally needed for the growing economy of the Thames Valley.”