Reading will get bowling, mini golf, a food hall and new shops in exchange for the loss of department store House of Fraser at The Oracle.

The plans were approved unanimously by Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Planning Applications committee last night.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, said: “This is a further vote of confidence in Reading town centre.

“Many shopping centres are at the point of going under and the part owners of this centre are retrenching elsewhere in the country.

“Here, major investment is being brought forward to increase the diversity, versatility and attractiveness of the offer at the Oracle. I very much welcome it.

“The provision of town centre is bowling has been a very long aspiration. We look forward to the works commencing as soon as possible.”

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The space currently used by House of Fraser at The Oracle will become:

  • A food hall accessed from the riverside
  • Adventure golf and ten-pin bowling planned to take up the spaces
  • Retail shops on the lower ground floor and upper ground level
  • A retail shop or cafe on Bridge Street

House of Fraser has been at The Oracle since the shopping centre opened in 1999.

Many of the troubled department store’s sites across the UK have closed in the last few years.

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House of Fraser was rescued by Mike Ashley in a £90 million deal in 2018 but has continued to struggle, reporting losses of £54 million last year.

The council also approved huge plans for hundreds of homes at Broad Street Mall last night.