A NEW community hub is coming to Reading after property bosses agreed to sell Whitley’s empty library.

Cost-cutting plans saw Reading Borough Council (RBC) choose to sell the building back in 2017 and now new operators are set to transform the empty site into a community centre.

Following the 2017 decision, library services moved to the South Reading Community Hub, on the same road at Northumberland Avenue.

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RBC’s top team confirmed the move at a meeting on Monday (June 22) and now the freehold of the library will be transferred to ‘Bidder A’, who pledged the highest amount for the building.

A report produced for the authority did not disclose the identity of the bidder, but it stated the new owners want the building to “link with the wider community” by offering rooms for hire to community groups.

Five offers were received for the property, with ‘bidder A’ offering the highest price and confirming it has the ability to complete the purchase.

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The chosen bidder has also confirmed that, despite the Covid-19 emergency, they are still willing and able to proceed with the purchase at the offer price.

The mystery purchaser will be required to respect the local listed building and preservation orders placed on some of the surrounding trees.

Reading Chronicle:

One part of the property owned by the council, green space next to the building, has been licenced to a neighbour for use as a garden and driveway and the sale of this land to the neighbour was also confirmed on Monday.

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All Reading libraries are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.