A vacant former bicycle shop in the town centre is set to become a tattoo parlour.

Plans have been submitted by Mystic Lounge Tattoo Ltd to change the use of the vacant unit at 133 Friar Street, Reading, from a retail shop to a tattoo studio.

The unit – which is on the corner of Union Street or ‘Smelly Alley’ – has been vacant for around six months having most recently been occupied by SCUK Co Bikes as a bicycle shop.

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There would be a reception and seating area on the ground floor level, tattooing space onthe first and second floors and the basement would be used for storage, if the plans are approved.

Planning consultant Change The Use says the new business will invest in the local economy, bringing a vacant retail unit into use, creating employment opportunities and improving the wellbeing of the area’s community.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) planning team will decide if the change of use can go ahead.

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There are currently two tattoo studios in Reading’s town centre: Top Gun Tattooing, in the Harris Arcade, and Long Story Short, at 23 Friar Street.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, tattoo parlours were allowed to re-open from July 13.

Long Story Short re-opened on July 14, while Top Gun re-opened for tattooing on July 20.