Ambitious plans to upgrade a business park in Reading by building a new entrance, a rain garden, a large gym and a yoga studio have been approved.

Tristan Capital Partners, who own Reading International Business Park, say it is half-empty and struggling to compete with the likes of Green Park Business Park, due to a lack of modern facilities for staff.

But on February 4, Reading Borough Council approved their plans to make a range of improvements.

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They want to build a semi-circular arch entrance – that will be made of glass and steel – at the 34,650sqm business park, which is home to several firms including the US telecoms operator Verizon.

According to the plans, a “rain garden” with flowers, shrubs and small trees will be planted outside the main building and a pagoda that provides outdoor seating will also be built.

An artists impression of the new entrance

An artist's impression of the new entrance

There are plans to build a large gym, create a secure storage area for 174 bikes and convert the cafe into a space that can be used as a yoga and pilates studio or a community room.

The owners want to upgrade the 1,199-space car park to provide more electric charging points, disabled parking spaces and car share bays.

They are looking to make several changes that do not require planning permission, such as changing the colour of the terracotta tiles on the office buildings and installing heat pump technology to reduce carbon emissions.

A vacant Grade II listed building, known as Little Lea Cottage, is on the site, which is next to junction 11 of the M4.

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The owners of the business park have been granted planning permission to upgrade the toilets in the 17th century building, carry out repair work and install a drainage system to reduce damp problems.

According to a council report, they want to “find a use which supports the wider uses of the business park” and “requires minimal alterations to the listed building”.