Historic listed buildings in the town centre could be transformed back to their original state after being altered over many years.

Plans have been submitted by 159 Reading TE Ltd to the council to refurbish the 149-150 Friar Street and 1-4 Queen Victoria Street building and return it to its original state.

The developer says the building is “currently in a poor state of repair and has been much altered and much changed from its original state on the ground floors”.

READ MORE: ‘Serious concerns’ – Reading MP reacts to proposed constituency boundary changes

Another application has been submitted to restore another building, 13-16 Market Place, and remove non original features.

The application from Eurospeak Academy seeks to strip out non-original features from inside the former NatWest building, including  suspended ceilings, stud partitions, lifts and mechanical and electrical equipment.

They say all works will be undertaken sensitively to ensure any existing

original fabric is protected.

The Friar Street/Queen Victoria Street plan aims to:

  • Prevent further deterioration of the listed buildings
  • Re-instate original historic shopfronts that are in-keeping with the two streets, enhancing the significance and authenticity of the buildings
  • Revive the underused buildings, providing an active and viable use that will provide for their future conservation and maintenance

The façade and interior of the building will be refurbished, under the plans.

The main alterations to the front façades will be on the ground floor with the creation of new, uniform shopfronts which reinstate the original shopfront look.

READ MORE: Council fails in bid to buy Reading town centre police station

Planning consultants Town Planning Burueau say the works will provide an “enhanced retail offering and protect and enhance key heritage assets”.

They add: “A reinvigorated and enhanced retail and leisure town centre

destination will play an important role in the post-Covid19 recovery of the Reading economy, encouraging a return to physical retailing.”