A plan to transform Reading town centre has been granted £2m by the Government.

The regeneration of Minster Quarter, a brownfield site adjacent to Hosier Street, will see 187 new homes built.

The funding comes as part of a £57.8 million package announced by the government to be spent by councils on brownfield land in the UK.

Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock said: “The Council’s successful bid for £2 million of external funding is welcome and will help to kickstart the exciting regeneration of what is a significant but unloved area of the town centre, bringing with it new homes, new job opportunities and a huge boost to the local economy, which will benefit local residents and businesses.

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He continued: “The Minster Quarter is a far from straightforward development site, with a variety of land ownerships and interests in play.

“We will work with those various owners to help deliver this ambitious housing and employment hub, with a focus on great public realm, becoming an exemplar zero carbon scheme and providing desperately needed affordable housing."

The Minster Quarter area includes land where the council’s old offices used to be, Reading’s police station and Broad Street Mall.

The money will be spent on preparatory works at the site such as removing some of the existing concrete structure, strengthening other parts of it and preparing access roads.

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The council plans to build 450-470 homes in total on the land it owns in the Minster Quarter, as well as open public space such as making Queen’s Walk “Reading’s answer to the New York High Line aerial park”.

The council agreed to seek a development partner to build new facilities as well as private and affordable homes in June.

Following the adoption of the Minster Quarter Area Development Framework in December 2018, Reading Borough Council has been working with the landowners with a view to regenerating the area into a vibrant new urban quarter with potential for up to 1,100 new homes, active ground floor uses and new employment opportunities.