HERE are five of the top stories in Reading this week (September 16  to Septemer 23).

1. House of Fraser closing down, huge sale at Oracle Reading

Reading Chronicle: The ‘death of the high street’ saga continues with the imminent closure of Reading's iconic House of Fraser branch.

The flagship department store opened with The Oracle in 1999, nearly 25 years ago and has survived two recessions and a global pandemic but announced its closure last month.

It will close its doors for the final time on Thursday, September 28, with its connected Cafe Nero closing on October 6. The Chronicle understands staff will be redeployed to local outlets. 

Read full story here 

2. Changes to The Oracle Reading explained amid closures

Reading Chronicle:

Changes are on the way at The Oracle in Reading as shops and restaurants close ahead of plans to add hundreds of flats to the centre.

The Oracle first opened in 1999 as a hub for shopping in the town and the wider area, on riverside land that used to be occupied by the Courage Brewery and the Reading Transport depot.

It was opened with much fanfare, anchored by the huge Debenhams and House of Fraser stores.

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3. Home Bargains announces new Reading store opening date

Reading Chronicle:

A major retailer has announced it will be opening a new store in Reading this week.

Home Bargains is to launch in Brunel Retail Park, in a move that will create 82 new jobs following a £1million investment.

Officially opening to shoppers from 8am on Saturday, September 23, 2023, it will be the second Home Bargains in Reading, with the other remaining open in Reading Link Retail Park.

Read full story here 

4. Reading FC League One rivals 'part company' with manager

Reading Chronicle:

Reading's League One rivals Cheltenham Town have parted company with manager Wade Elliott after eight matches.

The former Burnley and Bournemouth forward took over at the Robins last season, replacing current Swansea City manager Michael Duff.

Finishing 16th and reaching the semi-final of the EFL Trophy in his debut campaign in charge, Cheltenham have begun this campaign disastrously.

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5. Huge 820 homes plan at Reading retail park submitted

Reading Chronicle:

A huge plan has been submitted that would see furniture stores at a Reading retail park replaced with 12 new tower blocks and more than 800 homes.

It is the biggest application that has been submitted so far this year.

Scottish investment company Abrdn has submitted the plan for the Forbury Retail Park near the town centre, which involves demolishing big box stores and replacing them with 12 residential towers.

Read full story here