An award of £2 million has been made to fund groundwork ahead of the development of the Minster Quarter in Reading.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association, announced details of the £75m Brownfield Land Release Fund which included the money for Reading which was submitted through the Berkshire One Public Estate Partnership.

The council is currently seeking a development partner to help deliver a major mixed-use regeneration scheme with potentially up to 1,100 new homes and the £2m will be used to prepare for the first phase which runs adjacent to Hosier Street involves around 187 private and affordable new homes. 

Council leader Cllr Jason Brock said: “The council’s successful bid for £2m 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.

 “This new funding will help the council begin to lay the groundwork for these major future developments by enabling some key infrastructure works to take place.

 “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.

“In recent months, Reading Borough Council applied for Government grant funding to bridge the funding gap required to deliver the first phase of Minster Quarter and will be working with the surrounding landowners to make further bids to central Government when opportunities arise.”

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