Plans have been submitted to create a new serviced office operation in the centre of Reading.

Castleforge Partners has applied to carry out a major refurbishment and extension of Soane Point in Market Place to create 110,771 sq ft of flexible co-working, small office and start up space under its Clockwise brand.

Retail units including a Tesco Express on the ground floor will be maintained in the overhaul but there will be a new façade to replace the grey 1960s look of the building and a more substantial reception area.

The design & access statement produced by architectural consultancy tp bennett states: “Internal alterations are proposed which will transform the building interior to provide attractive contemporary flexible workspace for predominantly local, small and growing businesses.

“Some additional floorspace will be created at current roof level. Amenity space in the form of roof terraces and internal communal space is to be provided in order that small and start-up businesses can meet, collaborate and thrive.”

Clockwise has centres in Belfast, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool with more in the pipeline at Leeds, London and Manchester.

Steve Head, director for offices and industrial for Hicks Baker, said: “Reading has already seen significant growth in the co-working and serviced offices over the last two years and this is a crowded and competitive market sector.

“However it is great to see more investment coming into the centre of Reading and this is further endorsement of the town as a grown-up business location.

“It’s got to be good news that somebody is prepared to invest in the town and we know that the activity at the moment is at the smaller end of the market.”

The team on the project includes Turley as planning consultancy and Faithful + Gould carrying out project management.

Thames Tap has asked Clockwise to tell us more. We will follow up once we hear from them.

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