Plans are in place to transform the empty Central building on London Street in Reading Berkshire. Until its closure in late 2005 the building, owned by Reading Borough Council, was a youth provision and a popular centre for African Caribbean cultural events. More...
About the Central Building Feasibility Steering Group.
In 2014 Reading Voluntary Action was tasked with reviewing and consulting organisations interested in the building and who have the resources and the capacity to take a lead or partnership role in getting the project moving.
The review report was presented to Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee recommending the best way the empty building, which is of great significance to the African Caribbean community, can be brought back into use.
The council has set aside £220,000 towards refurbishment of the building. At the time additional funding of £400,000 was necessary to bring the building back into use. The African Caribbean Community Group (ACCG), set up in 2008 to reclaim Central, made a brave but unsuccessful attempt to raise the funds.
In March 2015 the RBC Policy Committee agreed to RVA proposals that members of the six organisations, who submitted expressions of interest, will create the Central Building Feasibility Steering Group to set out a shared vision for a centre of excellence for art and music that engages and reflects the local community.
The represented organisations include CultureMix Arts, Readipop, The Reading Community Culture Group, Hogarth Productions, Reading Arts and Culture Centre, Reading Sustainability Centre and ACCG.
The group will be applying for funding streams to help develop a detailed business case and a building brief for the site.
One of the recommendations is that any future plans for the building will recognise the cultural and social significance of the mural and its position as a high profile local landmark.
The group, who started meetings in March 2015, will tease out the details for the shared vision, discuss how to preserve the mural, find an investor or developer, source further finance, consider governance models, and ensure the wider community is kept informed and engaged through forum meetings and regular updates.
So who are the independent organisations and representative bodies that share the ambition to open the building for community use?
Click here to find out more...
The Central building (Central Club) London Street Reading Berkshire
So who are the organisations and other representative bodies that share the ambition to open the building for community use?
Read about all those involved in the future of the Central building. More...
The iconic Central Club mural in Reading Berkshire UK
"Future plans for the Central building will recognise the cultural and social significance of the mural and its position as a high profile local landmark."
Central Building report
Reading Voluntary Action
Have your say about the Central building at the next open Forum meeting:
Monday 7 September 2015
4.30pm - 6pm
Reading Central Library
Central Club is known for its large colourful mural by artist Alan Howard commissioned in 1988 by Reading Borough Council.
The mural tells the story of Black History with images of key figures including Harriet Tubman, Bob Marley and Martin Luther King.