Kier picked for civic-quarter redevelopment
by Jim Dunton Sat 1 February 2014, 2:30 pm
Reading Borough Council has selected Kier Property as its preferred development partner to deliver a mixed-use regeneration scheme for the site of its Civic Centre and the surrounding area.
It is the third significant project in Reading that the development arm of Kier Group has been involved with, following the completion of One Reading Central and the enterprise centre at the University of Reading’s White Knights Campus.
R:UK reported last summer that the authority had formally launched the hunt for a development partner for the civic area, and that it envisaged a mix of residential, retail, community and leisure facilities that would ideally “enhance and integrate” the Hexagon Theatre into the heart of the town centre.
The authority said it would now work with the company to draw up detailed plans for a residential and retail development of the Hosier Street site and its surrounds.
Council staff will next year relocate to a new borough headquarters in the refurbished Plaza West building in Bridge Street, after which the existing Civic Centre will be closed and demolished.
Council leader Jo Lovelock said the selection of Kier was a “significant step forward” for the regeneration of central Reading, paving the way for the civic area to be transformed into a more inviting and accessible space.
“The company is a major development player and they were able to demonstrate some impressive examples of where they have completed similar projects elsewhere in the UK,” she said.
“We are confident they will help to deliver an exciting transformation of this important part of the town centre.
“The regeneration project has been made possible by the council’s decision to move to the existing Plaza West offices which, as well as providing improved facilities for local residents and staff, will be less costly to maintain than the existing building. "
Kier Property director Leigh Thomas said the firm was delighted to be selected and pledged to deliver a scheme its “partners and local community can be proud of”.