The FOR SALE signboard at the former Central Club (Reading Central Youth Provision) on London Street says that the building has been sold subject to planning permission.
In July 2018 Reading Borough Council (RBC) announced that its preferred bidder was Redline who scored 138 (69%) against the council’s bidding criteria. The other bidders were Aspire CIC who scored 122 (61%) and City Block who submitted two bids that scored 127 (63.5%) and 131 (65.5%) respectively.
Redline’s bid was for a seven-storey building with the ground floor let to Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company for storage and rehearsal space. The upper floors would include housing, including affordable housing. The other bids described a building of between four and six floors with student accommodation on the upper floors.
The prolonged process that lead to the sale of the former club was controversial, not least because of the much-loved black history mural on the north side of the building. RBC has sought to provide re-assurances about the future of the mural. The property was marketed by Haslams and the particulars stated:
The property will be sold by way of a long leasehold interest for a term of 999 years for a one off premium and an annual peppercorn rent with full vacant possession given on completion. The lease will not contain any covenants or restrictions as to user, alienation or repairs but will impose obligations relating to the future repair, maintenance and protection of the mural.
A planning application for the site is not yet available on the RBC planning portal.