£20 million bid to revitalise Hexagon and Central Library

We have revealed exciting proposals to revitalise Reading’s cultural offer by transforming the much-loved Hexagon Theatre and building a modern new Central Library.

Reading Borough Council’s ambition is to do everything it can to ensure that every single resident, whatever their circumstances or background, can share in the town’s success. As part of that continuing drive, the Council now plans to submit a £20 million bid for Government ‘Levelling Up’ funding to breathe new life into its cultural and learning offer for Reading residents.

As part of that continuing drive, we plan to submit a £20 million bid for Government ‘Levelling Up’ funding to breathe new life into our cultural and learning offer for Reading residents.

Our bid is made up of a £8 million investment to rebuild Central Library at the Council’s Civic Offices in Bridge Street to create a flexible space for the whole community that embraces not only the traditional offer of book loans but looks to the future with our digital and learning offer and an £12 million investment to revitalise Reading’s much-loved and popular Hexagon Theatre, creating an attractive, flexible and exciting new space for performances and community use.

If our bid is successful, this will form the first phase of a longer-term regeneration of the Hexagon and also feed into our ambitious and wider plans to create the ‘Minster Quarter.’

It’s important to note that both plans will focus heavily on improved sustainability, as part of our long standing commitment to working towards a net-zero carbon Reading by 2030, and much improved accessibility for everyone.

Our bid is to the Government’s Round 2 Levelling Up Fund and – if successful – we would match-fund by 10% from our own capital investment fund.

We plan to submit our bid in July and expect to hear news of whether it has been successful in autumn 2022.  We have created some indicative designs and artist’s impressions which you can view on our project page. We are emphasising that our proposals are still relatively early concepts.

Find out more on our page about the levelling up bid