Celebrating Reading’s High Street Heritage Investment

  • Opportunities for the public to get involved – join the Oxford Road Giant Puppet Parade, and help paint a large outdoor mural.
  • Reading was one of 67 areas of England to receive a share of a £95 million government High Streets Heritage Action Zone fund.

The culmination of a £1.6M project to invest in the heritage of Reading’s historic high streets celebrated this month.  

Highlights of the last four years include: 

  • Restoration of eight buildings and shopfronts including 8 Castle Street; The Pavilion, Oxford Road; and 32 and 34 St Mary’s Butts.
  • Restoration and conservation of four town centre monuments: Queen Victoria statue, Zinzan Tomb, Jubilee Cross and Simeon Monument.
  • Upgrade of public spaces including new public art, a traditional hand-written sign on the flank of Russell Street with the junction of Oxford Road, the Welcome to Oxford Road mural, and new paving in sections of Oxford Road in front of restored shop fronts.
  • Collaboration with over 30 cultural, community, charity, and heritage organisations, and with schools.
  • Creation of long-lasting reference materials to help the community connect with our heritage through audio walks and school resources.

The project comes to a close in March and there are still opportunities to get involved: 

  • Oxford Road Giant Puppet Parade 1pm Saturday 23 March 2024, Broad St Mall, make something, play drums, dance or walk get involved with giant flag making, learn carnival rhythms and dance moves, and join the parade.
  • Help paint a new large public art mural one of the project’s legacy’s will be a large semi-permanent public art installation at St Mary’s Butts which residents can get involved in. Painting workshops Unit 24 Broad Street Mall (opposite TK Maxx) 11am-5pm until 23 March 2024.

Last updated on 19/03/2024