Help us shape a new Reading Central Library and Civic Customer Reception

We launched a consultation today (Monday 26 June) on exciting plans at the Council’s Civic Offices, to deliver a modern, new Central Library and redesign the customer reception and service areas.

Residents are invited to have their say via an online survey and at consultation events taking place locally.

An online consultation launches today at and runs until 11 August.

The survey offers an opportunity for people to feedback and the chance to ask questions about the library move and the development at the civic offices.

Alternative formats (paper copy, large print, translations) can be requested by emailing Paper copies are also available on request at all library branches and from the Civic reception and can be handed in there or posted to Civic Consultation, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU.

Alongside the online survey, several focus groups are being held between 26 June and 24 July, with key groups in Reading.

These will be held by invitation with customers in the Civic Customer Reception, a selection of current library users, voluntary and community sector organisations, representatives for accessibility and disability and wider resident groups – with an aim to reach a wide range of people representative of Reading’s diverse communities.

Children's survey

All children across Reading are invited to share their views in a writing and drawing competition. Take part in the Children's survey here:

You could be in with a chance to win a £30 Smiggle Voucher.

The Council has a vision of the new public reception and customer service centre as a safe, welcoming and accessible space for visitors and colleagues alike.

The aim is for a space to serve as a hub for community engagement, offering support for existing and new users, alongside a professional and effective welcome for business visitors with a goal to provide a high-quality customer service experience that is efficient, effective and responsive to everyone’s needs.

The existing Central Library on King’s Road is well-used but the dated building is set over a series of floors, making any major improvements challenging. A brand-new custom-built Central Library added to the current Civic Offices site will create a modern and open space, offering a much-improved, accessible environment for everyone. The ambition would be to create a flexible space for the whole community that embraces not only the traditional offer of books loans but looks to the future with an improved digital and learning offer.

In January 2023, the Council successfully bid for the government ‘Levelling Up’ funding and was awarded £19.1 million to revitalise Reading’s cultural offer.

This includes an £8.6 million investment to rebuild Central Library at the Council’s Civic Offices in Bridge Street and a £13.7 million investment for Reading’s much-loved and popular Hexagon Theatre. This will create an attractive, flexible and exciting new space for performances and community use.

Find out more and follow this massive transformational project’s progress here:

Last updated on 26/06/2023