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Sought-after site: development partner sees huge potential in Reading town centre

A legacy development at Minister Quarter Central in the heart of Reading has become a hotspot and Reading Borough Council has begun the process of seeking a development partner to deliver the best in class.

Brimming with potential Minister Quarter Central is a site located adjacent to the famous Hexagon Theatre and is the former spot of the Civic Centre offices. Ideally situated central to Reading’s hugely attractive and bustling town centre, which acts as the region’s main shopping destination and is a major south-east transport hub that will soon benefit from Elizabeth Line services right through to Bond Street – a quick 53-minute trip.

Developers – here’s what’s on offer


Including the Civic Car Park and surrounding public realm, the development opportunity consists of council-owned land between Hosier Street, Queen’s Walk, and Castle Street.

The aim is to implement a significant regeneration plan for the area for the years to come, with approximately 600 flats proposed on surrounding sites outside of the council’s ownership, as well as the potential for substantial investment in the Hexagon Theatre in the next few years – subject to the success of current government funding bids.

Reading Council leader Jason Brock said: “Minster Quarter Central offers massive potential to revitalise a key corner of Reading which is also located in the heart of our hugely attractive town centre - the region’s main shopping destination and a major transport hub in the south-east - and boasts our much-loved and ever popular Hexagon Theatre.”

 “We are seeking a development partner who understands and shares our vision for this strategically significant site and has a commitment to, and experience of, working successfully in partnership to achieve outstanding development quality and place-making.”

“This development brings huge potential in the form of new jobs and opportunities for local people, which sits alongside this council’s ethos of ensuring everybody in the town can share in Reading’s success.”

Interested? Here’s how to get on-board

Minister Quarter Central represents a prospect to develop a 5.2-acre (2.1 hectares) site as one of the best mixed-use development opportunities in the UK with the potential to create a landmark destination just a few minutes walk from the Oracle shopping centre. Forming part of the wider Minister Quarter Area, the Minister Quarter Central development will have a unique character and act as an inviting new gateway into the town centre from the west.   

Eddisons is conducting a developer section tender process, on behalf of the council, and will host a procurement launch event on 14 September at 10 am at the Hexagon Theatre in Reading.

This is where prospective bidders can meet council leaders and gain additional valuable insight into the economic powerhouse, which is Reading.

Regeneration in Reading

The council’s vision for Minister Quarter Central is to create a high-quality, sustainable, and inclusive location that has Reading residents, businesses, arts, culture, and the community at the forefront.

This opens up new opportunities for urban living as part of a thriving new community which offers a variety of tenure alongside a commercial arts and culture offer that will re-invigorate the public realm and breathe new life into this area of town.

Sought-after site: development partner sees huge potential in Reading town centre

Overall, this project also aims to contribute to inclusive growth, employment, and wider regeneration for the benefit of Reading.

As mentioned, the council’s current concept scheme for Minister Quarter Central has been designed to be mixed-use, with commercial and retail space to complement the new homes. They envisaged that development would be delivered over two phases, with the first phase benefiting from the council’s successful £2 million bid for Brownfield Land Release Fund grant for enabling works.

A number of key objectives have already been identified to help inform discussions with potential bidders, which include appropriate levels of affordable housing across a mix of tenures; a high-quality public realm, including a positive response to the impacts of the adjacent Inner Distribution Ringroad (IDR) on residents.

In accordance with the council’s Climate Emergency commitments, this will also be a zero-carbon development.

Subject to planning, re-development proposals for Minister Quarter Central could include residential units providing a variety of private accommodation, build-to-rent (BTR), and affordable housing, along with a 90-bed hotel, flexible working and conference facilities, and outdoor performance space.

A comprehensive technical information pack comprising the planning and due diligence work completed to date is available by data room which can be accessed on request by contacting either Javid Patel (javid.patel@eddisons.com) or Neil Houghton (neil.houghton@eddisons.com).


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