READING Borough Council has moved to reiterate its position that it remains fully committed to retaining and restoring the town’s black history mural in its current location.
As a result of changes to market conditions being experienced everywhere as a result of the pandemic, and following pre-planning application discussions, the preferred bidder for the vacant former Central Club building has amended the scope of its initial scheme, and subsequently its initial offer.
At a meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee tonight (Monday September 28th) Councillors considered the revised offer in private as the financial details remain commercially confidential at this time, as per the requirements of the Local Government Act 1972.
Reading Borough Council Leader Jason Brock said:
“The Council has, from the outset, been utterly categorical that Reading’s iconic black history mural – which remains an Asset of Community Value – will be retained as part of any development. We are also very clear that this remains the case if the revised scheme is permitted. The same applies to retaining community space as part of the proposed development.
“The mural is a unique and important symbol of Reading’s cultural history which represents Reading’s long history of celebrating different cultures and promoting tolerance. It remains of huge importance to the black community, the wider community and the Council itself and we, alongside the preferred bidder, are fully committed to its restoration in situ and its long term protection as part of any future development. Anyone stating that the Council does not stand resolutely steadfast in its commitment to protect the mural is simply seeking to mislead the public. ”