READING’S black history mural has been listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) by Reading Borough Council.
The Council has confirmed the historic mural – which runs alongside the former Central Club building – has been given ACV status, following a recent application by Aspire (Reading) CIC.
Reading Borough Council has previously made clear on numerous occasions that it remains fully committed to securing the mural’s future. This week’s listing of the black history mural as an ACV further reinforces the Council’s position.
Jo Lovelock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:
“The Council has this week listed Reading’s historic black mural as an Asset of Community Value, which reinforces our standpoint that we remain fully committed to securing its future.
“The mural remains of huge importance to the black community, the wider community and the Council, as it represents Reading’s long history of celebrating different cultures and promoting tolerance.
“The Council is also completely clear it expects any offers received in the next round of bidding for the former Central Club building, to include plans to secure the mural’s future. All bids will be fully considered in terms of both the community value included in the bid, and the financial offer for the building itself.”
Reading’s historic mural dates back to 1990 and is showing signs of deterioration. The Council commissioned a professional survey of the mural in the autumn by experts Arte Conservation Ltd (www.arteconservation.com), who specialise in the treatment of painted structures and whose clients include English Heritage and the National Trust. Once the Council is clear about the full scope of works needed to preserve the mural, that information will be included as background for potential bidders for the site.
The former Central Club building has been empty and unused since 2006.