READING Register Office has officially moved location.
From tomorrow, Tuesday 4th December, all birth, death, marriage and nationality enquiries and appointment bookings will take place at Reading Council’s Civic Offices in Bridge Street, offering a significant improvement in accessibility for visitors.
All applications for replacement certificates will only be available online at www.reading.gov.uk/life-events
Yeomanry House, the Register Office’s home for the last 50 years, closed its doors for the last time on Friday 30th November. The building had become costly to maintain, had limited accessibility and its Strong Room had run out of space for documents.
The Register Office’s Strong Room, which holds all of Reading’s birth, death and marriage records since 1837, will move to a new purpose built building at Henley Road Cemetery later this month.
The move is part of Reading Council’s drive to make the best possible use of its buildings, to help reduce running costs and contribute to closing its budget gap through the sale of buildings, as well as providing better services to residents.
First Ceremonies at the Town Hall
The Register Office’s stunning new ceremony room at Reading Town Hall will host its first marriage on Saturday 8th December. On the morning of Wednesday 12th December, the Mayor of Reading, Debs Edwards, will join the first sixteen people to take part in a citizenship ceremony in the new venue.
The Town Hall and museum provide an attractive, accessible and historic setting with a choice of internal and external backdrops for photographs, including the nearby Forbury Gardens, which is a short walk away.
For the first time, people will have the option to webcast their ceremony – ideal for those with family and friends around the world who cannot make the service.
Cllr Jason Brock, Reading’s Lead Member for Corporate and Consumer Services, said: “The registration service’s move to the civic offices and the new ceremony venue at the Town Hall will offer a much improved service for residents. As well as better accessibility at both locations, the beautiful Town Hall building has stunning architectural features that are full of history, making it the perfect backdrop for a special big day. The close proximity to the Forbury and Abbey Ruins ensures plenty of spectacular photo opportunities for the happy couple and their guests. I’m also delighted we can offer the ability to webcast the service across the globe!
“All enquiries and booking will transfer to the service’s new home at the Civic Offices – which is easier to visit due to its central location and offers improved accessibility.
“This move is part of the Council’s wider plan to make the best possible use of its buildings. As well as providing a better service to residents, the move will help reduce running costs and contribute to closing the Council’s budget gap.”
Visitors to Reading’s Town Hall and museum will have noticed the exciting transformation work that has been happening this year, including the complete refurbishment of the former 3Bs Café, which is due to open in February 2019.
As well as the re-opening of the 3Bs Café, the big changes completing in 2019 include:
• The upgrade of all toilets by the reception and on the first and second floors;
• The reconfiguration of the reception desk area;
• The completion of the new Story of Reading gallery;
• The creation of a new museum shop;
• The Coroners Court will move into the Victorian gallery – the Victorian schoolroom has already relocated to the newly renovated Abbey Gateway;
• General maintenance and improvements throughout the building.
The work is designed to minimise disruption to visitors and staff as far as possible.
The investment at the town hall links to the wider regeneration of the Abbey Quarter, including the newly re-opened Abbey Ruins and improved information points across the town centre.
Photo opportunity: There is a photo opportunity at the new ceremonies room on Wednesday 12th December at 11.30 am with the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Jason Brock and the first people to take part in a citizenship ceremony in the new location. Please contact the press office if you would like to attend.
Contact details for Reading Registration Service after 4th December:
Telephone: 0118 937 3533
Post: Reading Registration Service,
Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU
Opening Times: 9:00 – 5pm M-F
Background to the changes
The changes are part of the Council’s Asset Management Plan: www.reading.gov.uk/media/5706/item11-2/pdf/item11_(2).pdf