Plans to redevelop the former Bristol & West Arcade building on Friar Street in the heart of Reading and build a new hotel are to be submitted to Reading Borough Council in January 2021.
The new scheme which replaces the previous plans for offices, flats and shops that was granted planning consent in 2019 is being brought forward because of lack of demand for new office and retail space in this part of Reading. Research shows that a new hotel here, close to both Reading station and the business heart of central Reading would also create new jobs for local people, a substantial level of income for Reading and allow the site to be brought back into active use.
Early discussions are taking place with several UK and international hotels groups interested in operating a 4-star hotel in this well-located central Reading site. The new hotel will have up to 186 rooms, a gym and a bar and restaurant fronting Friar Street that is open to the public. It is expected that the hotel will create up to 60 new jobs once opened.
Part of the proposals, the listed buildings on Market Place, will be included in the application to be brought forward exactly as it was consented in 2019 for commercial units, a pub and residential apartments above.