Conservative Vision for a New Cultural Centre for Reading

Conservatives in Reading have set out their vision for a new Cultural, Arts and Sports centre for the Borough funded entirely from non-Council Tax sources.

When the Conservatives led the Coalition administration in Reading, they brought together a group of amazing people from round Reading to ensure our town made maximum benefit from this once in a lifetime Olympian moment. A huge amount was done for Reading and all those taking part were keen to find a legacy to keep the success and momentum going. Also during that time, the Coalition formed the Cultural Partnership, bringing cultural organisations and groups in Reading together and more importantly, allowing them to help forge a better future for arts, culture and sport.

Conservative Culture and Sport Lead Cllr Andrew Cumpsty said, “I believe that there is now a huge opportunity for Reading, an opportunity brought about by these groups working together, a desire to build on our Olympic legacy and the physical changes currently taking place in the centre of our town. This opportunity is the creation of a new arts, cultural, sporting and conference venue for Reading, delivered entirely by non-Council Tax money.”

The Council has decided to move Civic Offices, posing the question what will happen to the Hexagon and the area around it once the Council moves out of its current building. Certainly a blueprint for what to do does exist, in the form of the late Cllr Bob Green's Culture and Sport Scrutiny Report into the future of the Hexagon and Conservatives believe that this should help guide future plans.

There are many volunteers who want better culture and sport from our town, the core of whom already work through the Cultural Partnership and the 2012 Group, they can help in leading this project. There exists non-Council tax financing to make this project happen, meaning that not penny of Council Tax need go into delivering this project. There are several possible iconic venues that are available and all that is needed is the will to drive this forward.

Group Leader Cllr Tim Harris said, “I have spoken to a number of groups and individuals who are keen to work together to make this happen. At a time of economic difficulties it would be great to add a new facility which could benefit so many people in our town, generating jobs, growth and enterprise.”