Civic Library Project

Residents invited to help us shape a new Reading Central Library and Civic Customer Reception

  • Consultation launches from June 26 and runs for four weeks
  • Events with targeted groups will be running alongside the survey

READING COUNCIL today launched a four-week consultation on exciting plans at the Council’s Civic Offices, to deliver a modern, new Central Library and redesign the customer reception and service areas. 

Residents are invited to have their say via an online survey and at consultation events taking place locally.

An online consultation launches today at and runs until 24 July.

The survey offers an opportunity for people to feedback and the chance to ask questions about the library move and the development at the civic offices.

Alternative formats (paper copy, large print, translations) can be requested by emailing Paper copies are also available on request at all library branches and from the Civic reception and can be handed in there or posted to Civic Consultation, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU.

Alongside the online survey, several focus groups are being held between 26 June and 24 July, with key groups in Reading.

These will be held by invitation with customers in the Civic Customer Reception, a selection of current library users, voluntary and community sector organisations, representatives for accessibility and disability and wider resident groups – with an aim to reach a wide range of people representative of Reading’s diverse communities.

All children across Reading schools will also be invited to share their views in a writing and drawing competition – schools will have details on how children can join in.

The Council has a vision of the new public reception and customer service centre as a safe, welcoming and accessible space for visitors and colleagues alike. 

The aim is for a space to serve as a hub for community engagement, offering support for existing and new users, alongside a professional and effective welcome for business visitors with a goal to provide a high-quality customer service experience that is efficient, effective and responsive to everyone’s needs.

The existing Central Library on King’s Road is well-used but the dated building is set over a series of floors, making any major improvements challenging. A brand-new custom-built Central Library added to the current Civic Offices site will create a modern and open space, offering a much-improved, accessible environment for everyone. The ambition would be to create a flexible space for the whole community that embraces not only the traditional offer of books loans but looks to the future with an improved digital and learning offer. 

 Councillor Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:

“It is our ambition to do everything we can to ensure that all residents, whatever their circumstances or background, can share in Reading’s success. 

“Over the next 18 months, as part of this ambition, we are set to deliver a fantastic new Central Library at our Civic Offices on Bridge Street, which will offer a huge number of benefits – and designed with accessibility and sustainability in mind.

“At the same time, we are also taking the exciting opportunity to completely redesign our customer reception to make it as welcoming and efficient as it possibly can be – a safe, welcoming, and accessible space for visitors and colleagues alike. 

“We want to know your views on this major project to make sure the redevelopment best meets your needs and the needs of all our residents and visitors. I encourage you to take part here:

In January 2023, the Council successfully bid for the government ‘Levelling Up’ funding and was awarded £19.1 million to revitalise Reading’s cultural offer.

This includes an £8.6 million investment to rebuild Central Library at the Council’s Civic Offices in Bridge Street and a £13.7 million investment for Reading’s much-loved and popular Hexagon Theatre. This will create an attractive, flexible and exciting new space for performances and community use.

Find out more and follow this massive transformational project’s progress here:

Funded by UK Gov-stacked
LevelUp lockup RGB blue on white EN