There was a sigh of relief all across town as the start of work gladdened the hearts, both of campaigners to keep it and those who wanted it demolished.
But a closer look reveals a less classy looking corrugated sheets to the roof. Planners have fought over this development almost continually so to see it’s new look, more of a cladding task than one of restoration, is to say the least, a surprise.
Maybe its finished look will be better but if its current exterior is anything to go by, signs are’t good.
Perhaps the finished facility will be worth the wait. Any developer who can make this old ruin into a success story deserves credit. While the town centre retail and nightlife fits very much into the clone town concept, this should be something special that might differentiate Reading.
If it’s good, it could contribute to Reading but if it isn’t, it might do more harm than good to a town that, despite commercial success, still needs to work on its architectural and artistic image.