Reading 1960s tower and shopping centre demolition begins

Western Tower in Reading Image copyright Google
Image caption The revamped site will eventually comprise offices, apartments and shops

The demolition of an office block and shopping centre in Reading has begun.

Western Tower and the derelict Friars Walk Shopping Centre in Station Hill are being knocked down to make way for new offices, apartments and shops.

The development is next to the revamped Reading railway station, which was reopened by the Queen in July 2014 after an £897m upgrade.

Contractors Stanhope and TE Scudder said the town centre location meant demolition would be a complex process.

Jason Margrave, a director at Stanhope, said: "This is an important milestone in the transformation of an area that will ultimately become the heart of Reading.

"Reading is the commercial capital of the Thames Valley, making this site one of the most important schemes in the South East."

Image copyright Stephen Richards
Image caption The 15-storey building is part of a 1960s complex being demolished

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