Junction Arch Heritage and Arts (JAHA), a Community Interest Company (CIC), based in East Reading, have launched a bid with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to acquire the Cemetery Junction Arch in order to turn it into a Heritage and Arts Hub for use by the local community.
Formerly used as a police station, the Arch is now empty, the council can no longer afford to maintain it and are looking to sell it on. There are preservation orders on the Arch but there’s nothing stopping it being acquired and developed into residential apartments – this is something the local community would like to resist – instead maximising the use of this historic building by turning into a place where people can meet, share stories, relax and socialise.
Reading Old Cemetery itself offers the locals a tranquil escape from the high volumes of surrounding traffic, and a large area of green space, rich in flora and fauna, which off-sets the dangerous levels of air pollution. The walls and trees completely shield the area to the extent it’s easy to forget you’re in a town at all.
If you believe in, and back this project, please don’t hesitate to get involved with the JAHA community group. The more people we can enlist to help, the more successful this project will be. It is a project worked on by the community, for the community.
Cemetery Junction image courtesy of Reading Libraries.