Central Club in Reading was a community centre that was closed in 2006 due financial cost-cutting. The outer wall boasts one of the finest African-centred murals, highlighting both the famous, such as Marcus Garvey, and local African personalities.
Recently Reading Borough Council put the property out for a bidding process. One of the organisations that responded was Aspire CIC, which hopes to develop the property as a community asset. Unfortunately its £10m bid has been dismissed by the Council, which is looking to attract commercial developers.
As a consequence, there is a campaign supported by individuals, the odd Green party councillor, and members, and supporters, of the African and African-Caribbean communities. Click here to support the Change.org online petition.
The petition, which has received over 3,500 signatories, is asking the Council to “think again and give proper consideration to the Aspire (Reading) CIC compelling, compliant, fully funded £10 Million Bid to acquire the spiritual home of the Black diaspora of Reading, the Central Club site and buildings.”