The Reading Half Marathon is held on the streets of Reading in March of each year, with 16,000 competitors from elite to fun runners.[213] It was first run in 1983 and has taken place in every subsequent year except 2001, when it was cancelled because of concerns over that year's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.[214]

Reading Prison is opening  for a major new project by Artangel

Support is urgently needed to help mature workers back into the workplace

The town grew up as a river port at the confluence of the Thames and the Kennet. Both of these rivers are navigable, and Caversham Lock, Blake's Lock, County Lock, Fobney Lock and Southcote Lock are all within the borough. Today, navigation is exclusively for purposes of leisure: private and hire boats dominate traffic, while scheduled boat services operate on the Thames from wharves on the Reading side of the river near Caversham Bridge.[147][148]

Our Whiteknights campus has won 5 Green Flag Awards and is one of the top public spaces in the UK.

A new show Made in Reading opens on 8 September

Over 30 Reading buildings will throw open their doors as part of this year's Heritage Open Days

The floodplains adjoining Reading's two rivers are subject to occasional flooding. However, in the 2007 floods that affected much of the UK, no properties were affected by flooding from the Thames and only four properties were affected by flooding from the Kennet.[67][68]

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Reading is a centre for rugby union football in the area, with the Aviva Premiership team London Irish as tenants at the Madejski Stadium. Reading is also home to another three senior semi-professional rugby clubs; Reading Abbey R.F.C., Redingensians R.F.C. and Reading R.F.C..

The Reading Borough Public Library service dates back to 1877.[60] Initially housed in Reading Town Hall, the central branch of the library relocated in 1985 to a new building on King's Road.[142]

Reading has five Grade I listed buildings, 22 Grade II* and 853 Grade II buildings, in a wide variety of architectural styles that range from the medieval to the 21st century. The Grade I listed buildings are Reading Abbey, the Abbey Gateway, Greyfriars Church, St Laurence's Church, and Reading Minster.[127][128]

Ricky Gervais, who is from Reading, made the film Cemetery Junction, which, although filmed elsewhere in the UK, is set in 1970s Reading and is named after a busy junction in East Reading.[121][122][123]

Reading was name checked in Huawei UK's new Smart Cities Index

Reading School, founded in 1125,[161] is the 16th oldest school in England.[162] There are six other state secondary schools and 37 state primary schools within the borough, together with a number of private and independent schools and nurseries.[163]

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Reading Town Football Club, formed in 1966,[205] played at Scours Lane and were playing in the Hellenic League Premier Division but were dissolved in 2016, while fellow Non-League football club Highmoor Ibis F.C. play at Palmer Park Stadium.

The Museum of English Rural Life, in East Reading, is a museum dedicated to recording the changing face of farming and the countryside in England. It houses designated collections of national importance. It is owned and run by the University of Reading, as are the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, the Cole Museum of Zoology and the Harris Botanic Gardens, all of which can be found on the university's Whiteknights Campus.[170][171][172]

A year-long celebration of arts and culture in Reading

Plan how to get here, read your halls arrival guide and find out what events are planned.

The government of the Borough of Reading follows the leader and cabinet model. Following the 2011 local elections, a Labour minority administration replaced the previous Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition on the casting vote of the mayor.[58] The borough also has a (largely ceremonial) mayor. Cllr Sarah Hacker has been the mayor of Reading since May 2015.[59]

A striker caught in traffic and a 17-game unbeaten away run feature as BBC Sport rounds up Saturday's Football League action.

Reading has had some degree of local government autonomy since 1253, when the local merchant guild was granted a royal charter. Since then, the town has been run by a borough corporation, as a county borough, and as a district of Berkshire. The Borough of Reading became a unitary authority area in 1998, when Berkshire County Council was abolished under the Banham Review, and is now responsible for all aspects of local government within the borough.[53]

Reading's location in the Thames Valley to the west of London has made the town an important location in the nation's transport system.

As one of the largest urban areas in the United Kingdom to be without city status, Reading has bid for city status on three recent occasions — in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium; in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II; and 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. All three bids were unsuccessful.[43][44][45][46]

Reading is the site of both a Crown Court,[50] administering criminal justice, and a County Court,[51] responsible for civil cases. Lesser matters are dealt with in a local Magistrates' Court.[52]


BBC Sport looks at a few things you may have missed in the Football League plus a couple of controversies in non-league.

Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crimes Division novels, The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear are also placed in Reading, Berkshire.

Two wins in 42 hours and a manager glad he stayed put - BBC Sport analyses the big stories from the Football League.

Today local public transport is largely by road, which is often affected by peak hour congestion in the borough. A frequent local bus network within the borough, and a less frequent network in the surrounding area, are provided by Reading Buses. Other bus operators include First, Arriva South East, Stagecoach and Thames Travel.[156] ReadiBus provides an on-demand transport service for people with restricted mobility in the area.[157]

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A one-day event to discuss and explore Reading's potential

English language schools located in Reading include Gateway Languages, The English Language Centre, ELC London Street and Eurospeak Language School.

E brochure: Move to Reading, business capital of Thames Valley

There have been two airfields in or near Reading, one at Coley Park[154] and one at Woodley,[155] but they have both closed. The nearest airport is London Heathrow, 25 miles (40 km) away by road. An express bus service named RailAir links Reading with Heathrow, or the airport can be accessed by rail by taking the Paddington train and changing to the Heathrow Connect rail service at Hayes and Harlington railway station.

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Scenes from classic films to be re-shot in Broad Street on Saturday 30 July

Reading Minster, or the Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin as it is more properly known, is Reading's oldest ecclesiastical foundation, known to have been founded by the 9th century and possibly earlier.[176] Although eclipsed in importance by the later Abbey, Reading Minster has regained its importance since the destruction of the Abbey.

A managerial departure and a remarkable comeback win feature as BBC Sport rounds up Saturday's Football League action.

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