Built in 1840, Junction Arch was originally the grand ornamental gatehouse to Reading Old Cemetery. Today it is a Grade II listed landmark, which is currently vacant and in desperate need of restoration.
In 2019, local people came together to form Junction Arch Heritage and Arts (JAHA), a community interest company (CIC), to save the iconic Arch, after Reading Borough Council advertised it for sale for residential conversion. In 2021 the council accepted JAHA’s offer to buy and restore the Arch for community use, and agreed to allow them 18 months to raise the necessary funds. The group plans to bring it and the space immediately behind into use as a multi-functional community hub with a focus on heritage and arts.
In order to generate ongoing revenue to make the project viable for the future JAHA hopes to:
- create a garden café, where people can sit and enjoy the tranquil environment of the cemetery
- add a flexible meeting room and gallery
- provide display space and indoor seating for the café in the Arch itself
- make affordable office space available for community organisations, not-for-profits and small businesses
Find out more about the project and how you can support it at junctionarch.org.