IKEA construction officially begins
Store to open in summer next year
IKEA is coming.
Today officially marked the the start of construction on the Swedish furniture store in Calcot.
Store manager Johanna Heuren, the leader of West Berkshire Council, Gordon Lundie, and deputy chairman of the council, Quintin Webb, cemented a steel column at the store entrance.
IKEA Reading, as the store will be known, will bring 350 jobs to the area, including logistics, customer services, and, Mrs Heuren said "people to cook those meatballs."
Recruiting is underway for the Pincents Lane store.
Construction work is expected to be completed in the spring before an summer 2016 opening date.
Planning permission was granted in 2012 for a 40,000 sq m store over three floors, a 1,179 space multi-storey car park, cafe, creche facilities and a bus interchange area.
Last year IKEA applied to reduce the size of the store to two levels instead of three, reduce the height by eight metres, and have a footprint of 32,000sqm.
Residents in Calcot, Tilehurst and Theale have expressed concerns over the amount of traffic that will visit the store.
IKEA will be contributing around £5m in developer's contributions to try and mitigate the impact of the store on local roads
See next week's Newbury Weekly News for more details on IKEA Reading.