Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Station area's 4.3m cash boost

Reading railway station
Another 400m is being spent on upgrading the railway station

A Berkshire town has been given £4.37m by the government to transform the run down area around its railway station.

The cash for Reading's Station Interchange scheme is set to improve transport links and generate more jobs.

Meanwhile, another £400m is being spent on Reading railway station itself and preliminary work has already begun.

Five new platforms, an elevated railway, a new station entrance and a new train depot are among the improvements laid out by Network Rail.

It is hoped the project, to be completed in 2015, will allow more trains to run through Reading, reduce delays on the Western route and ease overcrowding at the station.

Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said of the funding for the Station Interchange scheme: "This funding will help to deliver new homes that the South East desperately needs to meet long term demand from first time buyers and families on waiting lists.

"We know that good transport links are vital to successful communities and these projects will unlock the potential for new housing where it is needed.

"By investing today in tomorrow's infrastructure we are helping to ensure the foundations are in place to support economic recovery, while also creating and safeguarding jobs right now."

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