A new chapter has begun as work starts on a new, permanent home for Newbiggin Library following its move into the town’s leisure centre.
Newbiggin Library vacated its outdated and unfit premises in the former Cleveland School Building on Gibson Street last October before taking up residence on the ground floor at Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre.
The work to refurbish the leisure centre and establish a new, centrally-located permanent base for Newbiggin Library starts this week. The building work, which is expected to be completed by the end of January 2017, will create more space in a bright and modern environment, as well as better facilities for library users. The work also includes improvements to the leisure centre’s entrance to provide a warmer welcome for visitors.
The work is part of a planned programme of works to co-locate library with other leisure services to create new community hubs across the county, allowing book borrowers to benefit from extended opening hours and access more services under one roof.
Active Northumberland manages all leisure facilities on behalf of Northumberland County Council, including fitness and sports centres, libraries, community sites and beach facilities. Northumberland County Council has invested over £40 million into improving leisure centres and facilities in the county – including Newbiggin.
Ashington Library opened in January 2016 as part of the £20million new purpose-built complex at Ashington Leisure Centre, and boasts a huge range of books, an IT hub with 18 computer terminals and a bespoke children’s library. In the last 12 months, the library has attracted over 2,000 new members and has seen a 25% increase in book borrowing.
Cramlington Library moved from its premises on Forum Way into a newly created space at the front of the Concordia Leisure Centre building in July 2016 as part of a £3.5 million transformation programme. Visitors can now access customer services, the gym, new soft play facilities, a Clip ‘n’ Climb climbing experience, spa facility and a 10 lane bowling alley.
Ponteland Library moved from Thornhill Road into the leisure centre’s reception area and former creche in November 2016 where it will stay until its new shared site development, which includes new school buildings, leisure and information services, is completed in 2019.
Councillor Val Tyler, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “We’re delighted to see work start on the new, permanent home for Newbiggin Library. The new facilities will provide a modern learning and reading environment for local people, with the added benefit of longer opening hours plus a one-stop shop for services under one roof. It will serve as a vibrant community hub in comfortable surroundings with the same level of access to books and resources.”
“By integrating our libraries with leisure centre services, we can offer an improved service, longer opening hours and better accessibility and convenience for residents. Integrating services in this way has had proven results in other parts of the county, with clear benefits for residents and cost effectiveness for the council.”
To find out more about your local library, visit www.mylibrary.co.uk
or follow @NlandLibs on Twitter.
To find out more about Active Northumberland, visit www.activenorthumberland.org.uk
or follow @ActiveNland
For more information on Active Northumberland, please contact:
PR Account Manager
Tel: 0191 261 4250
PR Account Director
Tel: 0191 261 4250