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Belgrave Library to remain open

Published on Friday, November 11, 2016

BELGRAVE Library is set to remain open and in its current location, the city council has said today.

Proposals had been developed to move the library into the nearby Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre building, but these will not now be taken forward.

The city council recently consulted on proposals to change the way services are delivered in the wards of Belgrave, Humberstone and Hamilton, Rushey Mead, Thurncourt and Troon.

It’s part of the council’s Transforming Neighbourhood Services project, which is reviewing community services to make sure that they are affordable and meet local people’s needs.

The city council needs to save £1.7million in neighbourhood services across the city, and is looking at ways of doing this while making sure a wide range of services continue to be delivered. This often means consolidating services in some community buildings, while offering others for sale or for community groups to run.

However, having looked in detail at plans for a potential library move, the city council has established that a move would not be cost-effective.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “I have decided to maintain the status quo at Belgrave Library, so this proposal will not be pursued.

“We know this is a well-used and much-loved library, and when we looked into the costs of moving it, we found that it didn’t make financial sense.

“We need to look again at how Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre could work as a multi-use hub for the local area, because we know these have worked well in other parts of the city. But we need to make sure any proposals to consolidate services make best use of the space on offer.”

He added: “It’s very important that we continue to talk to, and work with, community groups who use both buildings. Government cuts mean we’ve got to change the way we do things, but we’re keen to work with users of all our neighbourhood services as we formulate plans for the future.”

As a result of feedback from the recent consultation, Hamilton Library will expand with more access provided to a multi-use community space in the building.

Proposals are still being looked at for other community buildings in the area, including buildings in Netherhall and Rushey Mead.

Changes have already taken place in other areas of the city to transform buildings into multi-use hubs. This often leads to longer opening hours and greater access to services at buildings that provide – for example – housing services, libraries, community facilities and access to customer services, all under one roof.

A report on the changes to proposals for the north east of the city will be published next week, ahead of the council meeting on 24 November.