12:00 p.m. October 12, 2022
Plans to move the Stotfold Library from the Simpson Center to a hall at nearby Greenacre Center were backed by the Executive of Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC).
Plans include expanding the library to provide more books, provide more study spaces, and provide an improved IT area.
“The new venue will accommodate a larger modern library in a center in the heart of the community,” said a CBC spokesman. “Given the additional space and parking available, there will also be room for a range of events.
“There will be new flooring, furniture and shelving to make it more attractive, and more natural light and ventilation will make it a better environment for reading, relaxing and browsing.”
“New modern self-service kiosks that automatically identify and track books will be available.
“The new center already has public and barrier-free toilets, which the current library does not have the space for.”
A budget of £256,000 has been set to fund the move and fit out the new library spaces. It includes a capital budget of £200,000 and Section 106 funding of £56,000 and would be issued in 2022 and 2023, the CBC said.
Councilor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at CBC, said: “I am delighted that we are investing in a modern, spacious library that will provide a quality service to our residents. With more study space, a larger selection of books and improved IT delivery, the new Stotfold library will give users more choice and support those who don’t have internet access at home. Our plans offer greatly improved library services to residents.
“Our libraries play a key role in our communities as they act as a vital focal point and provide vital services to our residents. With growth in the region and new housing developments, this new library has the potential to become a larger and more important part of the local community.”
Stotfold City Council, which owns the Greenacre Centre, will submit a planning application to change the use of Oak Hall to house library services. Pending planning approval, a new lease for Oak Hall will be agreed with Stotfold City Council, allowing the library to move to the new location, CBC said.
Councilor Steve Hayes, Chairman of Stotfold City Council’s Facilities Management Committee, said: “International award-winning author Neil Gaiman said, ‘Libraries really are the gateways to the future.’ I am therefore delighted that Stotfold City Council has been able to provide the library service with a modern new home, enabling them to provide a true 21st century library for the benefit of all Stotfold residents.”