Nottinghamshire libraries set for £11.6m cash injection
LIBRARIES across Notts are set for a multi-million pound facelift to attract more users.
Notts County Council is preparing to pump £11.6 million into refurbishment schemes over the next 11 years, according to a new report.
The council said it is bucking the nationwide trend of axing staff and cutting funding, and is committed to ensuring its libraries remain at the heart of communities.
Projects such as the £5.2 million overhaul of West Bridgford Library and Young People's Centre are already under way, but now details have emerged of other schemes in the pipeline between 2014 and 2023.
A long-term £3.3 million programme will be presented to the county council's culture committee today, outlining where the money will be spent.
Libraries in Keyworth and Ollerton are planned to be revamped in 2014-15; Edwinstowe and Ruddington in 2015-16; and Langold, Arnold, and Newark between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
It is also proposed to renovate Mansfield Woodhouse, Calverton, Ravenshead, Blidworth, and East Leake by 2022-23.
Meanwhile, the report states an extra £35,000 has been freed up to move Tuxford Library, as its current home has been deemed unsuitable.
John Cottee, at Notts County Council, said: "The schemes illustrate the county council's long-term vision for the future investment and enhancement of the library service."
Library-users have welcomed the news.
James Ayling, aged 34, from Charles Street, Arnold, said: "It will be a great to see Arnold library done up.
"They have to adapt or there's a chance they will die out. Maybe if they become more like coffee shops it will encourage a wider range of users to drop in.
"It was a godsend during my university years because they often had stuff that was out in the main library.
"If they embrace modern technology and have more facilities for Kindles it would also bring more people in."
As part of the report, committee members will discuss the recently-approved Strategy for Nottinghamshire Libraries, featuring a ten-point plan to boost library services and develop the library network.
The committee is also due to discuss a long-term strategy for Rufford Abbey Country Park, with £250,000 of works due to start this autumn.