New libraries, new homes, new chapter for St Budeaux

A library fit for the 21st century, new homes and somewhere to get advice on how to keep healthy – that’s all part of the plan for an exciting new development in the heart of St Budeaux.

We are working in partnership with a developer to transform the half-acre site of the old library on St Budeaux Square.

As well as providing a light and airy library with a flexible space, the development will include 24 new homes, including four properties that are being designed to be wheelchair accessible.

The new library will offer a wide selection of books, free computer and Wi-Fi access, as well as events and activities for all ages. The building will also be part of a citywide initiative providing easier access to health and wellbeing advice for people within their own neighbourhoods.

A delegated decision has been signed off today giving the go-ahead to fund the project, which will see the old library demolished to pave the way for the new development.

The project will cost over £2,300,000 with funding from the developer to progress the scheme as well as £187,000 from Government’s One Public Estate scheme.

Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “This scheme marks the start of the second phase of the Plan for Libraries.

“The plan was designed around changing lifestyles as well as future needs of our residents and one issue it highlighted was the need to invest in facilities in St Budeaux.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to draw up plans which we also hope will add to the vibrancy of the local shopping centre in St Budeaux. ”

The existing library is a post-war, single storey building in the centre of St Budeaux, close to local shops, services and facilities.  It is popular and well-used, but is dated and inefficient in terms of running costs.

The redevelopment of the library is a key part of our Plan for Libraries, which was approved last July.

The Plan for Libraries 2017 to 2020 was subject to extensive consultation and aims to modernise the library service, so that more people can benefit from the range of services we provide.

Councillor Jordan added: “We are investing in new libraries, thinking about the longer term needs of our residents – not just access to learning but access to advice and support on how to stay healthy.

“What’s more we are enabling affordable homes to be built – we’re getting off the starting blocks on a really exciting scheme in an area that has not had investment for some time.”

The delegated decision marks the start of a timetable of work with the planning application being submitted in the next few weeks.

If the planning process goes smoothly, the project could get consent by the end of June with the library scheduled to close before the site is handed over to contractors in the Summer.