Plans for a new central library in the heart of Plymouth city centre have take a step forward following approval of a contract to refurbish former shops in Armada Way.
The new Central Library will replace the current library in North Hill, making way for the £25 million History Centre which is due to open in 2020.
The Council’s ambition is to convert the vacant retail and bank outlets on the corner of Armada Way and Mayflower Street into a modern, flexible and welcoming library that will attract more users.
As well as making way for the new History Centre the new library will deliver a key ambition in the Council’s plan for modernising its library service, which follows an extensive review that listened to customer views and looked at best practice around the country.
The £1.4 million refurbishment will include demolishing internal walls and create a new space and features that have been designed in partnership with library service users, customers and community and voluntary sector groups.
As well as public access PCs, the new library will have comfortable seating areas, meeting rooms for hire and a kiosk-style café.
The new library, which is due to open in Spring 2016, will be also easier for many users to get to and will be fully accessible for people with disabilities. It will also help regenerate part of the city centre which is also benefitting from the creation of the adjacent Mayflower Coach Station.
Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet member for Community Services and Transformation, said “This is an exciting opportunity to create a new central library fit for the 21st century. We want to create an open, bright, friendly and welcoming environment that provides opportunities for people to access more services.
“The new location will encourage more people to drop in to borrow books, CDS and DVDs, use free computers, access free Wi-Fi, study, meet with friends or research their family history.
“Not only will the new library be a fantastic resource for Plymouth but it will also help attract more visitors to this part of the city centre. And with our new opening hours, people will be able to enjoy it on three evenings a week.”