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Much-loved Rosehill Library in Ipswich celebrates completion of major makeover

PUBLISHED: 12:11 06 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:11 06 August 2017

Alison Wheeler in the newly refurbished Rosehill Library.  Picture: ARCHANT

Alison Wheeler in the newly refurbished Rosehill Library. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

An Ipswich library which was threatened with closure six years ago has celebrated a project to improve the building and its facilities.

Staff and supporters at the newly-refurbished Rosehill Library in Ipswich.  Picture: ARCHANT Staff and supporters at the newly-refurbished Rosehill Library in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Rosehill Library, in Tomline Road, was the first purpose-built branch in the town and is still going strong today thanks to the community it serves.

On Friday evening, staff and supporters held a special celebration to mark the latest refurbishment funded by Suffolk County Council.

The work has provided a fully accessible public toilet with baby changing facilities, a new extension at the back of the library to provide additional workspace and storage, a staff area and kitchen facilities to provide refreshments for library events.

The layout has also been improved with full redecoration and a new carpet and self-service equipment.

Rosehill Library - Ipswich's oldest purpose-built library.  Picture: ARCHANT Rosehill Library - Ipswich's oldest purpose-built library. Picture: ARCHANT

Following its reopening in July, the county council has also since funded additional exterior redecoration work to improve and protect the outside of the building.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this project and I’m delighted to see the result which has transformed the library environment and facilities for everyone in the community who uses it.

“It’s such a well-loved local space that I’m sure the community will also enjoy its reinvention, too.”

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, Tony Goldson said: “Rosehill Library is a much-loved community building and Suffolk County Council is very pleased to be able to support an enhanced and improved offer to children and families from the library.

“It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to a strong and thriving library service across Suffolk.”

County councillor for St Helen’s Division, Ipswich, and opposition spokesperson for communities, Mandy Gaylard, said: “It is with mixed feelings that I attend this event. On the one hand, it is a celebration of the library refurbishment and, after much lobbying of Suffolk County Council by residents and myself, the painting of the exterior. On the other, tribute has to be paid to Rosehill Readers who campaigned to keep the library when it was threatened with closure in 2011. If it were not for the campaigners, the library would not be here today.”

Rosehill Library opened in 1905, having previously been run in a private house in Alston Road. The last significant improvement work was carried out in 2003.

The East Ipswich Children’s Centre also uses the library on Mondays for a range of activities so the addition of baby changing facilities is an important development.

The project also received funding from the Rosehill Library Friends and councillor Gaylard’s locality budget.

The work was carried out by DC Construction, based in Caldwell Hall Road, Ipswich.

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