Celebrations as library gets £1.4m boost

A POPULAR library in Ipswich is today preparing to get a new lease of life after a cash boost of more than one million pounds.Gainsborough library, in Clapgate Lane, has received £1.4million from the Big Lottery Fund which will revolutionise the already well-used community resource.

A POPULAR library in Ipswich is today preparing to get a new lease of life after a cash boost of more than one million pounds.

Gainsborough library, in Clapgate Lane, has received £1.4 million from the Big Lottery Fund which will revolutionise the already well-used community resource.

Mandy Grimwood, the library's manager, said: “We have had a lot of feedback from the young people in the area. They want some sort of youth provision such as PlayStations, or pool tables, or even a music studio, they've asked for so many different things!

“Whatever the money is spent on, it will give so many more opportunities to the local community because at the moment we are here for the community and we can provide what we can but with this money we can now give so much more.”

Contractors are likely to be on site in late 2008 but the details of the scheme will be left up to residents and partner organisations, including local voluntary groups.

The first step is to decide whether or not the current building should be demolished and a new building erected or if improvement work should be made on the existing building.

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A public consultation to discuss ideas about how the money should be spent will be held on December 8 at 10.30am at the library.

There will also be forms available from the library for people to write their suggestions on.

Gainsborough Library's successful bid is one of only a handful in the eastern region, and is due largely to the involvement of residents and councillors who argued enthusiastically for what a new library could offer.

Councillor Bill Quinton, who represents Gainsborough Ward, said: “I am so very happy that at last Gainsborough will get the library and all-round community facility that people here deserve.

“Libraries are already becoming much more than just a place to borrow books, and I want to increase the services and information that people locally can get from the library.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “The current library building is well used and regarded but is now in urgent need of investment to ensure that it remains a valuable community resource.

“Building work will bring the library up to date and make 21st century facilities available for the people of Gainsborough.

“The improvements will mean the area has good facilities for years to come.”

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