Which Ipswich library is planning a £45,000 extension?

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:58 07 April 2020

Mandy Grimwood outside Gainsborough Community Library. Picture:: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mandy Grimwood outside Gainsborough Community Library. Picture:: SARAH LUCY BROWN


A £45,000 expansion of one of Ipswich’s most popular libraries is in the pipeline, which will enable more community groups to use it.

Gainsborough Community Library in Clapgate Lane has lodged plans to expand the facility into its rarely-used garden area.

According to the library – which recently scooped a High Sheriff’s Award – the extension will be for a “garden room” space that community groups and activities could use, and feature window boxes and plants.

Mandy Grimwood, library manager said: “We are excited about this new project which would provide new space for the community to enjoy wellbeing activities, to learn new skills and to socialise.

“We have so much going on at Gainsborough and we have a fantastic space here but it would be great to expand to be able to do even more for the local community.”

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The scheme is expected to cost around £45,000, with a fundraising drive and grant applications set to help pay for the project if planning permission is approved.

Ms Grimwood added: “Staff at the library would love to hear from anyone who can help with funding or fundraising activities as all regular fundraising activities have been put on hold for the foreseeable future due to the current coronavirus crisis. The Voices 4 Gainsborough Library group has already raised £2,500.”

Anyone who can help support the project should call the main number on 01473 927270, which is still being answered despite the library being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The library won the Strengthen Your Community Award in the Suffolk High Sheriff’s Awards earlier this month in recognition of he work it does as a hub for community events, activities and sessions.

The planning application was submitted to Ipswich Borough Council on March 30, with the plans now going through the consultation phase.

A decision won’t be made until June at the earliest, although it is not clear if that will be by planning officers being given delegated authority or by a virtual planning committee meeting if lockdown measures are still in place then.

The library confirmed that it would not begin work until all the funds had been secured, if planning permission is granted.

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