Suffolk library £1million revamp

ONE of Suffolk's busiest libraries, which is in desperate need of modernising, is today set for a £1 million revamp.Library users at Felixstowe will be able to access the very latest technology, including better IT facilities, and the building will be extended to include new toilets and the addition of a community space which can be hired out.

ONE of Suffolk's busiest libraries, which is in desperate need of modernising, is today set for a £1 million revamp.

Library users at Felixstowe will be able to access the very latest technology, including better IT facilities, and the building will be extended to include new toilets and the addition of a community space which can be hired out.

A lift will also be put in to enable people with disabilities to use the first floor.

Kathy Pollard, portfolio holder for access, community involvement and consultation at Suffolk County Council, said: "We are currently exploring the possibility of carrying out a major scheme to refurbish, improve and extend Felixstowe Library.


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"The library is one of the county's busiest, and currently operates from a cramped building, which is in need of modernisation.

"A £1m improvement scheme has been short listed for potential funding by the county council in 2005/06 and work is now being done to finalise a detailed design which will be going to public consultation in the autumn.

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"Once local people have been consulted and a final scheme agreed, the final decision to go ahead will be made by the county council in February.

"Suffolk County Council is currently carrying out a programme of modernising and improving access to its library services.

"Lowestoft Library was refurbished in 2002, and all Suffolk libraries are now open on Sundays which has helped to boost visitor numbers."

Library manager Lynn Gibbs said a public meeting would take place at the library in Crescent Road on Monday at 7.30pm to explain the plans and information would then be on display.

She said the project was "very exciting" and the library's 13 staff were all looking forward to the project.

Felixstowe mayor Don Smith, chairman of the joint county council and Felixstowe Town Council libraries and heritage advisory committee, said when the library was built in 1967 it had been the most modern in the county.

He said: "It's now 37 years on and it is about time something was done to bring it back up to date, especially as it is one of the busiest libraries in the county.

"It is a tremendous asset for an area of 30,000 people."

Mr Smith welcomed the proposal to expand onto the land at the rear of the library and provide a community space, which would be of great value to local groups and organisations for meetings and small events.

n What do you think of the proposals for Felixstowe Library? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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