Work starts on replacement library

DEMOLITION has begun on the old Gainsborough Library ­- more than 70 years after it first served the district.

DEMOLITION has begun on the old Gainsborough Library ­- more than 70 years after it first served the district.

The demolition work, to be completed by the end of October, will make room for a state-of-the-art modern library and community space to open in August 2009.

The new building will cost £1.4m and is funded by the Big Lottery (BLF) as part of the Community Libraries Programme to help bring public libraries in England up to a modern standard.

County Councillors Graham Newman and Bill Quinton donned hard hats week to start knocking down the building.

Mr Newman, the council's adult and community services chief, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity and investment for the library service, for Ipswich and for the people living in Gainsborough.

“This is a big step we are taking to say goodbye to the old building here in Gainsborough, so we can start to build the library of tomorrow.”

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The local community was well served by the old 1930's library - originally built in Clapgate Lane when the Gainsborough estate was developed.

In 2007 local people were asked about whether to refurbish or rebuild the library and the vast majority voted in favour of a rebuild.

Mr Quinton, local county councillor, said: “Obviously, while there is a touch of sadness to see such a well known and prominent community building go, the promise of what will be built in its place is great news for local people.

“I am delighted to be here to be part of this work and pleased that the local community has been so involved in shaping their library in the heart of their community.”

The work on the new library will start soon after demolition and during this period a temporary library has been set up on the same site in front of the clinic, right next door to the library.

The wide range of library activities that take place in the library and its community room have been relocated to other venues in the local area, such as All Hallows Church Hall and the Children's Centre, in Clapgate Lane, for the duration of the building works.

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What library users can expect from the new building:

The new library will have dedicated library spaces and an enlarged and fully equipped community room. It will provide new community spaces; such as a social enterprise café, similar to that recently opened in Felixstowe Library; a meeting/seminar room available for local groups to hire; a small music studio to help young people to explore their creativity and potential; and a community garden. It will also have a dedicated vehicle entrance and car parking.