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Norfolk library to close - but will reopen after moving barely 350 metres

PUBLISHED: 13:03 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 March 2019

Attleborough Library is to move after 60 years. Pic: Google.

Attleborough Library is to move after 60 years. Pic: Google.

Google

A Norfolk library is to close - but will reopen after moving to a new home shared with other services.

The Attleborough Community and Enterprise Centre. 
Photo: Angela SharpeThe Attleborough Community and Enterprise Centre. Photo: Angela Sharpe

County councillors have given their endorsement for Attleborough Library to make the move.

It will switch location from Connaught Road to a new home in the Attleborough Community and Enterprise Centre, barely 350 metres away, in Church Street.

Norfolk County Council says the change will serve as a pilot project for a new way of working to join up services. Officers say other libraries could follow suit.

Attleborough Library, visited by more than 42,000 people last year, will share the centre with a string of services supporting the community.

Jan Holden, head of libraries at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJan Holden, head of libraries at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

That will include services such as adult education, early years provision, a community cafe and rooms used for community health, services for adults with learning disabilities and by voluntary groups.

There would also be better toilets, including changing places toilets for disabled people.

Janet Holden, head of libraries at the county council, said: “We will be anchor in the multi-service hub, but lots of other services will be delivered from the building.

“It’s about making services more responsive and moving away from a one size fits all way of working.

“It’s a good opportunity for the library, which is already a community hub, to become even more of a community hub.”

Conservative councillor Brian Long said: “This is a no-brainier. I think the library will fit so much better in that location and be more available to folk.”

Members of the county council’s communities committee voted unanimously in favour of the move today (Wednesday, March 6).

The council will look to sell the current library building - where the library has been based for 60 years.

While it has not been valued, it is estimated it could fetch £200,000.

The changes to the Enterprise Centre will cost £150,000, but it will save the council about £10,000 a year in management costs.

The relocated library would be slightly bigger than the current one. The council says all existing staff would move to the new site and existing opening hours would not change.

The library would close for a week during the move, which is due to take place at the end of next month.

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