01:30PM, Thursday 27 February 2020
Photo by Ian Longthorne
Funding for the development of a new library has been approved by Wokingham Borough Council (WBC).
On Thursday night councillors agreed to dedicate £720,000 to the project from its capital programme to build the library at the old Polehampton Boys’ School, in Polehampton Close.
The funds are made up of £640,000 for the plans, fees and refurbishment, along with £80,000 to refurbish a toilet block for library users.
The funding is set to cover the whole project, however additional costs may be added later if the library wants to offer extra services
The idea, which was first campaigned for about 20 years ago by Cllr Stephen Conway (Lib Dem, Twyford) looks to move the existing library, which is currently located in a temporary building, also in Polehampton Close, into the old school following a conversion.
Cllr Conway said: “I’m delighted that funding for a new library has finally been approved. It’s been a long time coming, but very, very good news. As someone involved from the very beginning of the campaign to secure a new library, I’m very happy that we have reached this point.
“Many people have worked hard to get us here; it’s been a great community effort. For me it’s a dream come true.”
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor (Con, Shinfield South), executive member for regeneration, said: “We are working in partnership with a local charity, The Polehampton Trust, who own the building to develop this new library.
“We want to realise the ambition to make a new community library a reality, a move much welcomed by the trust and local residents, as it will give a new lease of life to both the old Polehampton Boys’ School and the current library provision.
“Libraries are the heart of communities, providing families and local residents with everything from loaning books, collecting blue bags, attending children’s activities and even free Wi-Fi and computer access. The services that our local libraries provide are invaluable to many people and this council continues to invest and enhance our offer to local residents.”
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