Planning permission has been granted for a new public library in Glossop, bringing in over £2.3million of investment into the town. The plans include the relocation of the library from the Victoria Hall, into a new purpose built extension on the Adult Education Centre building.
Even more importantly, the decision now gives the Victoria Arts Centre, who’s plans are conditional on the library relocating, the opportunity to develop a financially viable model that would attract lottery funding. This funding would be used to bring Victoria Hall back in full use as a multi-use community art centre.
At a lively afternoon planning meeting on Monday, Cllr Ellie Wilcox urged councillors to support the new library proposal, as it would ‘enable local people to have the use of a brand new public resource, co-located with the adult education centre, where the two services will work together in order to deliver the ambitions, aspirations and expectations of 21st century life.’
Representatives from the Victoria Arts Centre Project, also spoke at the meeting, urging planning chiefs to support the proposal to move the library. Members of SOUL spoke against the proposal and asked that a decision be deferred.
Cllr Damien Greenhalgh hailed the committee’s decision as substantial progress in bringing much deserved investment into Glossop. ‘The existing library is now tired and in need of development. The joining of adult education services and the library will bring about new opportunities for Glossop people’ said Cllr Greenhalgh.
‘We will now work with the High Peak Borough Council and Victoria Arts Centre Project in order to explore their new and alternative uses for the Victoria Hall. We will also ensure with our colleagues at the County Council that the work on the new library is carried out to a high standard.’
Etherow Councillor, Dave Wilcox, added, ‘We understand that some people will be disappointed that the library will be leaving the Victoria Hall, especially organisations such as SOUL. However, in times of reducing local authority funding, it’s incredibly positive that the County Council still values its library provision and recognises its importance within communities.’
‘There is now a tremendously positive opportunity to really develop the area around the Victoria Hall and Adult Education Centre and make it a new cultural and creative centre for residents and visitors’ said Councillor Greenhalgh