Glossop poised for a new £2.3m library and an arts centre

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.

Cllrs Damien Greenhalgh, Ellie Wilcox and Dave Wilcox outside Glossop’s Adult Education 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

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Positive response to Learning Library plans

BooksGlossopdale’s three County Councillors held the first three of their consultative surgeries on the future of Glossopdale Learning Library on Monday of this week.

According to Councillor Damien Greenhalgh the exercise was positive and the public were able to express their views and concerns

We realise that this second round of surgeries were called at short notice and that some people may not have been able to attend.” he said. “However, on balance the comments we received were positive and people seemed to understand the reality of the situation and encouraging about the idea of locating the adult education and library services on a common campus and particularly in a single building with a common reception area for instance.”

There were some questions raised to which answers are needed, they include:

  • What has the cost of scaffolding been during the repair and investigatory period, effectively between the erection of the scaffolding and its removal?
  • Would a new proposal of a learning library mean greater utilization of the adult education part of the building in future compared with today?
  • Were there plans to better use parking facilities on the site to mitigate the impact of congestion on the immediate areas surrounding the library?
  • What were the possibilities for the land opposite the library to be used as additional parking space?

County Councillor Dave Wilcox said “These are legitimate questions requiring answers, which we are undertaking to get addressed.”

In terms of the options on offer from the County Council for the future of library services, the preference was for the option where the library is sympathetically attached to the present adult education centre.

We realise that there are three further consultative surgeries to be held at the Library on Saturday at 10.00, 11.00 and 12.00 noon” added Cllr Ellie Wilcox “and that the views expressed there may be different than those which have been put so far. So we’d encourage people to attend whatever their views maybe or simply if they want to learn more about the proposals.