County and district councils in talks over bright future for Killamarsh library

Discussions are taking place between Derbyshire County Council and North East Derbyshire District Council over the possible relocation of Killamarsh Library.

The county council-run library is currently located in a standalone building in the precinct adjacent to Killamarsh Sports Centre.

Earlier this year North East Derbyshire District Council confirmed its intention to take on the running of the sports centre from the parish council on a long-term lease which would see a £1million of investment to refurbish the centre and bring it up to modern 21st century standards.

As part of this project, the county and district councils have been discussing the possibility of moving the library into the newly-refurbished sports centre.

The existing library building could then be removed to create a more welcoming site by enhancing the space available, while creating extra parking and a more secure environment for the parish suite and skate park.

The adjoining youth club building, which has been closed for nearly two years, would also be removed, but the district council has committed to offering dedicated space within the sports centre for youth clubs and activities.

Benefits of co-locating the library and youth activities within the sports centre include:

  • More efficient use of resources, with reduced running costs, making both facilities more sustainable for the longer term and more environmentally-friendly, running in one building rather than two
  • Increased footfall for both facilities and more crossover of users, meaning both the sports centre and library benefit from increased usage
  • Opportunity for the library to form part of a newly refurbished Community Hub, with extended social space and a café
  • The refurbishment of the sports centre includes a new soft play area, tiny tumblers courses and daytime activities, meaning both facilities will benefit from the ability to attract younger users
  • The removal of the library building opens up the skate park to the rear and will help to reduce potential anti-social behaviour issues

Leader of Derbyshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis said: “Libraries are a key part of any community and I’ve always been clear that no libraries will close on my watch. But the co-location of Killamarsh Library into the sports centre represents an exciting opportunity to modernise the provision, reduce costs and improve footfall into both facilities.

“These are only early proposals at this stage and of course we will be engaging with the wider community once more detailed proposals come forward.”

Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, Councillor Alex Dale said: “This is a great opportunity for both the library and the sports centre to improve their offer by teaming up and sharing a facility and I look forward to exploring the details further with the county council.

“Having spoken to lots of Killamarsh residents, I know that there is strong support for some community-run youth provision in the village and I appreciate some may be concerned about the loss of the dedicated youth club building. However, as a district council we are committed to making dedicated space available within the sports centre for community-run youth provision and activities free of charge.

“This will enable any community run youth groups to focus on the youth provision, avoiding the ongoing costs to run an outdated building and ensuring a better delivery of service to the community, with more activities available to young people and the community.”