People living in and around Killamarsh will get the opportunity to find out more about plans to move the library into the nearby newly refurbished sports centre and the benefits it will bring at two community drop-in sessions.
Discussions around the Derbyshire County Council-run library moving into North East Derbyshire District Council’s Killamarsh Sports Centre began in spring 2021 and as the sports centre gets closer to re-opening its doors after its £1.9m refurbishment, firm plans are now being put in place for the move.
Two drop-in sessions are being held at the library, currently in Sheffield Road, so that library users and anyone with an interest in the move and the newly refurbished sports centre and community hub can meet library staff and a representative from the district council to ask questions and give their views.
The drop-in sessions, to be held at the current library site, are:
- Friday 22 April – 2pm-5pm
- Wednesday 27 April 10am -12 noon
The library is scheduled to close on 14 May 2022 so that preparations can start for the building to be demolished to create a more welcoming site for the sports centre on Stanley Street, while providing a more secure open environment for the parish suite and skate park. All areas will also benefit from extra parking to increase visitor capacity.
The vacant former youth club building adjoining the library will also be removed at the same time. Youth services have not operated out of that building for three years while it has been closed and there is a significant outstanding maintenance bill on the site. When the sports centre reopens there will be a wide range of opportunities, activities and events on offer for young people. Sports, clubs and interests will include running, cricket, football, netball, martial arts, bike ability, scooting, skateboarding, model aeroplanes and car clubs. There will also be a place in the new facility for young people to meet with access to free wifi, the skate park and participate in other activities.
There is also an opportunity for people to tell the district council what activities they would like to see at the sports centre and community hub.
When the sports centre opens in the summer the library will re-open its doors at the same time in its new home on the ground floor near the new café area. The official opening date will be announced by the district council in the next few months.
Benefits to the library move include new portable book racks which can be moved out into the café area during the library’s opening hours, creating a more relaxed setting where people can browse books and get a drink and snack or meet with friends, putting it at the heart of the new facility. All library services including computers for customers to use and the book ordering service remain the same.
It is hoped that the move will appeal to existing customers due to the new, bright and modern facilities, and also open up the library to new customers who may drop in to find out more while using the sports centre.
Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture, Tourism and Climate Change Councillor Barry Lewis said: “This exciting plan has been in the pipeline for a while and is an excellent example of partnership working, with different councils getting their heads together to benefit communities and services.
“The library move will see customers being able to enjoy brand new, modern facilities and browse or meet up with others in a more relaxed and sociable area. It has the makings of a real community hub, with the added benefit of appealing to people who may not necessarily visit a library at the moment. I hope people will drop into the sessions this month to find out more.”
Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, Councillor Alex Dale, said: “We believe that the library moving into the sports centre is the perfect fit and will add to the many benefits which will be on offer when it reopens in the summer.
“I know that some Killamarsh residents have been concerned about the loss of the dedicated youth club building but having seen the wide range of activities and opportunities to be offered at the sports centre I hope those anxieties will be allayed.
“Working with the community and the county council which continues to provide targeted youth work, we remain committed to providing young people with a really vibrant offer of activities to get involved in, which has been part of our plan for Killamarsh since these discussions first began.
“The new centre will be much better suited to community-run youth groups and people of all ages and interests. It’s modern, bright, accessible, spacious and fit for purpose. I very much look forward to it opening and establishing itself at the heart of the community.”
Items taken out by library users up to the closure will be due back at the end of August but can be returned to any other county council library in the meantime. Customers can take out as many items as they like and use other libraries while they wait for the library to re-open.