Work on an extension to Bradley Stoke Library began last week, just days before the end of the financial year in which the Council promised to make the investment.
With the end of the financial year looming, it looked liked the Council was going to renege on its promise, but a press release issued by SGC on 17th March announced that the work had “started this week”.
The size of the extension, which will add just 63sqm to the library’s existing 504sqm, is thought to have initially disappointed local Councillors and library staff but they are now said to be “grateful for what they will get”.
The work will see the library building extended by 3.6m at its south-eastern end, over the grassed area that is partly used as an outdoor play area. It is understood that the new space will be used for pre-school age book stock, leaving the existing children’s section to be used for school age children’s stock.
Library to close for five weeks in June/July
Information on display in the library says that the facility will close for a five week period starting on Monday 7th June, to enable the construction work to be completed. The majority of library services will not be affected in the period leading up to the closure.
A wooden screen, visible from inside the library, has already been erected to protect the existing space while work on the extension progresses.
Liberal Democrat Councillors welcome the expansion
Liberal Democrat Councillors on SGC welcomed the start of the work but also expressed disappointment at the limited size of the extension.
Cllr Jon Williams commented:
“When I investigated the proposals to extend our library I was disappointed at what was on offer. I made representations to the Council to try and increase the size of the extension but was told that the decision had already been made.
Bradley Stoke library is one of the busiest in the area and due to our increasing population needed a considerably larger extension to meet current and future demand. I will continue to push for more facilities in our town so that residents are able to access services without the need to leave the town.”
Cllr Peter Tyzack , who is also the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency, joined Cllr Williams and local party member Sachin Singhal outside the library last Friday to welcome the start of work on the extension.
Photo: L-R Cllr Jon Williams, Cllr Peter Tyzack, Sachin Singhal.
Ex-teacher Cllr Tyzack said:
“Having been a single parent I understand what a lifeline a library can be. Extending and improving the children’s area is an essential part of enabling parents with young families to use their local library. As well as encouraging young people and providing them valuable learning opportunities it could help parents make more of their time so the experience is an enjoyable one for all.”
Cllr Williams added:
“I am really pleased that campaigning for investment in the buildings of the libraries has paid off. But now we must make sure there is enough funding to provide the contents, the books, the DVDs and the broadband Internet access that is so badly needed in Bradley Stoke.”
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