Emsworth Library was facing closure when its lease expired in 2018 and there were fears that the lease would not be renewed; but now the future of the library may have been secured. The wider picture across the county is that HCC is keeping all libraries open, including Emsworth, according to County Councillor, Ray Boulton.
“The HCC cabinet portfolio holder for libraries and head of cultural services paid a visit to the Library and both recognise how important it is to maintain the service. Therefore, the council is looking for an alternative location for the library in Emsworth, with lower occupancy costs.”
A programme is being planned by the council to modernise libraries to meet changing needs in the digital age as they are looking to achieve the most cost-effective library service they can.
In 2015 more than 1,000 people signed a petition to stop HCC moving the library from its own building into the community centre. The council said it would have saved £30,000 a year by doing so.
Bob Smyth, from The Friends of Emsworth Library, said, “The news that the library will remain where it is until new premises are found is tremendous. The fear was that no replacement would be ready next year and the library would close.’
‘Locating and fitting out an alternative premises takes time, so this allows for breathing space. ‘The library will become even more important now as a result of the proposed developments in the “Emsworth gap”.
Source: The News