The move of Stroud Library to its new location is one step closer as Gloucestershire County Council start its fit out of the new space.
Gloucester-based contractor, EG Carter has been appointed to carry out the fit-out for the new library, which will be opening to the public in the summer.
The council entered into a 25-year lease for the property within the newly refurbished £6.5m building on King Street, in the Five Valleys Shopping Centre.
The building, which was officially opened this month by The Princess Royal, has been developed by South Yorkshire firm Dransfield Properties who are also remodeling and managing the Five Valleys shopping centre.
In the lead-up to the decision being made to relocate the library, more than 500 people took part in a survey asking for people’s views on the proposal, with 70% agreeing or strongly agreeing to the move.
The library will move from its current home in Lansdown, to benefit from a more centralised town centre location and a modern, energy-efficient building.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The relocation of Stroud Library to the heart of the town centre is exciting for the whole community. Everyone can benefit from the many fantastic services available including the latest digital technology and a comprehensive range of books and other items to borrow, and the central location will attract and enable extra visitors.
“The new-look Stroud Library will be a state-of-the-art facility, meeting the needs of the whole community whilst being more environmentally friendly, as parts of the centre are powered using solar energy and electric vehicle charging is available at the site.”
All Code Clubs, Storytimes and Baby Bounce and Rhyme classes will be relocated to the new building with better accessibility and parking provision. The new library will also enable access to a range of resources through the Library Lab which will include microcomputing kits, 3D printers, scanners and software, Virtual Reality sets and a laser cutter. Library visitors will also have access to computers, printing and scanning facilities and free Wi-Fi.
The library will complete the occupancy of the building also housing new modern medical facilities for two GP practices, Locking Hill and Beeches Green and with Gloucestershire’s NHS adult physiotherapy and podiatry services based there too.
Managing Director for Dransfield Properties, James Shepherd, said: “It’s a major milestone in our regeneration work in Stroud to see this key building on King Street complete and the last of our tenants fitting out and very soon taking occupancy.
“As well as providing a stunning piece of architecture for the town the building has allowed for the consolidation and expansion of a number of public services that are now more accessible to the community.”
The library will bring increased footfall to this part of the town centre, providing a boost to the local retail and hospitality businesses. Five Valleys itself provides a number of eateries, shops and artisan traders for workers and visitors to use.
For more information on what else is happening at Five Valleys please visit www.fivevalleystroud.co.uk.