Proposals have been developed for Uxbridge Library to undergo a modernised and climate-friendly transformation and relocate to Hillingdon’s Civic Centre in spring 2024.
Where many local authorities have closed local libraries as a way to reduce cost pressures, Hillingdon Council has committed to maintaining its 16 across the borough through its Library Strategy, and further investing in buildings and facilities to ensure they are of the highest quality, efficient and meet residents’ needs now and in the future.
The council’s plans for an upgraded central library, which are set to be considered by Cabinet in December, include facilities not currently provided in its existing building, such as study pods, hireable meeting space and a dedicated space for the popular Tovertafel (interactive tabletop projections).
The plans preserve exhibition and event spaces, a learning centre with public computers, charging points for laptops, a dedicated children’s library and of course, a large book collection.
The council is bringing the service ‘in house’ as part of its mission to continue delivering outstanding services in more efficient and innovative ways as a result of the ongoing budget pressures being experienced by all local authorities, and as part of the organisation’s commitment to being more sustainable to meet its carbon reduction target of net zero by 2030.
While the library’s current location in Uxbridge High Street remains popular, the building itself is one of the council’s assets with the highest carbon footprint and with underused spaces.
Work is already underway on renovating the borough’s Civic Centre as part of the Uxbridge Masterplan to revitalise the town centre and the southern end of the High Street.
The new facility will also be more accessible with a bus stop outside and disability access, in comparison to the current location which is split across six floors and can be difficult for disabled people to navigate and can prove especially challenging for older people, people with dementia and those with special educational needs.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “Uxbridge Library would remain one of our flagship facilities and a genuine community hub. Its relocation would deliver a fantastic new amenity for residents and visitors.
“We’re committed to creating a green and sustainable borough and making sound decisions about using taxpayers’ money. So, it makes little sense to keep open a building which is energy inefficient and where the space is underutilised, when we can move the library just a very short walk away into a building which will be modernised to the highest standards while offering enhanced facilities.
“The move would also help centralise the facility alongside other services which have also recently been brought into the Civic Centre, including Uxbridge Family Hub and Learn Hillingdon, our adult education service.”
Plans for the new library are set to go on display for residents to view and find out more in the current library building on Friday 10 November. For more information, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/uxbridge-library-relocation<http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/uxbridge-library-relocation