Building work has started on new libraries for Redbourn and Wheathampstead. The libraries will be moving from their current homes to modern new facilities on the same site as their village fire stations.
Work began at both sites on 10 September and the new libraries are due to open to the public in the spring. The fire stations will operate throughout the works, with minimal disruption expected. Plans are in place to make sure that fire engines will be available to cover the villages at all times. The fire stations will also be refurbished as part of the development and will operate alongside the libraries once they open.
The aim is to deliver bright, attractive, welcoming, flexible, tech-enabled libraries in convenient locations, and free up the existing library sites for alternative uses.
Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Fire stations and libraries are both at the heart of the communities they serve and it makes perfect sense to use space more flexibly at our village fire stations to support other important local services. This scheme will help to support the long-term future of both our local fire stations and local libraries. It’s a great example of how public services can work together creatively to improve value for money.”
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: “Sharing sites will keep our running costs down without sacrificing services. We are committed to sustaining library services across the county, and this shows how we are working creatively with partners and communities to achieve this and creating a library service to meet current needs.”
Redbourn and Wheathampstead Libraries will continue to operate from their current locations until the new buildings are ready.