Details have been announced for the re-location of Ponteland library to the leisure centre on Callerton Lane – with the move now planned to be completed by spring 2016.
Northumberland County Council says the move is happening as part of its need to make £44million of savings over the next two years and it has successfully integrated joint library and customer facilities in towns such as Blyth, Cramlington and Corbridge.
Once the works have been carried out at the centre, there will be a single reception for library and leisure services.
It is proposed to accommodate the books, public access computers and library advice service within the existing creche area, as well as utilising additional space in the foyer and corridor areas.
Plans are also being considered to include a creche service within the overall design, along with much-needed improvements to the toilet facilities. The co-location will also allow the services to be accessible for extended hours – supported by existing library staff and self-service terminals.
Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: “The new developments in Ponteland will enable us to protect a highly-valued library service while integrating services in a way that makes them more accessible, more efficient to manage and sustainable, and which delivers value for money.
“Unfortunately, we have to make savings across all services because of central government cutbacks and this means changes to the way we deliver services, including library services.”
Meanwhile, residents can find out more about plans for new school buildings for Ponteland High School, Ponteland Middle School and Darras Hall First School on a shared site at a core strategy consultation in the Memorial Hall on Saturday from 10am to 3.30pm.