Council exploring all options for Ulverston library service

Ulverston’s library building on King’s Road was closed following the discovery of issues with the building’s electrics during routine statutory checks.

The building has now been thoroughly checked and made safe but still has no power available so cannot be used by the service.

Further investigations have revealed that the issues with the electrics are extensive.

Detailed repair cost estimates are still being established, but would likely require a full re-wire and subsequent refurbishment of the whole building, to include updating the heating systems and interior changes. The cost of this level of work is likely to be significant.

As a result, Westmorland and Furness Council is exploring all options for providing library services in Ulverston to achieve the best and most cost-effective long-term solution for the local community.

Councillor Peter Thornton, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Assets, said:

“Options that will be looked at will include the full repair and refurbishment of the existing library building on King’s Road, as well as options to re-locate to alternative premises or co-locate within other facilities in town.

“The council is, however, keen to stress that we are committed to delivering a library service befitting a town of Ulverston’s importance. Ulverston is one of our most important libraries and as part of the options work we will also be looking at any opportunities to enhance and expand its library offer.

“As the library is a statutory function, we’re required to consult on any changes, including any relocation of the library, so the local community will have the opportunity to comment on proposals and public views will be taken into account as part of the process.’’

In the meantime the council has established a temporary ‘pop-up’ library offer in Ante Room at The Coro.

The pop-up library offers the following services:

•    A library reception desk for information and support for customers
•    A drop-off point for returning books
•    A small selection of books available for borrowing
•    A limited number of public computers/desks/printers

The Ante Room library offer – which is fully accessible on the ground floor of The Coro – will initially operate at the following times, in line with The Coro’s existing reception hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am-12.30pm.

Further library provision in the nearby Ulverston Indoor Market, to include more stock for borrowing as well as space for community groups, meetings and events, is nearing completion and the service hopes this phase 2 offer will be operational by the end of the month.

Councillor Thornton continued: “We appreciate that there is considerable interest in the future of the library and library services in Ulverston, and we hope that this update provides some clarity and reassurance that the council is following a process to achieve the very best outcome for the town.

“However, that process and the issues being addressed are complex and require careful consideration, to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the library service, and best long-term value, for the community of Ulverston.’’

In addition to the pop-up services at The Coro, customers can also find full library services at nearby libraries at Grange and Barrow, with Library Links in Dalton and Broughton-in-Furness. The council also has a digital library services on offer.

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