Roose and Ulverston libraries update

We recognise the importance of the library services in Roose and Ulverston and appreciate the level of interest in the future of these services.

These are not only popular libraries, but they also provide a home to community group meetings and community-based services.

We recognise the libraries’ importance to these communities and we would like to repeat our reassurances that we are committed to continuing to retain and deliver library services in both these areas.

We are hopeful that we will soon be able to confirm a temporary alternative provision for Roose library while the current building is out of action following the extensive fire. We are in discussion with a third party about using space in their premises and are currently assessing the necessary health and safety and IT requirements, and hope to be in a position to say more about this in the near future.

In Ulverston our investigations have confirmed the issues with the electrics at the library building 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.

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 any opportunities to co-locate within other facilities in town.

The council is keen to stress that it is committed to delivering a library service befitting a town of Ulverston’s importance and as part of the options work we will also be looking at any opportunities to enhance and expand Ulverston’s library offer.

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

These are temporary arrangements only and the long-term library solution would involve a far more extensive provision, whether that is back in a refurbished King’s Road or another location.

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

We fully understand any frustrations at the loss of these services at this time, but hope people appreciate the council is working hard to find appropriate solutions to what are often complex and involved issues and is fully exploring long-term options for the future that can deliver the best outcomes for our communities.

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