Refurb marks new chapter for library

Acklington First School have been out and about in Amble for their project 'People Who Help Us'. The children had a special preview of the newly refurbished Amble library and are seen with team librarian Lynne Riddell.
Acklington First School have been out and about in Amble for their project 'People Who Help Us'. The children had a special preview of the newly refurbished Amble library and are seen with team librarian Lynne Riddell.

A library in a seaside town has reopened to the public, having undergone a major overhaul to provide residents with a ‘great facility’ and ‘first-class service’.

The new-look venue, in Amble’s Middleton Street, will provide the community with a wider range of services, all under one roof.

The layout has also been changed.

Stacey Burlet, head of customer and cultural services at Northumberland County Council, said the transformation was part of strengthening council services in the town.

“These improvements are designed to provide local people in Amble and surrounding areas with a great facility where local people get a first-class service,” she said.

“By offering a range of council and community services under one roof, which has a fresh new feel about it, we believe local residents will find it much easier and more convenient to access council services in the town.”

A new Registrars Service (births and deaths) now joins other partners such as Action for Hearing Loss and Adult Services Social Care and Health Information Point who currently deliver a range of drop-in and appointment-led information and advice sessions from the building.

The facility will also allow people to make housing benefit and council tax inquiries and to report graffiti, fly -tipping and potholes.

Residents can purchase bus passes, parking permits and garden waste bins, as well as carry out Homefinder property searches and report repairs on behalf of Homes For Northumberland.

A full range of books for adults and young children will be housed at the facility, which will also allow people to access audiobooks, large-print copies and DVD rentals.

Improvements include changing the layout of the library by introducing baby-changing facilities in the unisex-accessible toilets and the installation of new electronic doors at the main entrance to make it fully accessible for wheelchair/pushchair users.

A new private meeting room has been built to ensure that customers have some privacy for inquiries of a confidential nature.

Amble town and county councillor, Robert Arckless, is delighted with the facility.

He said: “This has been a long time in coming, but I am very pleased with what has been done. The whole place has been given a boost.

“The feedback from library users has been very positive, including good comments about the staff, who have worked extremely hard during the transition.”

Children from Acklington First School had a special preview of the newly-refurbished library. The visited as part of their People Who Help Us project.