A new chapter opens for readers

A NORTH Northumberland library’s move, designed to make services more accessible and extend opening hours, will take place at the start of next month.

Wooler Library is to move from the High Street into the Cheviot Centre on Tuesday, November 1.

Residents and visitors will be able to access a range of county council and community services under one roof, with the added benefit of ample free parking.

Currently the library is open 12 hours a week but under the new arrangements the library and tourist information centre (TIC) will be open from 10am to 4.30pm six days a week in winter and seven days a week in summer (10am to 2pm Sunday).

There will also be a joint reception area for the council’s services, the TIC and the Glendale Gateway Trust.

Neil Wilson, from the Glendale Gateway Trust, said: “This project has been two years in the making. It shows the commitment that we have to the future delivery of local services from the Cheviot Centre.

“Most importantly it enables us to develop a truly sustainable community hub here in Wooler in partnership with Northumberland County Council at a time when there is growing concern for the delivery of local services in rural areas.

“The joint reception in particular will enable us to signpost people to the relevant service quickly and without any confusion. In turn, it also allows us to significantly extend the current opening hours of the Tourist Information Centre and library service significantly to locals and visitors alike.”

Coun Neil Bradbury, executive member for customer services and culture at Northumberland County Council said the council had been working closely with the Trust to bring this scheme to fruition.

“The move of the library to a new building in Wooler is a great scheme and shows the council’s commitment to enhanced library and tourist information services.

“While other councils are closing libraries we are investing in innovative schemes and working with local communities to strengthen the service.

“This project, which combines different services and agencies, is greater than the sum of its parts, with library facilities now being more available than ever to the people of Wooler.

“I have to thank the Glendale Gateway Trust for working with us so positively on this project. The example set in the town is something we as a council will be learning from.”

A family open day will be held on Saturday, November 12 to showcase the new facility with children’s crafts and story-telling among the events.