No issues expected with library lease ahead of relocation

Alnwick Library, which is set to remain open in its current home for the foreseeable future.
Alnwick Library, which is set to remain open in its current home for the foreseeable future.

Councillors in Alnwick have been told that there should not be any issues regarding the continuous provision of library services in the town.

As revealed by the Gazette last week, a deal has been struck for the scheme to turn the Alnwick Playhouse into a community hub, which will house the library.

However, following the news that the library cannot stay at its current site after the building was put up for sale, members were worried the library could be left without a home for a time.
County councillor Gordon Castle said that while a firm time-line for completing the Playhouse project has not yet been established, the aim is that the county council would complete its work by May 2019 and therefore would be looking to relocate the library to the Playhouse in June 2019.
Under the lease arrangements for the current library, there is an annual break clause in April of each year which either party can exercise, giving six months’ notice to vacate.
Therefore the worst-case scenario is that the landlord gives notice in April next year for the council to vacate by October 2018.
However, initial indications are that the landlord is happy for the council to remain in the building until the Playhouse refurbishment is complete. The council is looking to formally confirm this arrangement now the Playhouse contracts have been signed.