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A consultation on plans to move library services from Central Library to a new learning and discovery centre in Merseyway, provisionally named Stockroom, closes today at midnight (18th October).
The proposals will see book lending, IT provision and other services currently offered at Central Library moved to a new £14.5 million hub in the Merseyway shopping precinct, following a successful bid to the government’s Future High Streets fund.
Plans for Stockroom’s library offer will allow space for up to 20,000 books with floorspace five-times greater than currently available in Central Library; the scheme will occupy retail units formerly occupied by Mothercare, Topshop and Next in Merseyway. The additional size will also allow for longer opening hours, greater provision of digital services and make services more accessible as part of the council’s plans to reverse long-term decline of use of the town centre library: book borrowing from Central Library fell 42% between 2012 and 2020.
Critics of the plans have raised concerns over the future of the Grade-II listed Central Library building on Wellington Road South; however, Stockport Council have made repeated assurances that the historic building would not be sold or converted for residential use and public access will be retained for the future.
A consultation on a range of services and facilities that could be included at Stockroom showed strong public support for the project, including the move of book borrowing and other services, prompting the currently engagement process on provision of library services from the new hub.
The consultation on the move of library services to Stockroom closes today, 18th October, at midnights. To share your views and learn more about the plans, visit Stockport Council’s consultation portal.