Temporary relocation for library

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Details have been announced for the temporary relocation of Morpeth library to a new site in the town centre.

The move to Royal Sovereign House, Manchester Street, is planned to begin in the New Year with the move expected to be completed by May 2016.

Following central government cuts, Northumberland County Council has to make £44m of savings during the period 2015-2017.

Given this challenge, the council has to explore new, more efficient ways of providing services, including the relocation and co-location of key services such as libraries.

The authority announced plans for an accommodation review of the main towns in the county with the aim of bringing services closer together and making more efficient use of the available resources including its building portfolio.

Building surveys of the library have revealed that a 5-year programme of repairs and maintenance costing £500,000 would be required to bring the building up to required building standards.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “The council is having to make savings across the services we deliver and we have to explore new, more efficient ways of providing sustainable services, including relocating and co-locating key services such as libraries.”

“The existing building was built in 1966 and it has served the people of Morpeth and visitors very well over almost 50 years, and survived the terrible floods, thanks to the hard work of staff, residents and library users.

“Sadly the building requires major and costly repairs, and the plan we have is for an interim move whilst wider proposals are developed for Morpeth as part of the on-going accommodation review.”