First look at new Peterlee library

Residents are being given a first look at a new East Durham library ahead of its move to another site over the next year.

Plans to move Peterlee Library from its current site on Burnhope Way to a new base within the town’s leisure centre were approved by Durham County Council last month, and artist’s impressions now show how it will look in its new home.

The existing library, located within the former East Durham College building, is owned by Tesco, who agreed to build a new library next to any store when it first purchased the land.

However, in 2015 it made the decision not to redevelop the site and attempts to find a buyer for the land proved unsuccessful, with the library seen as causing uncertainty for potential purchasers.

The council has now reached an agreement with Tesco that will see the company paying £846,000 to purchase the library, enabling the site to be cleared and offered by Tesco as a more attractive redevelopment site.

The council is using the money, along with almost £1 million match-funding from its own budgets, to develop the new state-of-the-art library facility at the leisure centre and carry out refurbishments to the pool changing area, replacing windows and creating a new reception space.

The work begins in September and during this time there will be some disruption, including the closure of the full leisure centre from the beginning of September until Sunday, 17 September while a temporary reception is created at the side of the building.

From Monday, 18 September, the pool will remain closed but all other activities will be available as normal. For full details, visit www.durham.gov.uk/peterleeleisure

The existing library building will close on Friday, 15 December, with demolition of the library set to begin in January next year.

Horden, Shotton, Easington and Blackhall libraries will have extended opening hours until autumn 2018 to enable Peterlee Library customers to access services while the relocation takes place. The possibility of providing limited library provision in Peterlee itself during this period is still under consideration.

A series of consultation and information sharing days will take place to provide customers and residents with further information on the new library and give them an opportunity to provide feedback on the plans.

These will take place at Peterlee Library on the following dates:

Thursday, 28 September 2017 10am – 2pm

Monday, 9 October 2017 2pm – 7pm

Saturday, 11 November 2017 9.30am – 12:30pm

Friday, 8 December 2017 10am – 5pm

Cllr Audrey Laing, who has long campaigned to get a good deal for the library in Peterlee, said it was important the area retained good quality and accessible facilities.

“Although the re-location of the library will cause some short-term disruption, the move will deliver a fantastic new facility for residents who will also be able to enjoy improvements to the leisure centre as well.

“It is very exciting to see the artist’s impression of the new library and we will continue to keep people updated as the project progresses.”

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