Bramley Library has temporarily closed its doors as work starts to transform it into a one-stop community hub for Leeds City Council services.
The work is part of a £379,555 package of work which includes improving customer areas, two new glass enquiry rooms, a new reception area, new housing office, restoration of existing oak screens and parquet floors, redecorating and new public toilets.
The library building, on Hough Lane, is being emptied before handing over to contractor Aspect Building Solutions. Building work is due to start on site in the first week in June for an eight-week period.
The library will be temporarily relocated to St Peter’s Church, also on Hough Lane. As previously reported, part of the church was closed after a six-foot wide hole opened in the floor of the worship area a year ago.
It’s understood rent the church will gain from housing the library will go towards an appeal to repair the hole and help reopen the church for worship.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to help enable the repairs of the St Peter’s church floor. This is a much-loved, well-used community church and it is really difficult for them to be able to raise enough money to fund the essential maintenance to protect the congregation and the future of the building.
“This is a real win-win situation as the church desperately needs the funding and we had to find somewhere easily accessible for the local community to continue to use the library while work takes place.”
A crowdfunding appeal towards raising the rest of the money needed to reopen St Peter’s is continuing and can be found here. A final cost for the church repair and refurbishment work has yet to be confirmed.
A temporary new home for #Bramley Cllr library surgeries, Tues 4:30pm & Sat 10am. St Peters Church Hough Lane. No appointment necessary.
— Kevin Ritchie (@kevin_ritchie1) May 8, 2017
The library is due to reopen in August as part of the new community hub. Housing office enquiries will move from the current location in Bramley and new services will be delivered from the hub including council tax, environmental services, benefits, help looking for work, money issues and the registering of births and deaths.
Bramley Community Centre
The £379,555 scheme also includes new housing back-office for 24 staff at Bramley Community Centre.
The existing Bramley Neighbourhood Housing Office will be vacated, with council chiefs hoping to raise in the region of £325,000 from its sale on the commercial market.
The works to the community centre include knocking through a number of small rooms to create a new open plan office. A number of backlog maintenance issues will also be tackled at the centre, which has run by Bramley Elderly Action from earlier this year . BEA pay the council a peppercorn rent.
A council report published last week into the hub scheme can be read in full here.
The council and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves held a consultation over the community hub proposal last July, with plans attracting both concern and support.
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