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Jewel in the crown set for modern makeover

Photo : Ian Robinson
Geoff Driver during the Meet the Leader event at Westleigh Conference Centre in Preston

Photo : Ian Robinson Geoff Driver during the Meet the Leader event at Westleigh Conference Centre in Preston

A landmark city centre library is set for a new chapter with a £500,000 revamp.

The Harris Library in the Harris Museum, in Preston city centre, will be given a major facelift and a ‘new feel’ to bring it into the 21st century, bosses have revealed.

Lancashire County Council pledged the cash in its budget for the forthcoming financial year as part of a £5m capital investment in the county’s libraries.

Council leader Geoff Driver, said: “The plan is to refurbish the interior, it is looking a bit shabby and outdated.

“We are looking to bring it up to modern standards and make it more attractive to users. It will be more attractive and more user friendly.

“We are spending up to half a million, it will be the top end of that scale. For that sort of money you are not just going to get a re-paint, we are completely refurbishing.”

The County Council has invested heavily over recent months to refurbish and improve its libraries, including Ribbleton Library which received a £228,000 revamp.

Coun Driver said the existing budget would not have covered such a large project so an extra £1m was invested in the Harris and Accrington Library.

He said: “There has been an initial look by the officers with ideas of what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.

“Because we have an ongoing programme of refurbishing libraries and bringing them up to modern standards and usage the officers have a good idea of what’s required for the library.

“We are turning the libraries into something very different from the old-fashioned perception of them.”

Lancashire County Council is one of the few authorities which has not shut any of its libraries and Coun Driver claimed the investment will give them a brighter future.

He added: “We will be bearing in mind our philosophy to make them welcoming and more comfortable for people of all ages.”

 

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