Old library to become town arts centre

Photo Neil Cross
Penwortham library
Photo Neil Cross Penwortham library
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Details have emerged of what the future holds for two community buildings in Penwortham.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) announced late last month it was going to asset transfer the Penwortham Library building and the Penwortham Young People’s centre to the Town Council. Now residents are being told what they can expect to see once the take over is finalised.

Steve Caswell, Penwortham town manager, said: “We are very excited that we have been given the opportunity to save these valued buildings within our town.

“Whilst nothing has actually been signed yet, the Penwortham Young People’s Centre will remain exactly as it is now with youth clubs, dance classes, mother and toddler groups, and we will be opening a small library service within that building. The library building is very much in the early stages but we are hoping to turn that into a small arts centre with space for plays, shows and films.”

The Council’s long-term plans for the library building involve an extension to provide enough space for a stage, seating, toilets and a bar.

The building could be let out to community groups during the time it takes to get planning approval funding sourced. Also contained within the council’s business plan for the Young People’s Centre in Priory Lane is the introduction of advice surgeries.

Penwortham Town Council’s precept is set to increase to cover the costs. A Band D property will now pay around 40p a month extra.

Both buildings were put under threat of closure by LCC, which needs to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of Government cuts.