Old Penwortham library finally seeks council OK as arts venue

An application to turn the old Penwortham Library into an arts centre has been submitted to South Ribble Council, more than a year after the building re-opened.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 7:00 am
The old library building is now an arts venue.

The town council, which took over the property (inset)from Lancashire County Council last year, has finally lodged a request for a change of use to operate as The Venue.

The former library closed in September 2016 as part of a controversial cost-cutting exercise by County Hall.

It remained empty for three years while Penwortham Town Council came to an agreement with LCC to take over the lease.

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It was re-opened in September 2019 as The Venue, staging events like cinema clubs, lunchtime music recitals, arts and crafts events, history talks and poetry recitals.

But it is only now that a change of use application has been lodged with South Ribble to meet planning regulations.

The council has revealed it plans to increase the usage of the arts centre by adding further events.

In a statement to the planning committee, it says: “The addition of an Arts Centre to Penwortham and in particular to the Liverpool Road district centre of the town can only assist in the economic prosperity of the area.

“The arts centre will encourage greater use of the area, bring into the area customers that may not normally visit that part of town, encourage greater use of the local eating establishments both during the day and evening and increase the general footfall through the district centre.”

It adds that The Venue has already had a positive impact on the local community and has been contributing to the “strong, vibrant and healthy community of Penwortham.”

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