North Shields Central Library first closed its doors back in December 2011 after repeated problems with the heating system.
Subsequently North Tyneside Council approved a £2.6 million plan to redevelop the library, with Kier North Tyneside being appointed as the main contractor. Inside the revamped library there will be new furnishings and interior fittings, self-service library points, better access to the local studies section, refreshment facilities, community meeting rooms, new lift, improved disabled access plus an automated cash payment kiosk. In addition to the new fixtures and fittings a host of council services will also be moved into the library.
Some of the improvements have come about as the result of a survey of library users conducted before the Northumberland Square building was shut.
Speaking to Premier Construction about the development, Senior Contracts Manager, Colin Moor said:
“Initially all of the work was just internal, with new air conditioning, heating system, a complete rewire, new walls, carpets and furniture fitted. All of the doors have been replaced with oak door sets and special designed carpet tiles have been fitted.
“There are also new entrances, one of which will take you from the adjacent shopping centre into the building and the hope is that the people leaving the shopping centre will decide to use the library facilities.
“The development was originally due to be complete by April however the client added external works, as new funding was found. Now a new roof, new glazing and refurbished outside facade is being fitted.”
When asked what the development means to Kier North Tyneside, Colin added: “It’s a substantial part of our build contract for this year at 2.6 million it has gone a long way to preserve jobs.”
The council hopes that the new state-of-the-art library and a range of Council customer services available inside will attract more people to the town.