Hammersmith Library to be Upgraded

With funds secured from Hammersmith Grove developer

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Hammersmith Library is set to be given a £1.65million revamp, with the help of developer Development Securities.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council says it has used its Section 106 powers to ensure that developers contribute to local neighbourhood improvements once planning permission has been granted.

The one and a half million pound deal for Hammersmith Library has been secured following Section 106 negotiations with the developer of the nearby Hammersmith Grove NCP site, Development Securities.

The announcement comes as welcome news for local people as the Grade II listed Edwardian library in Shepherd's Bush Road was previously included on the list of buildings the council was considering selling off.

H&F Council now says it wants to take the best elements of  Hammersmith Library, which was built in 1905, and combine it with the modern feel of the new and hugely popular Shepherd's Bush Library.

Shepherd's Bush Library opened at Westfield in September 2009 and has enjoyed huge success in a time when library usage across the country is falling.

The Shepherd's Bush service is branded as More than a Library! because it offers residents a variety of services under one roof. The council wants to apply that ethos to Hammersmith Library.

Library users are now being asked for their thoughts on what improvements should be carried out. In addition to making more space available for public use and buying new books, the council is keen to hear what users think about:

  • Fitting self-service terminals to reduce queues and customer waiting
  • Installing Wi-Fi
  • Hosting more events for teenagers and children
  • Holding more author events
  • Setting up music listening posts

Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for residents’ services, says: " The unprecedented success of the new Shepherds Bush Library goes to show just what can be achieved by modernising library services. We are incredibly excited at the prospect of replicating that ‘More than a Library! model at Hammersmith and we look forward to hearing what users have to say."

Development Securities recently announced the start of construction work on the 1.5 acre former NCP car park site at the foot Hammersmith Grove.  The site, which was previously owned by Transport for London (TfL), is being transformed into two office buildings designed by London architects BFLS at a cost of £70 million.

As well as the cash injection from Development Securities, H & F council claims that combining management and back office costs has protected all 21 public libraries in H&F, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster from closure and saved taxpayers more than £1million a year.

In addition to the cash saving, the agreement means that residents have access to around one million books across all three boroughs, hundreds of entertainment and cultural events and scores of weekly skills and education classes.

The tri-borough library scheme is part of wider project to combine some council services across the three boroughs in a bid to save £40million a year by 2014/15.

You can have your say on Hammersmith Library improvements by picking up a form at the library or visiting the online consultation.

 

April 5, 2012