Exciting plans are being drawn up to expand and improve Golborne’s library – if funding can be secured.
The library is currently closed due to the pandemic, and many of us are realising just how much we miss the branch, the friendly staff and all the services it offers.
Now local councillors, Yvonne Klieve, Gena Merrett and Susan Gambles are drawing up plans to secure the library’s long-term future – and make it even better.
What is being proposed?
The councillors are hoping to expand and improve the library, creating a larger space for community events and meetings, adding public toilets and better kitchen facilities.
At the moment, the meeting space is very small, which limits the type and number of activities that can take place at the library, and there is limited storage.
But the library remains a very popular community space – and could potentially be an ideal place for even more children’s classes or larger group events.
They now plan to make the case for Golborne to receive the money for the improvements through the Community Infrastructure Fund, which comes from Section 106 monies, paid by developers such as housebuilders to ensure that investment is made in the local area. A consultation will begin soon asking local people to have their say on how this money should be spent – and our local councillors hope Golborne library will get a strong backing locally.
Cllr Klieve said: “Outside of the area’s churches, the library remains the only community centre in the ward. It is so VERY much more than a building where you lend books. It is also the beating heart of the area hub of Golborne, Lowton and Ashton, where police, councillors and neighbourhood officers regularly meet.”
As well as books, the library also provides access to computers, hosts community groups and runs sessions for local people, from pre-schoolers to pensioners.
The library was once threatened with closure
As part of the Government’s austerity agenda, there was a time when locals feared that Golborne library would be closed for good.
The campaign to save it from closure was taken up by local campaigners including Ian Massey and ward councillor Yvonne Klieve, with the support of then MP Andy Burnham. Golborne was spared the chop – but its opening hours were still reduced, in common with all the borough’s remaining community libraries.
More recently, funding was secured to improve the library’s car park.
The library reopened in September, following its closure during the first lockdown, but sadly had to shut its doors again just the following month, when staff were needed to support the council’s Test and Trace efforts. It had been hoped it would reopen early in this new year, but with another national lockdown in place, that remains on hold.
What does Golborne library mean to you? And would you like to see it expanded and improved?
Let us know in the comments below.