£15,000 IT centre to be created at Fratton library

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A £15,000 IT centre is to open at one of Portsmouth’s oldest libraries.

It will be created at the Carnegie Library in Fratton.

The cash will pay for 10 computers for public use, one for a tutor, as well as furniture and redecoration of a section of the Fratton Road venue.

The council’s leader for culture Cllr Lee Hunt made the decision for the cash to be spent.

He said: ‘Libraries are changing.

‘But they have always been about information and this IT centre will be there to help people how to use technology and the internet to learn even more about the world around them.’

The development will be paid for out of any underspend of the council’s £1.49m budget for opening the new Southsea Library in Palmerston Road.

It took the city’s Community Library Centre from the Carnegie Library, leaving a space for the IT centre to be installed.

Work will take place early next year after the final Southsea Library budget calculations have been completed.

Cllr Hunt said: ‘The Palmerston Road library has been a great success.

‘It’s good that we can pass on the underspend to making sure another of the city’s facilities can continue to provide great service.’

Andrew Carnegie, who the Fratton library is named after, was briefly the richest man in the world.

From 1886 to 1917, his Carnegie Foundation funded the building of 679 libraries in the USA and 660 in Britain, including the Fratton facility, which opened in 1906.

The IT centre includes a youth space, including on-line games, books and DVDs.

Cllr Hunt said: ‘We want something to attract old and young people.’