‘Exciting’ new library work under way

SITE The former Woolworths
SITE The former Woolworths
Land on the Havant/Emsworth boundary earmarked for development

Threat to green gap at Emsworth

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HOARDINGS have gone up at Southsea’s new library, as work starts on the inside of the building.

The facility at the former Woolworths on Palmerston Road is set to open in late June or early July, and councillors say work is proceeding well.

Portsmouth City Council’s leader for culture, Councillor Lee Hunt, said: ‘It’s very exciting. Work is well under way. The inside’s being kitted out and prepared for the Radio Frequency ID technology, so people can check their own books in and out. People are very excited, including us.’

The library, which will cost the council £100,000 a year in rent, £134,000 a year in running costs and £1.4m to transform the building, is also likely to house council services.

Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson hopes others across the city will follow suit.

He said: ‘It’s a great new facility, and we hope we can have a range of things happening there. It’s more than a traditional library. We may have our community officers based there, and we could also have social services schemes to encourage people to live more healthily there, too. It will be more than just books. We’ll be looking to make it a community information centre. If it works as we hope, we will then look at the same thing for other libraries, with Cosham the possible next centre.’